Segnaliamo l’articolo di Tiziana Caponio, Davide Donatiello e Irene Ponzo “Relational and reputational resources in the governance of top-down asylum seekers’ reception in Italian rural areas” pubblicato all’interno della rivista Territory, Politics, Governance (DOI: 10.1080/21622671.2021.1995479).
The dramatic increase in the number of forced migrants and asylum seekers in Europe in the past decade, and the national redistribution policies aimed at diffusing the ‘burden’ of reception across national territories, have led mayors in small towns in rural areas to face the challenges of reception in their communities. In this study, we analyse how this challenge was dealt with in three mountain valleys in the Alpine area of Turin, in the North-West of Italy, where in 2014 the prefecture opened emergency shelters overnight and without consulting with the municipalities. Results from our research show that, in contrast to the thesis that mayors are pragmatic problem-solvers because of their proximity to the issues at hand, the local governance of asylum seekers’ reception is the result of the mobilization of relational and reputational resources on the part of community leaders. Mayors of small towns in rural areas will proactively engage on migrants’ reception only insofar as they can rely on and are willing to mobilize such crucial resources. When mayors fall short of relational and reputational resources, community leaders can eventually fill the gaps and contribute to ‘embedding’ national policies in the local community.