Bridging Differences: Migration in the Mediterranean
This course focuses on the challenge of bridging differences (cultural, racial, economic, religious, gender, refugee status, etc.) in light of recent migration to Europe via the Mediterranean Sea and other routes. Migrants fleeing direct and structural violence encounter opposition to their presence in European countries and have difficulty achieving stability and acceptance in host nations. Differences are frequently the site of misunderstanding, tension, and conflict between migrants and host country residents and within and across these and other social groups.
A variety of integration initiatives have been mounted to prevent and manage conflict by bridging differences and, ideally, fostering constructive relationships. Whether in the form of community dialogues, multicultural festivals, or peace building skills workshops, integration initiatives mounted by NGOs and migrants themselves are on the increase.
Many questions about integration initiatives remain unanswered, such as: What legal, social, and political (among other) divisions keep groups and individuals apart in societies with significant populations of recent migrants? How do migrants and residents themselves understand the divisions? What kinds of integration initiatives are commonly mounted? Which ones hold the most promise for bridging differences that might foment conflict? The development of integration initiatives will only increase as populations of migrants settle in European nations; thus, identifying and implementing constructive approaches, informed by the conflict field, will remain important for years to come.
Research on these integration initiatives is limited and we know very little about how conflict resolution approaches are being used to bridge differences and their potential for future integration initiatives. The learning objectives of the course are aimed at engaging students in answering the questions above through library research, analysis of data from a research project focused on integration, and field based research (focus groups, interviews, and participant observation) on several integration initiatives in Malta, an island nation in the Mediterranean.
- Conflict Analysis and Resolution (CONF) 625: Engaging Practice
- Conflict Analysis and Resolution (CONF) 695: Selected Topics
This program is open to all graduate students including students who do not attend George Mason University though preference given to Mason students.
Lodging will be provided at Slimiza Suites in Sliema, Malta
Program Cost (Spring Break 2018): $2900
Deposit of $500 due February 10, 2017
Final Payment due February 24, 2017
- Some meals
- Cultural activities
- Visiting speakers and instructors
- Transportation while in country
- International Emergency Insurance
- Round-trip airfare
- Personal spending
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More Information About This Program
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Field Experience Director
Dr. Susan Hirsch