Never since the Second World War have refugees faced such life and death alternatives with nowhere to turn, and faced with increased restrictionisms. The case of Greece epitomizes these new global phenomena, which have been analogous to what the poorest parts of the global south have been experiencing for decades and of what may lie ahead. Holding the 17th IASFM conference in Thessaloniki makes it possible to reflect on the variety of predicaments of refugees in the 21st century; the convergence of longer and fragmented routes and multiple modes of travel; the impact of economies of austerities on refugee lives; and the emergence of new responses to these crises.
The aim of this conference is to address the changes in global refugee movements, responses and debates and to place them in historical perspectives. Given the current world situation, it is necessary to bring refugees squarely back into academic, policy, non-governmental and citizen debates and praxis.