Publications - 23.02.2017 - 00:00 

St.Gallen’s "food for thought" about flight and migration

Ever since autumn 2015, the Migration Task Force at the University of St.Gallen has been coordinating and initiating projects dealing with flight and migration. In its new publication entitled "Denkanstösse" – which means as much as "food for thought" – it now reveals how University members from various disciplines confront these issues.

24 February 2017. From a former University governor's views shaped by his expertise of regional politics and history to analyses based on international and European law and to a media representative’s critical appraisal of the media, the brochure communicates a wealth of perspectives and positions in relation to a cluster of issues which will not release it hold on us any time soon: according to the State Secretariat for Migration, 1.3m applications for asylum were submitted in 2016 in Europe alone, 27,207 of them in Switzerland. Such figures are also related to numerous questions asked of academia, which the latter will only be able to deal with successfully if it dares step beyond disciplinary and other boundaries.

This – and more – is what the Task Force wants to make clear with its food for thought: thus the authors first take up a Swiss perspective but then widen the horizon to include experiences in Europe and the US. It is always necessary to challenge established patterns of thought, which is why in the third part, conventional appreciations are picked to pieces. And when the last section homes in on biblical narratives about flight and migration, it will become evident at the latest: the history of migration is the history of mankind.

Needless to say, the discussion of these issues is not meant to end here: anyone who is interested will be able to listen to more food for thought at our public lecture series, "From migrants to fellow citizens: the challenge of integration", which Special Ambassador Dr. Eduard Gnesa will launch on Monday, 27 February. Furthermore, an exhibition entitled "Must integration be useful?" will also be on display on the premises of the HSG. And the food for thought provided by the Task Force is thus primarily what such an approach invariably is: an invitation, a start, a step forward.

Image: Fotolia / Jonathan Stutz

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