Classifying the Diversity of Urban Diversities: an Inductive Analysis of European Cities

Asya Pisarevskaya*, Peter Scholten, Zeynep Kaşlı

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
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This paper provides an empirical classification of migration-related diversities in 166 European cities. The local turn in migration studies has shown that migration-related diversity may take varied forms in different cities. Our understanding of how and why cities differ is lagging behind the wealth of existing conceptualisations. This is partly because most studies look only at one kind of city, in particular, superdiverse global cities. This paper takes a systematic inductive approach to map the diversity of migration-related diversities in urban setting and understand the reasons behind such variations. Applying quantitative classification methods to European cities in France, Germany, the Netherlands and Italy, we search for a new meaningful classification of the urban diversity configurations based on measures of volume, variety and spread of migration-related diversity. Five empirical clusters of cities of migration are found: superdiverse cities, migrant minority cities, new diversity cities, low-migration cities and non-diverse cities. Subsequently, we develop a better qualitative understanding of these clusters by examining typical cities, their economic positioning, migration history, their policy and political structures, as well as their social and geographical position. A thorough classification, we argue, is necessary to have a more differentiated view of the existing urban diversities and go beyond one-size-fits-all solutions for urban governance of migration-related diversity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)655-677
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of International Migration and Integration
Issue number2
Early online date2 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022

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Publisher Copyright: © 2021, The Author(s).


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