Analyzing governance and networks for welcoming and integrating newcomers in the Alpine region: a comparison of 12 case study areas
Dalla Torre C
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At: COST ACTION EmpowerSE - Tackling the migration and refugee challenge ; Trento ; 22.11.2018 - 23.2.2019 ; Social capital and social networks can have a positive effect on the integration of migrants and on labour market integration in particular (Portes 1995; Chou and Chow 2009: 341; Cheung and Phillimore 2013; Morosanu 2016). Moreover, the involved public agencies and private organizations at the local and regional level play a decisive role, by being the closest actors dealing directly with migrants and the challenges of integration (Mitterhofer et al. 2016; Gruber 2012). To understand the complex system of services and offers with which migrants are welcomed and integrated in the Alpine region, we conducted a study on what characterizes governance and networks of cooperation involved in the issue by looking at the type of actors, the characteristics of the relations, the topics and the aims of the cooperation. To conduct the research, the methodology of social network analysis was applied in eleven case study areas of the Alpine region, basing on primary data collected through interviews and surveys at the municipal and district level within the framework of the Alpine Space Project PlurAlps. The results of the analysis show that in the twelve case study areas, mainly public sector agencies and third sector organizations are involved. Of particular interest, some innovative experiences are emerging from the cooperation within the study areas, helping migrants to overcome barriers of socio-economic integration in the community. The paper will present some statistical correlations among the variables to draw conclusions about common and diverging characteristics of governance and networks among the case study areas. Moreover, a successful experience of cooperation among the public and the third sector organization for the social and labour integration of asylum seekers in a mountain community will be analysed in depth, in order in order to reflect on innovative strategies and tools adopted. Bibliography Cheung SY, Phillimore J. (2013). Social Networks, Social Capital and Refugee Integration. Research Report. Birmingham, United Kingdom: University of Birmingham. Chou K-L, Chow NWS. (2009). The roles of human capital and social capital in the economic integration of new arrivals from Mainland China to Hong Kong. Habitat International 33:340–346. Gruber M (2012). Role of municipalities in fostering integration process of people with migration background in Austria. Migration Letters, Vol. 9, No: 3, pp. 263-272 Marcher A, Kofler I, Streifeneder T (2017). Social and labour integration of asylum seekers in rural mountain areas – A qualitative study. Mountain Research and Development, Vol. 37, No. 4: 388-395 Mitterhofer et al. (2016). Zusammenleben in Südtirol: Vielfalt in den Gemeinden. Eurac Research, Bolzano Morosanu L. (2016). Professional bridges: Migrants’ ties with natives and occupational advancement. Sociology 50:349–365. Portes A, editor. (1995) The Economic Sociology of Immigration. Essays on Networks, Ethnicity, and Entrepreneurship. New York, NY: Russell Sage Foundation.