Class VI: Cross-Sectoral Responses to Managing the Refugee Crisis: A Theory-Practice Dialogue

Provided by Thomas Gegenhuber, Johannes Kepler University Linz

Guiding questions: Which actors play a role in managing the refugee crisis? What is the role of public bureaucracies? And which organizing practices outside the realm of formal organizations matter?



Core readings

Coston, J. M. (1998). A model and typology of government-NGO relationships. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 27(3), 358–382. PDF

Rast, M. C., Younes, Y., Smets, P., & Ghorashi, H. (2020). The resilience potential of different refugee reception approaches taken during the ‘refugee crisis’ in Amsterdam. Current Sociology, 68(7), 853–871. PDF

Contemporary news article

The Austrian NGOs cooperate with the government to organize signing up for the “Grundversorgung” (basic needs payment). Read the following articles to understand the risks of such collaboration, because many Ukrainians still wait for their money as of May 2022. The articles are in German, but you can use a translation algorithm to translate them into English.

Brickner, I. (2022). Was bei der Versorgung der Ukraine-Flüchtlinge nicht klappt. Der Standard, 4 May. 

Millner, M. & Traar, C. (2022). Warum viele Ukraine-Geflüchtete noch immer auf ihr Geld warten. Kleine Zeitung, 7 May.

Post-lecture assignment

Go to the website of the provincial government of Upper Austria and the BBU and try to understand how they organize the distribution of refugees to private citizens who offer their place. Complement this with a search engine search (potential search terms: Wohnmöglichkeit, Ukraine, Private Unterkünfte, Oberösterreich). Then compare this approach with civil society initiatives such as “Shelter for Ukraine”. What does each model have in common, and how do the models differ? Based on the 2 x 2 matrix that I presented in the lecture, what do you think is the relationship between the government and initiatives like Shelter4ua? If possible, also think about the relationship between the government and civil society organizations such as Caritas or Volkshilfe. Your submission has about 250 – 450 words, and I suggest including a table to give an overview of your comparative analysis.

Background readings

Meyer, M., & Simsa, R. (2018). Organizing the unexpected: How civil society organizations dealt with the refugee crisis. Voluntas, 29(6), 1159–1175. PDF

Simsa, R. (2017). Leaving emergency management in the refugee crisis to civil society? The case of Austria. Journal of Applied Security Research, 12(1), 78–95. PDF