CHIOS Lab at the 63rd ERSA Congress

Azores, Portugal

The CHIOS Lab team will participate in the ERSA 2024 Conference “Regional Science Dialogues for Peace and Sustainable Development” that will be held in Terceira-Azores on 26 to 30 August 2024. The team led by Prof. Yannis Psycharis will present a paper about: “Localizing megatrends: a participatory study of the resilience of Chios Island during the refugee crisis”. 

Refugee crisis is one among the most important megatrends that have been evolved after the turn of the new century and affects countries, citizens and localities across the globe. The aim of the paper is to investigate the impact of the refugee crisis on the local community of Chios Island as perceived by citizens and local actors. The focus of the analysis is on how locality was affected by this huge pulse of refugees that reached the island under extremely difficult conditions and totally abandoned from any of their belongings. 

It is estimated that an influx of almost 120,804 refugees in total reached the island of 54,000 inhabitants’ only the year 2015. The refugee crisis is challenging humanitarian, economic, social and environmental dimensions of life on localities. Issues of integration, housing, water supply, education and healthcare facilities, civil and human rights, and governance of policies require a multi-level and multi-actor approach. Through a participatory methodology and by utilizing a semi-structure questionnaire for interviews with stakeholders, a purpose constructed platform for the citizens’ participation, in person contacts with local people across the island, and focus groups discussion, the experience of Chios islands could be seen as a laboratory for the study of the impact of the refugee crisis on localities. 

The approach of the CHIOS lab and the associated research aims to make an assessment of policies that were implemented in order to extract useful results and recommendations that could empower policies in an aim to make the Island more resilient and shielded to future crises.