PRIO joins IMISCOE; Concluding Research on Return Migration; Seven New Policy Briefs; Blog series on migration across the Mediterranean
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Migration Research Group Update



PRIO has recently become an institutional member of International Migration, Integration and Social Cohesion in Europe (IMISCOE), Europe's largest interdisciplinary research network in the field of migration, integration and diversity studies. IMISCOE was established as an EU-funded Network of Excellence in 2004 and migration researchers at PRIO have been involved as individual members since the beginning of the network’s history. Together with colleagues at two other member institutions, EUR and MSGOG, PRIO has established IMISCOE’s Standing Committee on Interaction of Migrant Integration and Transnationalism.


Concluding research on return migration

Our project Possibilities and Realities of Return Migration (PREMIG) is coming to an end and we are preparing a project conference on 20-21 August. The first half-day of the conference will be devoted to presenting project findings. Professor Richard Black (SOAS, University of London) will give a talk that paces our work within a broader context of research on return migration. The remaining day and a half will bring together an international group of nearly thirty researchers. This part of the event will focus on everything that happens before a possible return to one’s country of origin, including dreams of homecoming and fears of deportation. Conference registration is now open.

Migration across the Mediterranean

The number of migrants arriving in Europe, across the Eastern land borders or the Southern maritime borders, has been on a sharp rise over the past two years. A large majority of these are fleeing armed violence and political turmoil, and have subsequently been granted asylum upon arrival in Europe. While the EU and the Southern European countries struggle with how to tackle this at the external borders, this also raises a series of broader questions regarding the underlying causes and drivers of migration. PRIO researchers Jørgen Carling, Maria Gabrielsen Jumbert, Cindy Horst and Kristin Sandvik contributed to two conferences on the theme: A humanitarian crisis on the doorstep of Europe, which can be watched on the PRIO website, and Resettlement, regional solutions and humanitarian assistance. See also PRIO blogs on the topic.


Migration to and from Iraqi Kurdistan

PRIO hosted an international workshop 8 May 2015 on ‘Migration to and from Iraqi Kurdistan: New times, new migrations?’ The event brought together researchers who had never met, yet worked on related subjects. It also allowed for an exchange of perspectives on how the current security and financial crisis in Syria and Iraq patterns migration towards and from Iraqi Kurdistan. A special issue based on the presentations is planned to be coedited by Erlend Paasche (PRIO) and Phillip Marfleet.


Living in two countries

This spring we started work on a new project, Transnational Lives in the Welfare State (TRANSWEL), that will explore what it means to lead a life that spans two countries. We are interested in individual motivations and practices, and in the encounter between state institutions and people who led such lives. The project is funded by the Research Council of Norway and carried out in collaboration with the University of Oslo and the Erasmus University Rotterdam. It includes a PhD position that was advertised last year and has been filled by Cathrine Talleraas. She will examine how Norwegian government institutions relate to people who lead transnational lives. The research team is led by Jørgen Carling.


Integration and Norwegianness

Marta Bivand Erdal and Rojan Tordhol Ezzati wrote a policy brief on temporal dimensions of integration. Focusing on age at time of immigration, length of residence in Norway and individual life cycle stages, Erdal and Ezzati find many similarities across countries of origin. Yet, there is a tendency in Norway to not see someone with a darker skin complexion as “quite Norwegian”. Ezzati and Erdal discuss these questions in two pieces: “Always an immigrant, never Norwegian” (Bergens Tidende), and “When do you become Norwegian?” (Aftenposten). The analyses draws on findings from the article previously published in Ethnic and Racial Studies, based on PREMIG data. Further research on collective identities and diversity is underway in other projects (NECORENATION and ACT).


Comparing negotiations of nationhood

As part of the project Negotiating the nation: Implications of ethnic and religious diversity on national identity, Cathrine Talleraas and Marta Bivand Erdal have published two policy briefs, comparing negotiations of nationhood in France, Norway and the UK, from the point of view of implications of immigration. Focusing on citizenship developments in Europe, they find that concerns over social cohesion and terrorism, create dilemmas for consistent and targeted policy development. Analysis of mediatized contestations over nationhood and the implications of diversity in France and the UK, point to the context specificity of debating cultures, historical pathways of national identities, but also to the salience of globalized disruptive events for identity constructions locally.


New coordinator of PRIO migration research

Marta Bivand Erdal is handing over coordination of PRIO’s Migration Research Group to Jørgen Carling from July onwards. Migration is one of fifteen research groups at PRIO. These groups are not administrative units but bring together researchers with shared interests from across the organization. Most researchers are members of two or more groups.

Recent publications

Erdal, Marta Bivand; Amjad, Anum; Bodla, Qamar; Rubab, Asma (2015) Going Back to Pakistan for Education? The Interplay of Return Mobilities, Education, and Transnational Living, Population, Space and Place, DOI: 10.1002/psp.1966.

Horst, Cindy & Katarzyna Grabska (2015) Flight and Exile—Uncertainty in the Context of Conflict-induced displacement, Social Analysis 59(1): 1–18.

Brown, Richard; Jørgen Carling; Sonja Fransen & Melissa Siegel (2014) Measuring remittances through surveys: Methodological and conceptual issues for survey designers and data analysts, Demographic Research 31: 1243–1274.

Erdal, Marta Bivand (2015) The diaspora meets the ‘development industry’: Engaging Norwegian-Pakistanis in development back home, in Tan, Y.T.; & M. Rahman, eds, International Migration and Development In South Asia. Abingdon: Routledge.

Demetriou, Olga (2014) Situating Loss in the Greek-Turkish Encounter in Cyprus, in When Greeks and Turks Meet: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the Relationship Since 1923. Farnham: Ashgate (45–64).

PRIO Policy Briefs

Erdal, Marta Bivand & Cathrine Talleraas (2015) Becoming One of Us?, PRIO Policy Brief, 11. Oslo: PRIO.

Talleraas, Cathrine & Marta Bivand Erdal (2015) Contestations over National Identity and Diversity, PRIO Policy Brief, 10. Oslo: PRIO.

Horst, Cindy & Tove Heggli Sagmo (2015) Humanitarianism and Return: Compromising Protection?, PRIO Policy Brief, 3. Oslo: PRIO.

Carling, Jørgen & Silje Vatne Pettersen (2015) The Matrix of Attachment, PRIO Policy Brief, 8. Oslo: PRIO.

Carling, Jørgen & Silje Vatne Pettersen (2015) Tilknytningsmatrisen [The Matrix of Attachment], PRIO Policy Brief, 8. Oslo: PRIO.

Oeppen, Ceri & Nassim Majidi (2015) Can Afghans Reintegrate after Assisted Return from Europe?, PRIO Policy Brief, 7. Oslo: PRIO.

Horst, Cindy (2015) Back in Business? Diaspora Return to Somalia, PRIO Policy Brief, 5. Oslo: PRIO.

Erdal, Marta Bivand & Rojan Tordhol Ezzati (2015) Alder, botid og livsfase: Integrering i et tidsperspektiv [Norwegian version], PRIO Policy Brief, 1. Oslo: Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO).

Erdal, Marta Bivand & Rojan Tordhol Ezzati (2015) Age, life cycle, and length of stay: temporal perspectives on integration [English version], PRIO Policy Brief, 1. Oslo: Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO).

PRIO Migration blog posts

Back in Business? Diaspora Return to Somalia (Cindy Horst)

ASEAN’s Rohingya Challenge: Can ASEAN fail to act and yet be a Community? (Stein Tønneson)

The Child Welfare Services in Norway and Migration (Marta Bivand Erdal)

Finding Connections: The nexus between Migration and Corruption (Jørgen Carling, Erlend Paasche and Melissa Siegel)

A Close Look at Border Security in the Mediterranean (Maria Gabrielsen Jumbert)

The Matrix of Attachment: Immigrant Integration and Transnationalism (Jørgen Carling and Silje Vatne Pettersen)

On Becoming Norwegian (Marta Bivand Erdal and Rojan Tordhol Ezzati)

Can Afghans Reintegrate after Assisted Return from Europe (Ceri Oeppen and Nassim Majidi)

What would have been new about bombing migrant boats? (Jørgen Carling)

Humanitarianism and Return (Cindy Horst and Tove Heggli Sagmo)

Unlikely partners: The EU-Horn of Africa Migration Route Initiative (Cindy Horst and Maimuna Mohamud)

A burden no one wants to share: Why do refugees from the Horn of Africa try to cross into Europe? (Cindy Horst and Maimuna Mohamud)

An Uncertain Future in Afghanistan (Arne Strand)

How Migration Spurs Battles Over Women (Jørgen Carling)

Always an Immigrant, Never Norwegian (Marta Bivand Erdal and Rojan Tordhol Ezzati)

Why Assisted Return Programmes Must Be Evaluated (Erlend Paasche)

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