Beyond the 2008 Crisis? Recent Chances in Andean Families’ Access to Global Social Protection Arrangements

Thursday, July 13, 2017
JWS - Stevenson Lecture Theatre (University of Glasgow)
Maria Vivas , Universite de Liege
Cristina Ramos , Sociology, University of Florida
Europe recently experienced an economic and political crisis. This context has reinforced the historical restrictive migratory approach through the control of social provisions. In such an environment migrants are often categorized as an undesirable and unbearable burden for the state (Lafleur and Stanek  2015). These measures have affected migrant access to healthcare, education and pension schemes, and increased their unemployment rates (Castanheira et al. 2014; Pignal 2012). Nevertheless, it also drove them to diversify their resources to access social protection while negotiating them in sending, receiving and in-between countries.

This contribution explores the post-crisis Global Social Protection Arrangements that Andean migrants put to use in Brussels (Peruvians and Colombians) and London (Ecuadorians and Colombians). Global Social Protection Arrangements are defined as migrants’ cross-border strategies to acces social protection in the following areas: health-, long-term care, pensions, unemployment, housing and education. Such strategies combine resources negotiated in: host and home state welfares as well as with market-family and communities. An intersectional lens (Anthias 2001) is used to explore how migrants’ ethnic, class, gender, and generational positioning affect their access to such arrangements. It’s argued that Global Social Protection Arrangements increase these migrants’ life chances while also producing and reproducing new and old transnational inequalities (Faist et al. 2015). The empirical data draws from 82 life-story interviews with Colombian, Peruvian and Ecuadorian migrants in Brussels and London.