Freiwillig Engagierte als Koproduzent:innen der Teilhabe geflüchteter Familien in frühpädagogischen Angeboten in Niedersachsen: Deutungen von freiwillig Engagierten, Koordinator:innen und geflüchteten Eltern

Research output: Books and anthologiesDissertations


While equal participation of refugee families in early childhood education and care is a proclaimed goal in German integration policy, there are indications that this entails practical challenges and that volunteers are often involved in this context. However, little is known about the dynamics how volunteers accompany refugee families in their use of early childhood education and care, especially concerning the perspectives of refugee parents and their supporters. This dissertation aims to contribute to a better understanding of refugee families’ use of early childhood education and care when it is accompanied by volunteers by focusing on the interpretations of refugee parents and their supporters. The dissertation understands volunteers to act as ‘co-producers’ of integration policy goals.

Based on 34 interviews with volunteers, coordinators and refugee parents that were conducted in nine municipalities in Lower Saxony, the dissertation addresses the following aspects in three publications: supporters’ interpretations of their cooperation with state actors drawing on the concept of co-production (article 1); supporters’ interpretations of problems and solutions drawing on the concepts of vulnerability and agency (article 2); as well as refugee parents’ interpretations focusing on how they develop trust in early childhood education and care (article 3).

The dissertation contributes to the following scientific debates: on dynamics of the implementation of policies when civic engagement is involved and on the implementation of integration policy specifically relating to refugee families’ use of early childhood education and care. It becomes clear that volunteers on the one hand complement professional services, thereby contributing significantly to the implementation of integration policy. On the other hand, this points to structural barriers and raises the question to what extent civic engagement may take on responsibility for tasks that are considered the state’s responsibility. In addition, the cooperation between civic and state actors frequently entails conflicts. These are related to a diverging understanding of the concept ‘integration’ and a missing specification of concrete measures derived from integration policy goals.
Original languageGerman
Place of PublicationLüneburg
PublisherLeuphana Universität Lüneburg
Number of pages112
Publication statusPublished - 17.01.2023

Bibliographical note

Dissertation, Lüneburg, Leuphana Universität Lüneburg, 2023
cumilative dissertation for the award of the degree Dr. rer. pol.

Note re. dissertation

Dissertation, Lüneburg, Leuphana Universität Lüneburg, 2023<br/>Das Rahmenpapier der kumulativen Dissertation enthält 3 Beiträge. - Text im Rahmenpapier in Deutsch, Artikel vorwiegend in Englisch