Are there integration possibilities of all immigrants in the Greek society? In this seminar Dr Paschalis Arvanitidis presented a study that set forth to understand the complex spatial relations among refugees and asylum seekers, existing immigrant communities and the native population.
Over the last thirty years or so, Greece has seen a substantial influx of immigrants coming mainly from Albania and the republics of ex-USSR and to a lesser extent from northern Africa and Asia. The phenomenon has attracted the attention of scholars, giving rise to a number of studies discussing the economic, social and spatial implications in-migration has for the country. Yet, few studies have comprehensively explored the intra-urban location choices of immigrants and the possible emergence of specific ethnic enclaves within Greek cities. In addition to this, the country has since 2012 received an increasing number of refugees from the Middle East passing through Greece on their way to Northern and Western Europe. Tight border controls and other acts taken by the EU and the neighbouring countries have substantially restricted these movements, leaving a growing number of incomers “trapped” in Greece for an indefinite period. This situation has given rise to reasonable concerns to both Greek citizens and the State authorities alike, regarding the spatial allocation and settlement of incomers, the conditions of their living and the implication of these decisions on the social and spatial fabric of Greek cities. On this basis the study set forth to explore the location choices and segregation dynamics among refugees, existing immigrants and natives, having as case studies two typical cities, Larisa and Katerini. In doing so the study employed classic segregation measures (the Dissimilarity and the Isolation indexes) to portray the residential patterns of refugees and immigrants as there are reflected in the school enrolments of their children. Additionally, information acquired through in-depth semi-structured interviews with refugees, enabled to shed further light on their locational preferences and to outline possible movements in the near future.
Dr Paschalis A. Arvanitidis (MEng, MLE, PgC, PhD) is an Associate Professor of Institutional Economics at the Department of Economics, University of Thessaly (Greece). He is an engineer (from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece) with postgraduate and doctoral studies in urban economics and property markets (from the University of Aberdeen, UK). His specialization is on institutional economics, urban economics, urban development and real estate markets. His current research interests focus on issues of urban commons, immigrant and refugee spatialities, and Airbnb dynamics. He holds membership in seven professional organizations and over the last years he has participated in many EU and Greek funded research projects related to urban matters. Paschalis Arvanitidis is the author of a research monograph publish by Routledge, titled The Economics of Urban Property Markets: An Institutional Economics Analysis, co-author of two other books and he has published a number of research papers in collective volumes and peer reviewed journals, such as Public Choice, Peace Economics, Peace Science, and Public Policy, Journal of Economic Studies, Contributions to Political Economy and Bulletin of Political Economy.
Dr Vassilis Monastiriotis is an Associate Professor in Political Economy at the European Institute, LSE. He is an economist and economic geographer by training. He holds a PhD in Economic Geography (2002, London School of Economics, UK) an MSc in Economics (1996, University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, Greece) and a BSc in Economics (1994, Aristotle University, Thessaloniki, Greece). Before joining the European Institute in 2004 he was Lecturer in the Department of Economics at Royal Holloway, University of London. He has previously worked as Research Fellow at the London School of Economics and the University of Reading and as a Course Lecturer in the Department of Geography at LSE.
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Immigrant and Refugee Segregation Dynamics (InSert)
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The Hellenic Observatory (@HO_LSE) is internationally recognised as one of the premier research centres on contemporary Greece and Cyprus. It engages in a range of activities, including developing and supporting academic and policy-related research; organisation of conferences, seminars and workshops; academic exchange through visiting fellowships and internships; as well as teaching at the graduate level through LSE's European Institute.
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