Open Access by MATILDE: Assessing the Social Impact of Immigration in Europe

This open access publication is the result of the empirical work conducted by the Horizon 2020 Project MATILDE. Focusing on the social impact of migration, it explores migration as an inevitable part of rural development and transition in light of the sharp political divides in European and national political arenas on the topic. It provides an innovative immigration impact assessment to enhance local development in European rural and remote regions, looking to promote change in the perception of migration and related policies and practices.

This is an open access title available under the terms of a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 License. It is free to read, download and share on

Edited by Jussi P. Laine, Professor of Multidisciplinary Border Studies, Karelian Institute, University of Eastern Finland, Daniel Rauhut, Affiliated Researcher, Centro de Estudos Geográficos, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal and Research Associate, Institute for Applied Research of Ageing, Villach, Austria and Marika Gruber, Senior Researcher and Lecturer, School of Management, Carinthia University of Applied Sciences, Austria.

Publication Date: June 2023  ISBN: 978 1 80392 768 8  Extent: 274 pp

The book concentrates on third country nationals (TCNs), considering the spaces in which TCNs settle down as both the input and output of a process of collective production of places. Chapters analyse how the particular traits of rural and remote contexts interact with TCNs’ integration paths and impact, looking at how demographic trends, socio-economic dynamics and migration patterns to a specific region affect the opportunities, policy responses, societal attitudes and perceptions towards TCNs.

With empirically grounded recommendations and advice on strategies and solutions to improve the local governance of migration, this book will be a useful tool for European policymakers. It will also be an informative and interesting read for regional studies, governance and human geography scholars focusing on migration.

‘With this book, the researchers of the MATILDE project fill an important research gap. Through the diversity of the case studies, the range of opportunities and challenges experienced in remote areas through third-country nationals is impressively exemplified. The book is a valuable addition to the literature, especially for migration studies and rural studies.’
– Birte Nienaber, University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg

Contents Download PDF

Chapter 1: On the potential of immigration for the remote areas of Europe: an introduction

Jussi P. LaineDaniel Rauhut,and Marika Gruber

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Part I: Recognition, renegotiation, revitalisation

Chapter 2: Appropriate housing in rural and mountain areas? Current structures and practices of access for immigrants – the case of Alpine regions in Austria and Germany

Stefan KordelTobias WeidingerIngrid Machold, and Marika Gruber

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Chapter 3: Labour market shortages and exclusion practices: the irrationalities of the labour markets and the legislation

Marika GruberKathrin ZupanNuria del Olmo-Vicén, and  Raúl Lardiés-Bosque

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Chapter 4: Long-term needs to achieve social inclusionary pathways for migrants

Ingrid MacholdThomas Dax, and Lisa Bauchinger

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Chapter 5: Russian-speaking immigrants’ vulnerable transnational family lives on the border: the case of North Karelia

Pirjo PöllänenLauri Havukainen, and Olga Davydova-Minguet

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Chapter 6: De/re/bordering remoteness in times of crisis: migration for reterritorialization and revitalization of a remote region

Anna Krasteva

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Chapter 7: Migrating to Scottish insular communities: how remoteness affects integration by shaping borders and identities

Maria Luisa CaputoMichele Bianchi, and Simone Baglioni

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Part II: Challenges for policy and governance

Chapter 8: The impact of foreign immigrants on the revitalization of rural areas in Spain

Raúl Lardiés-Bosque and Nuria del Olmo-Vicén

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Chapter 9: Access to welfare policies by immigrants: comparing centralized and decentralized governance in the examples of Turkey and Spain

Pınar Uyan SemerciFatma Yılmaz ElmasRaúl Lardiés-Bosque, and Nuria del Olmo-Vicén

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Chapter 10: The local turn in migrant practices in Turkey: Syrians in Bursa

Ayhan Kaya

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Chapter 11: Immigrant integration in Austria and Sweden: a patchwork of multilevel governance and fragmented responsibilities

Marika Gruber and Daniel Rauhut

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Chapter 12: ‘A spanner in the works’: exploring the relationship between provision of welfare and integration in rural areas

Susanne Stenbacka and Tina Mathisen

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Chapter 13: Structures, trends and turning points of Norwegian and Swedish integration policies

Ulf HanssonDeniz AkinZuzana Macuchova, and Per Olav Lund

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Chapter 14: Conclusions: renegotiated remoteness and the social impact of immigration

Daniel RauhutJussi P. Laine, and Marika Gruber

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Index Download PDF

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