This collection of essays highlights how given Alpine territories in Austria, Italy, and Switzerland are currently facing challenges imposed by migration, the barriers and limitations they are encountering, and the extent to which migration triggers policy and territorial innovations that can generate beneficial impacts for both migrants and local inhabitants.

Contributors here include practitioners and social workers who have experimented with innovative reception and integration pathways, as well as researchers with diverse disciplinary backgrounds, including geographers, sociologists, political scientists, social anthropologists, economists, and legal experts. The book draws on empirical and theoretical investigations, research actions implemented within the framework of large EU projects, and exploratory case studies and storylines of welcoming reception initiatives.

This book should appeal to practitioners, social scientists, and policy-makers interested in both understanding the determinants that affect migrant exclusion and inclusion in Alpine territories and developing reception and integration initiatives of advantage to both sides when hosting asylum seekers in mountain areas.


Manfred Perlik is a Professor at the Centre for Development and Environment at the University of Bern, Switzerland, and at Laboratoire Pacte at the Université Grenoble-Alpes, France. As an economic geographer, his focus is on urbanization in mountain areas; his recent research deals with questions of spatial justice, social innovation, and new migration into mountain areas.

Alpine Refugees publication coverGiulia Galera is a Senior Researcher at Euricse, Italy. Her research activities are focused on the role and potential of social enterprises from an international and comparative perspective, the concept of social enterprise and its legal evolution, and the role of social enterprise in supporting social and work integration pathways for asylum seekers and refugees.

Ingrid Machold is a Senior Researcher at the Federal Institute of Agricultural Economics, Rural and Mountain Research (BAB), Austria. Her main research interests are rural and regional development issues with a focus on demographic change, migration, social diversity, governance and regional resilience.

Andrea Membretti has a PhD in Sociology, and is Assistant Professor at the University of Pavia, Italy. He is also a Senior Researcher at Eurac, Italy. His main field of study is migration to European and non-European mountain territories, in relation to local development and community resilience.

Read an Extract

 This book is an output of the self-managed network ForAlps - Foreign Immigration in the Alps

Perlik, M. et al. (2019) Alpine Refugees – Immigration at the Core of Europe. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Cover image: Ewald Ehtreiber / Eweht [CC BY-SA 4.0]

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