What if the reception and integration of refugees became a common good?

What if the reception and integration of refugees became a common good?

According to a recent investigation report of the World Bank, 184 million people, including 37 million refugees, are now living outside their countries of origin. The number of refugees has tripled over the last ten years, under the effect of military conflicts (wars in Syria and Ukraine in particular) which lead to significant population movements, but also climate change.

In the near future, climate migrations are expected to increase since 40% of the world's population lives in areas impacted by global warming.

At the same time, in developed countries, the birth rate is decreasing and sectors in tension lack workforce. The World Bank therefore recommends that governments better manage migration, by granting more protection to asylum seekers and regularizing undocumented workers, because developed economies need this workforce.

Third way

Many French associations (Forum Réfugié Cosi, Cimade, France Terre d'accueil, FNDSA, etc.) have been working to promote the integration of refugees for years. Their actions on the ground can serve as a model of the cooperation that exists between different actors (associations with volunteers and employees, residents, businesses and public institutions) to create a "greater good", that is to say a "common good", as Elinor Ostrom, winner of the Nobel Prize in economics in 1997, says.

American political scientist and economist defines the common good as :

“A _system of self-governed and self-organized sustainable common pool resources.”

Thus, in addition to the management of common goods classified as private or public, a third way emerges, according to which goods (material or non-material) can be created and managed by a community which is capable of self-management and self-management. self-organize.

Hospitality as a common good

In our recent article research, published in the scientific journal International Management, we are investigating the case of this type of community built around an IMBY constructive hospitality project: “In my back yard”.

The project was initiated and led by the Quatorze association in order to build small houses (tiny house or tiny house) in private gardens and to organize a community that will help a refugee. This assistance concerns not only their access to administrative rights and health, but also their integration into society, by offering them accommodation and directing them towards training if necessary, or even by helping them to become enter the labor market. THE tiny houses are co-constructed by Quatorze, refugees and neighborhood neighbors during participatory projects.

Presentation of the IMBY project (Les Petites Pierres, 2017).

The creation of a common good through constructive hospitality requires benevolent and effective cooperation between owners, architects, residents and different associations participating in the project. Of particular interest are innovative management methods, which do not fall into the category of "public" or "private" property management, but which allow this community to self-organize.

An initiative to support

This case highlighted the importance of leadership in coordination, conflict resolution, and establishing community social norms. It also revealed the existence of social partnerships between actors from different sectors who voluntarily decide to collaborate to solve a social problem, that of the integration and autonomy of people in exile.

The case of the IMBY project thus demonstrates that with the will and commitment of all stakeholders, it is possible to overcome institutional and human obstacles and build a common good beneficial to all stakeholders. The role of governments would therefore be to let it happen and even support this type of citizen approach.

Magdalena Godek-Brunel, Teacher-researcher, International Business, ESCE International Business School et Catherine Mercier-Suissa, MCF-HDR in economic sciences, iaelyon School of Management – ​​Jean Moulin University Lyon 3

This article is republished from The Conversation under Creative Commons license. Read theoriginal article.

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of InfoChrétienne.

Image credit: Shutterstock/Yanosh Nemesh

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