Abstract Submission

The Metropolis 2018 Program Committee invites the submission of abstracts for Workshops and Individual Papers for consideration into the Metropolis 2018 Program under the overarching theme of
‘Global Migration in Turbulent Times’.

Metropolis 2018 welcomes individual papers and workshops which explore the conference themes and are inclusive of equity groups. These groups include First Peoples, women, people with disability, young people, LGBTIQ people, ethnic minorities, undocumented migrants, people seeking asylum, refugees and others whose strengths, capacities and perspectives offer valuable insights into the challenges and opportunities of migration, diversity and integration at global, regional and local levels. We acknowledge that people may be represented in multiple equity groups.

For any questions and/or concerns not included below, please email the Conference Managers at metropolis2018@arinex.com.au.

Abstract Key Dates
Deadline for submitting an abstract

20 May 2018

Author notified of acceptance round 1 (abstracts submitted prior to 15 May 2018)

30 May 2018

Author notified of acceptance round 2 (abstracts submitted after 15 May 2018)

End of June 2018


Conference Themes

The overarching theme for the Conference is ‘Global Migration in Turbulent Times’ with a focus on the following themes:

1. Enterprise, Innovation and Employment – catalysts for social change?

Migrants have been significantly impacted by rapid changes in the global economy. The increased globalisation of investment, production and distribution is transforming societies and economies resulting in an increase in the geographic mobility of workers.

The migration of highly-skilled workers is often facilitated by corporations and governments, which rely on arguments concerning the benefits of migration for economic growth, whilst businesses often seek the benefits of a diverse workforce. On the other hand, lower-skilled workers are more likely to be part of irregular and/or temporary migration pathways where they often address shortages in lower-paid occupations in small and medium-sized enterprises. In this context, high-skilled and low-skilled migrants are increasingly enmeshed in global contracting chains.

This crude division of workers fails to acknowledge the powerful propensity migrants have for entrepreneurial activity and innovation – coupled with their tenacity and capacity to adapt, often inspired by wanting a better life. These strengths have fueled the success of many industries and helped revitalise their host societies.

The intersections of business and migration in the 21st century.
We will explore questions including:

  • How do contemporary migration policies and global contracting chains impact workers, both locally born and migrant?
  • How is the entrepreneurial potential of migrants supported in the rapidly changing global business models?
  • How do migrants negotiate long-held notions of labour market segmentation and help to create new perceptions of what is possible?
  • What are the emerging opportunities for businesses, the public sector and trade unions to play a stronger role in integration and maximise the benefits of migration for social and economic gains?
2. Migration and Mobility – the dynamic shifts in the Asia-Pacific region

The Asia-Pacific region is experiencing some of the fastest rates of population and economic growth and rapid changes in social and political domains.

The region has some of the richest and poorest countries, populous and small nations, extremely large and small cities, multicultural and monocultural societies, countries with challenges of an ageing population and countries with a young population.  

The region is a focal point for expanding migration and mobility of skilled and unskilled workers, of students, and of people forced to move. The region comprises major migrant source countries that rely on remittances from their diasporas, long-standing and emerging destination countries, and an expansion of migrating students wanting to gain a foothold in the global economy.

As such, the region is home to a range of dynamic and diverse challenges and opportunities related to migration and mobility, requiring active and considered responses by governments, non-government organisations and other stakeholders.

The dynamic shifts in the Asia-Pacific region.
We will explore questions including:

  • What are the features and drivers of migration and mobility in the region?
  • How do these specifically impact students?
  • What are the impacts of migration and mobility in the context of destination, transit and source countries?
  • In what ways is the governance of migration across the Asia-Pacific shaping the region overall and its major cities?
3. Displacement and asylum – new dimensions driving an old phenomenon

In recent years, Europe has experienced the greatest movement of displaced people since World War II, drawing further attention to forced and mixed migration across the globe. Environmental disasters and climate change are new drivers of displacement, with many of the world’s poorest regions, including parts of the Asia-Pacific region, among the most vulnerable to forced displacement.

The political, social and economic impacts of displacement can be seen in the current Rohingya crisis in Myanmar and Bangladesh, in recurring environmental disasters and in the ongoing human cost of irregular migration and dangerous journeys.

A series of summits, including the 2016 Global Summit on Refugees and Migration in New York, provide a forum to develop new possibilities in the global response to, and governance of, these movements. While the 2016 UN General Assembly expressed a collective commitment to share responsibility for refugees, the responsibility for internally displaced people, people who are trafficked, and others who are displaced remains unclear.

The new dimensions of displacement, its impacts and solutions.
We will explore questions including:

  • What are the various patterns and drivers, new and recurring, of displacement?
  • How can we harness the strengths and address the vulnerabilities of displaced people on their journeys (in countries of origin, transit and arrival)?
  • What are the emerging trends in the international protection of refugees and resettlement arising from the Global Compact on Refugees?
  • What actions can be taken at international, regional and local levels to address displacement and asylum, including displacement resulting from climate change?
4. Visible and powerful – migrant voices in a connected world

The number of people on the move continues to grow worldwide while the public discourse around migration and mobility, including in traditional and social media, has typically become more polarised and fragmented, which potentially impacts the visibility and power of the migrant voice.  

Civil society organisations are key conduits for the empowerment and participation of refugees and migrants in debates on policy and practice; however, in the digital age, there are new platforms for migrants to be vocal and visible.

These platforms provide migrants and refugees with the opportunity to resist and challenge negative attitudes and facilitate new forms of organised action. They also potentially facilitate a greater diversity of migrant and refugee voices, including people with disability, those who identify as LGBTIQ and undocumented migrants.

In an increasingly connected world, new media channels have the power to bring these diverse voices together and to generate impactful conversations between people with a lived experience, academia, community members, government and non-government stakeholder. 

The lived experiences of people who move and their influence on policy and practice.
We will ask questions including:

  • In what ways are migrant and refugee communities finding their voices and challenging stereotypes through new and traditional forms of media?
  • What successes are migrants and refugees having in terms of influencing political, policy and public discourse?
  • How are the voices of migrants and refugees who face exclusion due to disability, gender and sexual orientation shaping debates on inclusion and integration?
  • Are there limitations on migrant visibility and voice?
5. Conflicting agendas? National, local, regional and global responses to the governance of migration

Concerns about cultural change, economic threats, national security and border security have propelled migration to the top of political and policy priorities at local, national, regional and international levels. However, migration policy agendas working at these different levels are often contradictory.

National governments are generally reluctant to cede sovereignty and may prioritise the rights of their citizens and seek to exclude migrants; whereas, at the local level, municipalities are often at the forefront of the practical tasks of welcoming and integrating migrants and addressing social disadvantage among newcomers.

International organisations seek cooperation instead of competition and are working to develop ‘best practices’, ‘models’ and ‘international standards’ of migration management.

The tension as to whether migration is a local, national or global responsibility, means that it is often shunted to regional organisations such as the EU. However long-standing regional agreements, like the EU’s Schengen Agreement, are being undermined by multiple crises around migration and mobility.

The Global Compact on Migration offers a new opportunity to develop a multilateral framework which may help to resolve some of these conflicting agendas in managing the movement of people.

The conflicts and tensions of migration governance.
We will ask questions including:

  • What drives the agendas of migration policy makers at the local, national, regional and global levels?
  • What are the trends in international policies arising from the development of the Global Compact on Migration?
  • How are the conflicts among these migration policy agendas being negotiated and resolved?
  • How are governance dynamics changing the nature of cities, nation-states, national sovereignty and global governance?
6. Religious diversity – a bridge or a barrier to belonging?

Issues around migration and religion loom large in debates around the capacity of migrants to integrate. These debates raise questions regarding the relationship between religious affiliation, secularism and the political process.

Political and media discourses around religious minorities often focus on the exclusion of those seen as too ‘different’ to integrate, resulting in experiences of religious discrimination and vilification. Yet religious affiliation can also provide the social bonds that migrants can use to build social bridges to others in the community.

These ‘bridging’ initiatives include inter-faith dialogues and other community-based strategies to support religious diversity, as well as everyday engagement with religious minorities.

The positive responses of faith-based organisations and communities to asylum seekers, refugees and new migrants of different religious backgrounds demonstrate the potential of religious engagement. Religion is also increasingly implicated in the causes of short and longer-term mobilities, and often critical to the maintenance of transnational connections.

Exploration of religious diversity and belonging.
We will ask questions including:

  • In what ways is religion framed in debates about migration and notions of integration, interculturalism and social cohesion?
  • How does religious engagement and affiliation support or hinder belonging and integration, both within and beyond the nation-state, and in relation to migrant and mainstream populations?
  • What are the limits to religious tolerance in pluralist, secular societies?
  • What is the relationship between religious affiliation and migrant identities?
7. Migration and inequality – complex challenges under the microscope

Migration can be both a consequence and a cause of inequality, and this has been an abiding theme in migration policy dialogues.

Reducing inequality within and between countries is one of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, which promote social, political and economic inclusion.

While perceptions of the promise of economic benefits are often highlighted; social and political inequality (e.g. in terms of gender, disability, religious or political affiliation, sexuality, ethnicity, or class) are also potent drivers of migration.

In an increasingly connected world, more people in traditional migration-source countries have perceptions of high living standards and social and political freedoms in destination countries. However, the reality may be quite different with migrants often having an unequal or precarious footing in transit and destination countries.

Global actors such as the World Economic Forum have highlighted inequality as a driver in social and political instability and the polarisation of societies. This polarisation is visible in destination countries in the growing disenchantment with mainstream political parties, the rise in nationalism and populism, and in the increasingly partisan views on a range of social policy questions including immigration.

Exploration of the intersections of migration and inequality.
We will ask questions including:

  • How can we achieve stronger social and political inclusion of migrants and refugees?
  • In what ways is reducing inequality useful in helping to frame policy and actions on migration, diversity and integration?
  • What are the links between inequality and perceptions of insecurity about migration in the current economic, social and political context?
8. Australia as a multicultural paradise – myths and realities

Australia is often seen as a ‘new’ nation, despite Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples having continuous custodianship of the land for more than 50,000 years.

Similarly, Australia’s cultural diversity is often associated with migration, overlooking the diversity of First Peoples who spoke over 250 languages prior to European settlement in the late 18th century.

In the period leading up to World War II, migrants were predominantly from Britain and Ireland. The post-War settler immigration policy dramatically increased immigration intakes and marked a major shift in migration flows. Since the early 1970s, Australia has largely moved from exclusionary entrance (the White Australia Policy) and assimilationist policies towards non-discriminatory immigration selection processes and multicultural settlement policies.

Today, Australia predominantly selects skilled migrants and offers some family migration and humanitarian pathways; it has also seen a rapid growth in various forms of temporary migration.

Permanent migrants have pathways to citizenship and social and political rights, including access to health and education, Temporary migrants – who now significantly outnumber permanent entrants – largely do not.

Multiculturalism continues to be championed as part of Australian values, but it is challenged by the persistent realities of racism, stereotyping and anti-immigrant rhetoric, including the perceived threats that migration and transnational identities pose to Australian security, national sovereignty and identity and socio-economic stability.

The role of migration and multiculturalism in modern Australia.
We will ask questions including:

  • What are the pressure points in Australians’ attitudes towards multiculturalism, immigration and migrants?
  • What are the tensions between the economic and socio-political arguments for and against migration in the Australian context?
  • In what ways is contemporary migration impacting on the intersections between First Peoples, ethnic minorities and ‘mainstream’ Australians, including the formation of new hybrid and syncretic identities?
  • How are multiculturalism and diversity policy settings faring at the local community level?

Summary of Abstract Submission Instructions

Please follow the steps below as you prepare your abstract:
Step 1: Read the General Policies and Requirements for the submission of abstracts below.
Step 2: Choose your preferred Presentation Type: Workshop or Individual Paper.
Step 3: Write your abstract following the Abstract Format & Layout Guidelines.
Step 4: Download the Workshop or Individual Paper Abstract Template and insert/add your abstract text. Save as a .doc or .docx document to your computer. Please note: Each abstract must not exceed a 250 word limit. The word limit relates only to the text of the abstract and does not include title, authors and institutions.
Step 5: Click on the button below to complete the Abstract Submission Form. It will be necessary to upload the .doc or .docx copy of your abstract with text only (no titles, names or other data).

General Policies and Requirements

  • An abstract should contain sufficient information so that if published it will be a complete summary. The text should not contain statements alluding to results or conclusions not presented within the text.
  • Submission acknowledges consent to the publication of the abstract on the Conference website and in any Conference proceedings.
  • All presenters will be required to register for the Conference in order to ensure their abstract(s) is included in the final Program. The deadline for presenters to register 22 June 2018.
  • All submissions must be completed electronically via the online form. If you are unable to submit in this manner, please contact the Conference Managers at metropolis2018@arinex.com.au or phone: +61 2 9265 0700 for further information.
  • All abstracts must be prepared according to the guidelines provided. Abstracts can only be accepted and published if submitted using the supplied template.


Presentation Type

The Metropolis 2018 Program Committee invites abstracts for Workshops or Individual Papers for consideration into the Metropolis 2018 Program.

Workshops at Metropolis Conferences are a key forum for knowledge exchange and can take the form of panel discussions, roundtables or other interactive formats that allow ample opportunities for discussion and debate. Workshops, which run to 90 minutes, typically include a maximum of four speakers (of 10-15 minutes each) but can include higher numbers of shorter presentations as part of panel discussions. Workshops which include presenters from a variety of sectors (e.g. NGO, academia, policy, corporate, community) and a range of countries will be highly regarded. Abstracts for workshops should nominate a convenor (usually the abstract author) who is responsible for coordinating the workshop if it is accepted in the program.

Workshop abstracts should aim to choose from one of the eight conference themes. However, the Program Committee will consider abstracts for workshops which sit outside these themes (by choosing ‘Other’ from the drop down menu) and specifying the theme as part of the abstract submission process.

If a Workshop is to be submitted, please request the presentation type to be Workshop at the top of the form before entering the submission title and adding the abstract text.

Individual Paper
Abstracts for Individual Papers should choose one of the eight themes that best fits the proposed paper. Individual papers that are accepted in the program will be included in workshops with similar themed papers.

If an Individual Paper is to be submitted, please request this presentation type at the top of the form before entering the submission title and adding the abstract text.


Abstract Format and Layout Guidelines

  • Each individual abstracts must not exceed a 250 word limit. The word limit relates only to the text of the abstract.
  • Abstract documents should not include the title, authors or affiliations; only the abstract body. Titles, authors and affiliations will automatically populate on the final abstract document based on the details entered into the relevant sections in the abstract submission site. See below for abstract template and example.
  • Use single line spacing.
  • Tables or graphics are not to be included and will be stripped.
  • All formatting is preserved (italics, bold, superscripting, subscripting, underlining) and symbol characters (ie ± , µ, ß) may be used.
  • Abstracts must be free of typographical and grammatical errors.
  • Standard abbreviations may be used for common terms only. Otherwise, any abbreviation should be given in brackets after the first full use of the word. Abbreviations may be used in the title, provided the name in full is outlined in the body of the abstract.
  • It is the author’s responsibility to ensure the title, author and affiliation details entered in the abstract submission site are correct and exactly as they should be published on the abstract and in all Conference materials.


Abstract Template and Sample Abstract

Authors must prepare their abstract in advance using the template located at the link below. Authors can then upload the completed abstract via the online form. The abstract submission form will generate a final PDF abstract including the details entered in the system and the body of the uploaded abstract document. All abstracts will be checked and if you don’t follow the guidelines, your abstract may be declined.

Download the Workshop abstract template by clicking here

Download the Individual Paper abstract template by clicking here


Notification of Acceptance

Notifications of acceptance will be sent via e-mail to the submitting author by 30 May 2018.