Call for Papers 20th International Migration Conference

Call for Papers on the conference theme «The Multicultural Condi-tion» and on contemporary challenges in the «Context Migration»

20th International Migration Conference
Thursday/Friday, 18-19 June 2020
School of Social Work, University of Applied Sciences and Arts North-western Switzerland, Olten

“The Multicultural Condition” is the thematic focus of the International Migration Conference 2020. It encompasses two sections: one connected with the conference theme “The Multicul-tural Condition” and an open section under the general heading “Contemporary challenges in the context of migration”. Proposals can be submitted for both sections. The conference lan-guages are English and German, no translation is contemplated.

Call for Papers on the Conference Theme “The Multicultural Condition”
Multiculturalism, often disparaged politically and opposed as ’multi-culti,’ is a generic term for theories, concepts and also political strategies that relate to a historically familiar and once again topical field of conflict. It entails the question of whether and how people can shape their living together in society with differing systems of value and styles of living, grounded on differing ethnic and linguistic backgrounds as well as cultural and/or religious affiliations and modes of belonging. Stuart Hall (1974), for example, viewed multiculturalism as a deeply contested idea and by no means a fixed doctrine; Anne Philipps (2007, p. 3) stresses the conflictual aspect and writes in retrospect that “multiculturalism became the scapegoat for an extraordinary array of political and social evils, a supposedly misguided approach to cultural diversity that encouraged men to beat their wives, parents to abuse their children, and com-munities to erupt in racial violence“. Other theories and concepts of multiculturalism that seek to provide answers to the increasing ethnic, linguistic and cultural-religious diversity in nation-states which define themselves politically in the main as “monocultural” are discussed, for example, under “transnationality”, “transculturalty”, and an “enlightened multiculturalism” based on human rights (Bielefeldt 2001). Or are even discussed against the backdrop of a concept of “ethnopluralism” espoused by right-wing political groups, advocating prevention of any mixing of groups that are defined as differing in ethnic-cultural terms. Differentiations also become visible in regard to differing social contexts. In France, for example, evident is a field of tension between a strict laicism, which interrogates the role of religions and most es-pecially Islam inside the French Republic -- and a “multicultural” secularism, espousing equality within the Republic in respect to citizens’ affiliations coming from different groups in terms of their religion and origin.
Against this backdrop, the conference endeavors to reexamine and discuss anew the bases and critiques of multiculturalism. One aim in such discussion is to sound out and analyze the relation of multiculturalism to competing concepts, in particular transnationality, integration and diversity – but also to the concept of transculturality, which in part leads further on and is partially intertwined with these other conceptions (Welsch 1995). Likewise to be explored is the significance of associated political differentiations, such as the distinction of a specifically libertarian or communitarian understanding of multiculturalism.
The basis and point of departure for discussion and debate is the assumption of a “multicul-tural condition”, a specific multicultural way of existence that acts to shape and determine life styles and ways of living in modern societies. This points to the necessity of differentiating between “multiculturalism” and what concretely constitutes “the multicultural” or the multicul-tural style of life -- a distinction that should be focused on centrally in the thematic section of the conference.

CFP Open Section: Contemporary Challenges in the Context of Migration
In the Open Section of the International Migration Conference 2019, current challenges in the context of migration can be presented and discussed. Of especial interest are topical foci connected with questions regarding education, marginalization and communication in migra-tion processes. The focus can be both on migrants and on questions connected with the (new) minorities. Presentations based on current, international and internal-comparative re-search are welcome, particularly from the Global South, as well as theoretical papers and presentations drawn from current empirical studies recently concluded.

Include your presentation under one of the following key sub-topical areas (please indicate which area in your proposal):

Sub-topical Areas on the Conference Theme “The Multicultural Condition”:
1. Theory
2. Country-specific forms of multiculturalism
3. Politics
4. School and education
5. Globalization
6. Media representations
Sub-Topical Areas for the Open Section/CFP: Current Challenges
7. Education
8. Participation
9. Marginalization
10. Communication
11. Cultures of memory

Submission and Format of the Proposal
1. Potential presenters are requested to submit a proposal online under:
2. Please submit a proposal (300 words max., including title of the presentation, short CV) and contact details (email, phone, postal address)
3. Please indicate the sub-topic under which your presentation proposal should best be classified in terms of the above areas 1 – 10
4. Please indicate whether you are presenting and discussing in only one of the two confer-ence languages (German and English) and which – or whether you would like to present and discuss in both.
5. The submitted proposals will be peer-reviewed

Proposal submission deadline: extended until 15. January 2020
Notification to applicants on their proposals: 15. February 2020
Conference languages: German and English
For general information, please consult:


  • Institute Integration and Participation, School of Social Work, University of Applied Sci-ences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland FHNW, Olten (Switzerland)
  • Centre de Documentation sur les Migrations Humaines CDMH (Dudelange, Luxembourg)
  • Competence Platform for Migration, Intercultural Education and Development (KOPF) of the Faculty of Applied Social Sciences, Technical University of Cologne (Germany)
  • Institute for Educational Science, Alpen-Adria University Klagenfurt (Austria)
  • Institute for Regional and Migration Research IRM (Trier, Germany)