In this editorial, we highlight the crucial but understudied role of mayors in migration issues, especially as it relates to responding to the challenges posed by the local reception and integration of refugees, asylum seekers, and undocumented immigrants. Drawing on key findings from this issue's nine articles that analyse mayoral leadership on migration issues in US and European municipalities, we argue that mayors’ unique position at the intersection of horizontal and vertical governance structures forces them to navigate contrasting multilevel dynamics from below and above. This in turn shapes both opportunities and notable constraints for mayors to exert leadership on local migration issues, thereby calling into question conventional wisdom that mayors are all-powerful local actors guided by pragmatic rationales in the pursuit of inclusive policy change. We conclude by discussing possible directions for future research, underscoring the need for more comparative research, a greater focus on interaction effects, and more attention to the impact of mayoral actions on migrant integration.
Bazurli, Raffaele; Tiziana Caponio & Els de Graauw (2022) Between a rock and a hard place: mayors, migration challenges and multilevel political dynamics, Territory, Politics, Governance 10 (3).