Box-ticking exercise or real inclusion? Challenges of including refugees’ perspectives in EU policy

Robert Larruina*, H. Ghorashi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


This empirical chapter investigates the intensions, expectations and conditions to create inclusion in policymaking advice at EU level. The findings are based on a qualitative study of the initiative “European Migrant Advisory Board” (EMAB) and engages with theoretical and methodological notions such as power, tokenism, deep democracy, co-creation and reflexivity. It challenges the limited approaches of inclusion of refugees’ voices such as required representativeness and argues for the necessity of multi-level reflexivity to enable genuine inclusion of different perspectives and voices. Reducing refugees’ perspectives into a homogenous category of representation fails, not only because of the heterogeneous reality of the group but also because of the impossibility to represent such group. The added value of refugees’ experiences and perspectives on board is based on its capacity to break the dominant normalized mindset and practice in the policy which is often disconnected from lived experiences of target groups for which the policy is made.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEurope and the Refugee Response
Subtitle of host publicationA Crisis of Values?
EditorsE.M. Gozdziak, I. Main, B. Sutter
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9780429279317
ISBN (Print)9780367233266
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NameRoutledge studies in development, mobilities and migration


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