Cities and the Contentious Politics of Migration
By Kelsey Norman, Hans Schattle and Willem Maas
Cities have emerged as pivotal and indispensable in the larger picture of global migration governance and have gained a high profile in immigration politics, both in practical policy making and in articulating larger moral visions for political community (Penninx et al., 2004; Sassen, 2002; Schiller & Caglar, 2010). Some political and social theorists have argued that in a world of substantial interconnectedness across global and local spheres, national citizenship has become an inadequate mechanism for upholding the rights of immigrants (Benhabib, 2004; Carens, 2013; Soysal, 1994), with effective participatory citizenship at the local community level cast as one means of complementing – and, in some instances, even supplanting – national belonging (Maas, 2013; Schattle, 2012). The idea of the ‘right to the city’ (Lefebvre, 1967) has also served as a springboard for new forms of contention in current immigration politics, as communities strive to accommodate competing sets of rights to the city and to clarify whose rights to the city should take priority (Harvey, 2013). Additionally, cities are visible sites of sanctuary, amid considerable debate about the extent local communities appropriately serve a role in taking on more expansive visions than their respective national governments in charting the boundaries of political community. Yet the idea of sanctuary is situated amid shifting politics and vulnerable to increasingly draconian threats, especially amid the resurgence of right-wing populism and the accompanying backlashes against immigration (Murray, 2018; Tirman, 2016; Woods & Arthur, 2017).
Click here to read the full introduction to the "Globalizations" journal's special issue on Cities and the Contentious Politics of Migration.