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Refuge Europe at its Limits? Limits and Contradictions of Political and Moral Ideal

Public Plenary Discussion to Kick Off Meeting of the German Anthropological Society

№ 252/2017 from Sep 27, 2017

A public plenary discussion entitled "Refuge Europe at Its Limits?" will take place at Freie Universität Berlin on October 4, 2017, at the beginning of the biennial meeting of the German Anthropological Society. Three anthropologists will discuss with each other and the audience the challenges and contradictions that the refugee movements present for Europe. The event will take place in English. Admission is free.

The discussion will address the limits and contradictions posed by the ideal of Europe as a place of refuge in practical, political, and moral terms. In 2015 the immigration of refugee seekers in Europe reached a high point, which was often discussed as a "refugee crisis." The plenary discussion will focus on the developments as an opportunity to think about the borders of Europe as a political project that, on the one hand, propagates human rights, liberal democracy, and equality principles while on the other hand, through its restrictive border regime creates and tolerates massive exclusion, inequality, and discrimination. Presentations will be made by Alessandro Monsutti (Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva, Switzerland), Heath Cabot (University of Pittsburgh, U.S.A.), and Žiga Podgornik-Jakil (Freie Universität Berlin). These will be followed by a discussion with the audience.

The public discussion will kick off the conference of the German Anthropological Society. Since 2015 the society board has been located in the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology at Freie Universität Berlin.

Further Information

Time and Location

  • Wednesday, October 4, 2017, Welcome address at 5:30 p.m., plenary discussion at 6:00 p.m.
  • Henry Ford Building, Freie Universität Berlin, Max Kade Auditorium, Garystraße 35, 14195 Berlin; subway station: Freie Universität/Thielplatz (U3)


  • Prof. Dr. Alessandro Monsutti: Reading Europe’s Migration Crisis: Mobility as a Political Act
  • Prof. Dr. Heath Cabot: The European Refugee Crisis and Humanitarian Citizenship in Greece
  • Žiga Podgornik-Jakil: Senses of Injustice in Emergency Shelters for Refugees in Berlin: From Everyday Forms of Resistance Towards Articulated Demands for Decent Living


  • Prof. Dr. Hansjörg Dilger, Managing Director, Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Freie Universität Berlin, and Chair,  DGV e. V., Tel.: +49 30 838-56872, Email: hansjoerg.dilger@berlin.de
  • Dr. Julia Zenker, Managing Director, DGV e. V., Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Freie Universität Berlin; Tel.: +49 30 838-54910, Email: julia.zenker@zedat.fu-berlin.de