Schäfer, Philipp

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The Local Production of Asylum

2016, Hinger, Sophie, Schäfer, Philipp, Pott, Andreas

Current debates and conflicts surrounding the reception of asylum-seeking persons in Germany have reminded us once again of the central importance of the local setting. When investigating the conditions and ways of inclusion and exclusion of newcomers, the specificities of local contexts have long been neglected. While some scholars have called for a local turn in migration studies, we still face the difficult question of what to focus on when examining the local level. In this contribution, we argue that it does not suffice to focus on local policies and administrative practices. The challenge is to elaborate a research approach that does justice to the emergence and constant change of complex socio-political orders. Discussing how multiple actors and factors play into the negotiation of decent accommodation for asylum-seeking persons in the East German city of Leipzig, we propose a conceptual approach that ties in with constructivist spatial theory and seeks to contribute to debates on local migration regimes.