2021-08-11Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.18452/25938
Becoming glocal bureaucrats: mayors, institutions and civil society in smaller cities in Brandenburg during the ‘migration crisis’, 2015–17
Interdisziplinäre Zentren gemäß AS-Beschluss vom 17.02.2004
This article analyses the positioning of mayors as intermediaries between global governance and local practices in small towns with no previous experience with immigration in the state of Brandenburg in eastern Germany between 2015 and 2017. To gain an empirical insight into the dynamics in these municipalities, the results of a study of eight towns are presented. The analytical focus is on how the redefinition of the mayors’ position took place and what the expectations, experiences and irritations were that accompanied the arrival of refugees. The article highlights how mayors governed civil society involvement and dealt with the (partly xenophobic) resident population. The mayors turned out to be glocal bureaucrats who mediated on an ad hoc basis and with unclear competences between global flows of people, local needs and nationally organized bureaucracies. Their integration in multilevel governance constellations was characterized by ambiguities. At the same time, the new situation of becoming (finally) a place of in-migration provoked minor cracks in a since long petrified institutional setting and in most places led to civil society engagement Social media acted as ‘fire accelerators’ by picking up a subliminal sense of discontent among the citizens and attributing this feeling to the arrival of the refugees.
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This article was supported by the Open Access Publication Fund of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.