Research Topic

The Integration Context of Refugees and Immigrants: Challenges and Opportunities in the Receiving Countries

About this Research Topic

Forced migration has reached unprecedented levels globally. Countries of destination and transit of mixed migration populations face challenges receiving, allocating, accommodating and eventually integrating prospective asylum seekers and economic migrants from a diverse set of countries and backgrounds. Many receiving countries have undergone substantial and swift policy changes in recent years. Prominent examples include European Union countries and the United States, but also many low- and middle-income countries hosting large immigrant and refugee populations.

The scientific evidence on how geographic, institutional and legal contexts shape integration of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees is scant, limiting the understanding of integration processes and the role of policies. Examples of recent policy debates include the geographic allocation of asylum seekers, status determination processes, language acquisition, the recognition of foreign qualifications, types of education systems, preparation classes and after-school courses for children, and access to health care and housing, among others.

This Research Topic invites submissions providing rigorous empirical contributions to advance our understanding of the effectiveness and mechanisms of integration policies targeting migrant populations, particularly forced migrants. The scope is interdisciplinary in nature, accepting works from the field of political science, educational science and economics in addition to sociology. The focus is on the structural dimensions of integration, such as labour markets and education systems. The contributions may include topics such as the transferability of qualifications acquired abroad, the investment strategies in host-country specific resources like educational credentials and language acquisition, and the returns on the labour market. Submissions focussing on micro-level case studies assessing whether and how policies shape integration processes are encouraged. Contributions from all geographic regions are welcomed.

Social science research, particularly sociology, has established tools to investigate processes of ethnic inequality, social integration and migration. At the micro-level, much work is focussed on describing the mechanisms of social integration of migrants. Evidence on the role of policies, institutional settings, and geographic context is scarce yet in high demand among policymakers requesting guidance from research. Although there is a long research tradition on migration- and integration-related issues, the migration populations and the context of the receiving countries are constantly changing. The high levels of migration in the last decade have not only led to various policy changes in many countries but also improved the availability of large-scale data to investigate integration processes. This Research Topic aims to feature key contributions to the field and compile leading research on the intersection of migrant and refugee integration and policy. 

We invite rigorous empirical contributions advancing our understanding of the challenges immigrants face and the effectiveness of integration policies targeting migrant populations, particularly forced migrants. The scope is interdisciplinary in nature, accepting works from the field of political science, educational science and economics in addition to sociology. The focus is on the structural dimensions of integration, such as labour markets and education systems. Submissions focussing on micro-level case studies assessing whether and how policies shape integration processes are encouraged. These submissions should engage with relevant policies, theoretical frameworks underpinning their intended effects and robust empirical strategies to provide new insights. Furthermore, studies examining the specific challenges of immigrants in the receiving countries are welcomed. These could include topics like the transferability of qualifications acquired abroad, the investment strategies in host-country specific resources like educational credentials and language acquisition, and the returns on the labour market.


Keywords: integration, migration, refugees, education, labour market, policies, institutions


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Forced migration has reached unprecedented levels globally. Countries of destination and transit of mixed migration populations face challenges receiving, allocating, accommodating and eventually integrating prospective asylum seekers and economic migrants from a diverse set of countries and backgrounds. Many receiving countries have undergone substantial and swift policy changes in recent years. Prominent examples include European Union countries and the United States, but also many low- and middle-income countries hosting large immigrant and refugee populations.

The scientific evidence on how geographic, institutional and legal contexts shape integration of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees is scant, limiting the understanding of integration processes and the role of policies. Examples of recent policy debates include the geographic allocation of asylum seekers, status determination processes, language acquisition, the recognition of foreign qualifications, types of education systems, preparation classes and after-school courses for children, and access to health care and housing, among others.

This Research Topic invites submissions providing rigorous empirical contributions to advance our understanding of the effectiveness and mechanisms of integration policies targeting migrant populations, particularly forced migrants. The scope is interdisciplinary in nature, accepting works from the field of political science, educational science and economics in addition to sociology. The focus is on the structural dimensions of integration, such as labour markets and education systems. The contributions may include topics such as the transferability of qualifications acquired abroad, the investment strategies in host-country specific resources like educational credentials and language acquisition, and the returns on the labour market. Submissions focussing on micro-level case studies assessing whether and how policies shape integration processes are encouraged. Contributions from all geographic regions are welcomed.

Social science research, particularly sociology, has established tools to investigate processes of ethnic inequality, social integration and migration. At the micro-level, much work is focussed on describing the mechanisms of social integration of migrants. Evidence on the role of policies, institutional settings, and geographic context is scarce yet in high demand among policymakers requesting guidance from research. Although there is a long research tradition on migration- and integration-related issues, the migration populations and the context of the receiving countries are constantly changing. The high levels of migration in the last decade have not only led to various policy changes in many countries but also improved the availability of large-scale data to investigate integration processes. This Research Topic aims to feature key contributions to the field and compile leading research on the intersection of migrant and refugee integration and policy. 

We invite rigorous empirical contributions advancing our understanding of the challenges immigrants face and the effectiveness of integration policies targeting migrant populations, particularly forced migrants. The scope is interdisciplinary in nature, accepting works from the field of political science, educational science and economics in addition to sociology. The focus is on the structural dimensions of integration, such as labour markets and education systems. Submissions focussing on micro-level case studies assessing whether and how policies shape integration processes are encouraged. These submissions should engage with relevant policies, theoretical frameworks underpinning their intended effects and robust empirical strategies to provide new insights. Furthermore, studies examining the specific challenges of immigrants in the receiving countries are welcomed. These could include topics like the transferability of qualifications acquired abroad, the investment strategies in host-country specific resources like educational credentials and language acquisition, and the returns on the labour market.


Keywords: integration, migration, refugees, education, labour market, policies, institutions


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

27 August 2021 Abstract
25 December 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

27 August 2021 Abstract
25 December 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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