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Depoliticizing the European immigration debate: How to employ public sector innovation to integrate migrants

Mehmet Akif Demircioglu and Roberto Vivona

Research Policy, 2021, vol. 50, issue 2

Abstract: Immigration is a hotly debated and politicized policy area, one in which governments confront fierce opposition from populist parties and negative media narratives altering citizens’ perceptions of the issue. There is also growing scholarly interest in migration; new migrant integration research advocates for a conceptual shift away from focusing on migrant populations and towards rethinking host communities. At the same time, public sector innovation research is developing new approaches for how governments and public organizations can be innovative in dealing with grand challenges such as migration. The aim of this article is to merge these two subfields in order to answer a guiding research question: how can public organizations be innovative to promote integration for migrants? We suggest a typology of different innovation strategies that governments can adopt regarding integration, and we present five illustrative cases from European nations to examine how governments can innovate in order to integrate migrants. We find that governments can use multiple tools to promote integration and respond to grand challenges; governments can use various sources of innovation to address major barriers to migrant integration (e.g. language barriers, negative media and public opinion, and the difficulties of providing concrete assistance).

Keywords: Innovation; Public sector innovation; Migration; refugees; Integration; Europe (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2020.104150

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