Here is the work of Fanny Christou, Doctor in Geography, as part of our weekly series Les Papiers de la Fondation, articles written by the researchers that the Foundation supports at the end of their research year. The Papiers de la Fondation, scientific articles of around twenty pages, present the results of their work in the form of working papers. They are written according to academic criteria for specialised or non-specialised audiences, in order to make the knowledge thus created accessible to all interested people and to allow for a broad debate.

Les Papiers de la Fondation: disseminating research and fostering debate

“Palestinian involvement in the social economy in Berlin: a new approach to integration and citizenship”

Fanny CHRISTOU, Doctor in Geography, Researcher at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Lund Universty, Sweden


Departing from testimonies gathered through fieldwork with the Palestinian diaspora in Berlin, this article uses particular embodied events to discuss and assess the relevance, limitations and tensions in the existing scholarship on migrants’ integration and citizenship processes. In contrast to the tendency across the literature over the past decades to start with pre-defined understandings of what should be integration and citizenship concepts, linking them to migration issues, I draw on discussions and testimonies by Palestinians and local actors in Berlin as an analytical thread in order to guide my engagement with scholarly literature.

More specifically, this paper aims at identifying initiatives and practices of the Palestinian diaspora in the field of social and solidarity economy / third sector. In this respect, a more critical approach to integration and citizenship that embraces plural spheres of migrants’ participation will allow for a stronger engagement with the politics of belonging. In addition, stressing how the third sector is invested by Palestinians in Berlin will give the opportunity to probe the plural elements of integration and citizenship negotiation in the host society.

Key words: Palestinians, Berlin, third sector, integration, citizenship