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Workshop: Dealing with Newcomers in 19th and 21st century Brussels

18 December 2014 , 9:30-16:30, Lisbon Room, Institute for European Studies, Pleinlaan 5, 1050 Brussels

As part of the larger interdisciplinary project on Cities and Newcomers, Cosmopolis co-organizes a workshop on 'Dealing with Newcomers in 19th and 21st century Brussels: Interdisciplinary Confrontations'. This workshop offers a space for project-related researchers to present ongoing research and is open to everyone interested.

The interdisciplinary research programme ‘Cities & Newcomers’ brings together VUB researchers with a background in urban geography, urban history, criminology and demography. The research programme focuses on urban areas with a high population turnover and develops case studies in 19th and 21st century Brussels. The two periods compared have in common a radical nature of social transformation, intense migration levels, and marked urban growth, but differ substantially in – among other things – economic and employment structure, the types of migrants involved, and the level and ambition of government intervention.

In this first workshop, project-related researchers with different disciplinary backgrounds confront each other by presenting in 15 minutes their ongoing research along three themes: 1) conflict negotiations at the neighbourhood level; 2) the identity of the newcomer through time and 3) migration policy in practice as a result of the negotiations between local and national state. These themes are further discussed after the presentations.

The workshop welcomes everyone interested. If you want to attend, send a mail before 16 December to:

Preliminary programme:

9:30 – 10:00 Introductions

Anne Winter (HOST): Introduction to the IRP-project

Bruno Meeus (Cosmopolis & HaUS): Thematic convergences and research questions

10:00 – 11:00 Convergence 1. Negotiations at the neighbourhood level

Els Enhus & Mattias De Backer (CRiS): Migration, neighbourhood and control in criminology

Eefje Vloeberghs (Cosmopolis):Citizenship and conflict in neighbourhoods of arrival

Reflections: Nick Schuermans (Cosmopolis & OASeS)


11:15 – 12:30 Convergence 2. The ‘newcomer’ has changed through time

Ruth Wauters (Cosmopolis): The relational conceptualisation of space and place and the implications for the concepts of ‘migration’, ‘neighbourhood of arrival’, ‘newcomer’, and ‘regulation’

Tina Van Rossem (Interface Demography): Brussels, beautiful and deadly? Mortality patterns in the city of Brussels at the end of the nineteenth century

Lena Imeraj, Didier Willaert & Nissa Finney (Interface Demography): Belgian graduates on the move: Does the location of the educational institution matter for internal migration patterns?

Reflections: Nick Schuermans (Cosmopolis & OASeS)


13:30 – 14:45 Convergence 3. Policy in practice: negotiations between the local and the national state

Alexander Coppens (HOST): Bringing migration policies into practice. Dealing with foreigners in Brussels in the mid-nineteenth century.    

Margo De Koster (CRiS) & Rik Vercammen (HOST):  Newcomers and the police. Prosecution of vagrants in nineteenth-century Antwerp and Brussels.

Ellen Debackere (HOST): The expulsion of foreigners: the case of nineteenth century Antwerp

Reflections: Ilke Adam (IES)(to be confirmed)


15:00 – 16:30