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"Flight and Refuge" Conference Exploring European Refugee Crisis

Apr 11, 2016 |

A two-day interdisciplinary conference beginning this week on Grounds will explore the global root causes and broader implications of Europe’s ongoing refugee crisis.

Sponsored by UVA’s Center for German Studies, the Center for Global Inquiry and Innovation and 14 other University units, as well as the German Embassy in Washington, D.C. and the Heinrich Böll Foundation, the “Flight and Refuge: The European Crisis in Global Perspective” conference begins at 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 12. The conference will open in New Cabell Hall 236 with a local panel of refugees sharing their personal stories.

Over two days, the conference will feature presentations by Philipp Ackermann, the German Embassy’s deputy chief of mission; Kemal Kirişci, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution; and David Martin, UVA’s Warner-Booker Distinguished Professor of International Law. Other speakers will include Bastian Hermisson, Executive Director of Heinrich Böll Stiftung North America; and Charles Benjamin, President of the Near East Foundation.

Prof. Asher Biemann, director of UVA’s Center for German Studies, said the conference will explore three distinct angles:

  • The European Crisis—The Crisis of Europe, focusing on the impact of refugee and migration on the countries of the European Union;
  • Global Perspectives, discussing the sources of the refugee crisis and offering comparative perspectives;
  • Consequences and Solutions,  a discussion with experts of migration law and policy-making.

Each of these areas will be addressed in a roundtable format with short position papers followed by discussion. The panels will be framed by lectures introducing the topic and concluding reflections by the Berlin writer Esther Dischereit.

All conference events are free and open to the public. For more information visit