Summer School

The Summer School Committee has selected the participants and submission period is over. Thank you for your interest.


MATILDE Summer School

International Migration in Remote Places

Bussoleno, Susa Valley, Italy

Organised by: MATILDE Research Partners led by the University of Eastern Finland

Date: June 13-17, 2022

Submissions Deadline: April 15, 2022 (GMT)

Venue: Polo Logistico Protezione Civile “Valle di Susa” – Croce Rossa Italiana Via Cascina del Gallo, 5, 10053 Bussoleno, (Turin), Italy

MATILDE, a 3-year project funded by EU Horizon 2020 facility, focuses on the impact of migration on the local development of remote places of Europe. The Summer School, organised by the project, aims to provide participants with interdisciplinary knowledge on the social and economic impacts of migration, with a special focus on their interactions with territorial inequalities, sustainable development, and spatial justice. It conveys evidence and results that point to the need to think locally and avoid generalisations in elaborating new approaches to the governance of migration and migrant inclusion.

The summer school seeks to strengthen the link between research, teaching and learning, and guide the participants to develop their argumentation and critical analytical thinking. This is expected to allow the participants to enhance their reflective learning outcomes as they will not only benefit directly from the most up-to-date research, but also have an opportunity to bring a contribution to it and take part in the co-production of knowledge.

Against the background of global trends such as urbanization and agglomeration, economic and forced migration flows are also moving outside urban areas. So far, this has largely been perceived as yet another burden for already marginalized territories. The specific needs of rural and mountain regions have been scarcely considered at the time of formulating the governance of migration. If unaddressed, the sentiments of people in ‘places that don’t matter’ risk fueling an authoritarian dynamic, rejecting diversity altogether. Notwithstanding the prominence of urbanization as a global trend, migrations to rural and mountain areas can play an important role for European rural regions, among the other things, by contributing to revitalise social and economic local milieu, reducing territorial inequalities and reconfiguring urban-rural interconnections. Migration – both international and internal one – has a potential to trigger development in the medium and long run especially in remote areas, where it can operate as a counter-process to depopulation and economic decline. Migration can be a crucial element to attain balanced territorial development, as defined in the UN Sustainable Development Goals. To avoid the existing risk that migration flows exert a negative impact on socio-economically and geographically fragile areas, place-based policies and adequate governance measure are needed.

The MATILDE International Summer School 2022 will be focusing on the discussions around international migration and its challenges and opportunities in remote places. The Summer School will consist of four days of lectures, discussions and field excursions led by a distinguished international faculty. The MATILDE Summer School will blend theoretical and empirical discussions along with the case studies participatory action research from around Europe.

The Summer School will take place in Bussoleno, a commune approximately 45 kilometres west of Turin in the foothills of the Susa Valley, Italy. Already an area of immigration from southern Italy after World War II thanks to the jobs offered by the railway and some local businesses, today Bussoleno is seeking a new economic and social vocation. Its territory, bordering France, is crossed by the new high-speed railway line (TAV) Turin-Lyon, against which a large part of the valley’s population has been mobilised over the years, for fear of the negative environmental effects. In recent years, the municipality has received significant flows of foreign immigration, especially from North Africa and Eastern Europe, attracted by the low cost of housing; furthermore, Bussoleno is on the route of irregular migration to France, via the surrounding Alpine passes: the town hosts initiatives to support migrants in transit, starting with the local Red Cross centre.

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