Migration by Necessity and by Force to Mountain Areas: an Opportunity for Social Innovation

Perlik, Manfred; Membretti, Andrea (2018). Migration by Necessity and by Force to Mountain Areas: an Opportunity for Social Innovation. Mountain Research and Development, 38(3), pp. 250-264. International Mountain Society 10.1659/MRD-JOURNAL-D-17-00070.1

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This article discusses current European migration flows, their impacts on the European Alps, and future options for addressing issues of migration. It explores these issues from the perspective of regional development, taking into account the currently prevailing goals of economic competitiveness and local self-interest. It focuses on the Alps, a region in which rural areas are losing economic, demographic, and decision-making power due to outmigration. An end to outmigration in the Alps is currently unlikely, but there may be other ways to stem the resulting losses. Based on a review of migration literature and 3 case studies, the article explores ways in which programs for hosting and integrating migrants can also benefit long-time residents by contributing in many different ways to the development of mountain areas. From this perspective, efforts to integrate migrants can be seen as a form of social innovation that can contribute to the future of the entire Alpine economic space. Rather than focusing on drivers of migration or its humanitarian or constitutional aspects, the paper explores the potential benefits to all parties of a better integration of migrants into the host regions, and the possibility that this could become a model of social innovation. It suggests an agenda for research on how to reach this potential and agenda points for policy regarding measures to fulfill the potential.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


10 Strategic Research Centers > Centre for Development and Environment (CDE)

UniBE Contributor:

Perlik, Manfred Rudolf




International Mountain Society


[1037] SIMRA - Social Innovation in Marginalised Rural Areas
[804] Socio-Economic Transition




Stephan Schmidt

Date Deposited:

20 Nov 2018 13:34

Last Modified:

12 Nov 2019 13:17

Publisher DOI:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Forced migration; displacement; exclusion; mountain immigration; social integration; social innovation; peripheral regions; European Alps





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