This special collection aims to explore exciting territories through extending the existing analyses of multi-level governance and the ‘local turn’ to the underexplored area of asylum seeker reception. The contributions to this special collection yield emerging answers to pertinent questions, such as: What are the varying responses to asylum seeker reception that can be seen at the local level across Europe and how have they been achieved through multi-level governance? What are the characteristics of such approaches, especially in relation to the importance of horizontal and other networks? What makes some cities more ‘receptive’ than others? What implications do these innovations have for asylum seekers’ experience, agency and integration trajectories? What is the experience and consequences for receiving communities, especially when involved in experiments in social integration? Do these noble ideas live up to their transformative potential in dismantling categories of ‘us’ and ‘them’? How is consensus developed locally within such strategies and how are outcomes of local innovations fed back into multi-level governance processes to offer durable solutions to the challenges of asylum seeker and refugee reception? The contributions to this collection advances an important comparative exploration across European cities of how alternative policies and practices of asylum seeker reception have emerged at the local level, and how they are experienced.
Edited by: Caroline Oliver, Jacqueline Broadhead, Karin Geuijen and Rianne Dekker