Münchner Kompetenzzentrum Ethik
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Global Individual Responsibility

The Case of Refugee Integration

With close to 250 million international migrants, and almost 65 million refugees and displaced persons worldwide, the topic of newcomer integration into host societies has become one of the most pressing issues of our time. In the wake of the recent influx of refugees into European countries, private individuals often have stepped up to support the well-being of refugees in multiple ways: they welcomed strangers upon their arrival, donated money, clothes or furniture, and dedicated their time and energy to support newcomers to find their way around in the new environment. Yet, their acts have been considered gestures of goodwill – voluntarism, charity, philanthropy, Willkommenskultur – rather than as examples of a more stringent moral responsibility; and an adequate conceptual understanding and comprehensive normative evaluation of such individual contributions to integrate newcomers into society, however, is still largely unavailable.
The aim of the research project is to develop new scholarly insights about the role of individual citizens in the integration of newcomers to host societies – a large-scale, global challenge. Analysing the in the concrete case of refugee integration from different disciplinary perspectives will promote a novel and in-depth understanding of the philosophical, psychological, historical, and legal foundations of individual responsibility, its potential and its limitations.


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