Conference "National, European, and International Challenges of Refugee Flows"

May 06, 2016 - May 07, 2016

Conference initiated by Arthur Benz, Thomas Risse, and Rainer Schmalz-Bruns.


Beyond Crisis: Fundamental Implications of Refugee Flows

The current debate depicts refugee flows as a form of crisis, situated either in countries of origin or of destination. As refugee flows inflict profound shifts on systems of political order, political scientists are prompted to get involved with the topic and its long-term implications on the national, European, and international level.

Transforming What´s National

On the national level, questions revolve around the transformation of statehood, illustrating ramifications of state failure affecting Western countries, too. Conversely, the transformation sheds light on limitations of Western states seeking to prevent and control refugee flows and migration.

European Challenges

In Europe, the freedom of movement in conjunction with refugee flows evokes distributional conflicts – rendering refugee flows compulsorily an issue crucial for European politics.

Global Shifts

For international politics, shifts in the global order can be ascertained. Yet, implications and consequences remain ambiguous. Research should examine developments regarding efficacy and legitimacy of international organizations as well the interdependency between areas of consolidated and limited statehood.

Developing a Multidisciplinary Research Agenda

Touching on some relevant aspects within this research field, the compilation of topics outlined above is not conclusive. The conference does not aim at fueling the debate on cause and effect of refugee flows; it rather seeks to identify underlying transformation processes of national, European, and international political orders. For scholars, taking up this challenge requires an interdisciplinary approach – in this respect the conference could contribute to the debate on mapping the research field in accordance with needs and necessities.


The press release sent by the press department of Freie Universität Berlin is available under this link.

Time & Location

May 06, 2016 - May 07, 2016

FU Berlin