Borders and Divisions: Brexit and Beyond 2019

By February 26, 2019Past events

The event was organised by the Migration Research Group at the University of Sheffield in collaboration with the Centre of Migration Research at the University of Warsaw and IMISCOE. It was supported by the Noble Foundation’s Programme on Modern Poland. You can find out more about the event here.

Speakers included:

  • Professor Feargal Cochrane, University of Kent
  • Dr Aarti Iyer, University of Sheffield
  • Professor Pawel Kaczmarczyk, University of Warsaw
  • Professor Peter Scholten, Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • Professor Anna Triandafyllidou, European University Institute
  • Catherine Woollard, European Council on Refugees and Exiles


  • Councillor Donatus Anyanwu

About the event

Brexit cannot be understood in isolation, and this event brings together a distinguished panel of migration experts to discuss the implications of on-going events in Europe and worldwide for borders and divisions, especially in the European context. The discussion will focus on three themes.

Theme 1 – The Politicisation of Migration: Experiences Elsewhere

In the 15 years since the 2004 Enlargement, at local and national scales, European countries have experienced seismic shifts associated with increasing intra-EU mobility, the economic crisis, austerity, the so-called ‘refugee crisis’, the rise of far-right and other populist sentiments. Brexit is clearly a notable political landmark in the UK’s more generalised ‘hostile environment’, but internationally it sits alongside many other examples. Pawel Kaczmarczyk, Peter Scholten and Anna Triandafyllidou offer their reflections on the situation elsewhere, including in Poland, Netherlands and Italy.

Theme 2 – Understanding the Causes

The causes of current contestations over migration, borders and belonging are no doubt multiple and complex and play out differently in particular contexts. In this discussion, Catherine Woollard, Feargal Cochrane and Aarti Iyer reflect respectively on three issues: the role of the so-called and ongoing ‘refugee crisis’, underlying societal divisions and conflict, and the relationship between migrants and other groups in the host society.

Theme 3 – Addressing the Challenges?

What can be done to address the challenges facing many societies? Each of our speakers offers one example to inspire optimism.