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PRIO Migration Research Update | September 2017


Financial Exclusion, Islamic Finance and Housing in the Nordic countries (FINEX)

PRIO researchers have just started a new project, financed by the Research Council of Norway, that aims to show if, how and to what extent Islamic norms about finance work to exclude Muslims from home-ownership in the Nordic countries. From the PRIO Migration research group, Kaja Borchgrevink and Marta Bivand Erdal will carry out qualitative interviews  and Jørgen Carling will analyse survey data. The project team is led by PRIO researcher professor Torkel Brekke and includes collaborators in Denmark, Sweden and Finland.



PRIO will play a key role in a new initiative for knowledge integration in the field of migration studies. The initiative, called CROSS-MIGRATION, is funded by the European Commission as a so-called 'coordination and support action' and will be led by the Erasmus University Rotterdam. A consortium of 15 European research environments will address questions around migration flows, drivers, infrastructures, and policies. PRIO will lead the work of consolidating insights on migration flows, working closely with the Centre for Migration Research at the University of Warsaw and the Institute of Geography and Spatial Planning at the University of Lisbon.


Europe and the global challenge of migration

A consortium led by PRIO narrowly missed an opportunity to carry out an ambitious project on migration governance and the links between migration and development. The proposal was submitted to the EU's Horizon 2020 programme and received a quality score of 14.5 (out of 15), but was not nominated for funding. The consortium included leading research environments across Europe, Africa and Asia and would have worked with a budget of €5 million. While the rejection was a big disappointment for everyone involved, the experience from developing the proposal positions PRIO well for future funding opportunities.


New approaches to migrant smuggling

Jørgen Carling, Research Professor at PRIO, was one of three expert panellists invited to speak on migrant smuggling at a United Nations special session in Vienna in early September. The session is part of the UN-led process of developing a Global Compact for Migration. Jørgen delivered a prepared statement and engaged in a frank exchange with the Australian ambassador concerning the smuggling of refugees. He reflected upon the exchange in a subsequent blog post. Jørgen has also been involved in other parts of the process of developing a Global Compact for Migration, with a focus on migrant smuggling. Output from this process will be published later this year.


Making a difference in Mogadishu? Experiences of multi-sited embeddedness among diaspora youth

In this article, Cindy Horst, Research Professor at PRIO focuses on those who left Somalia as young children or were born to Somali parents in exile, and ask what motivates these young people to return or turn to the Somali region. What experiences shape their civic engagement and where do they engage? How does their hybrid, multi-sited or embedded sense of identity impact their engagement in several locations? And how does that engagement affect their sense of identity? Read more on the publisher's web site.


Storytelling about diversity

On 13 September, artists, academics, entrepreneurs and individuals working in the public sector and civil society came together to discuss the different stories that are told about diversity in Norway today. The intention was to increase our awareness about how different stories about diversity, belonging and participation impact individuals and their agency. The conference was a collaboration between PRIO and the Red Cross, funded by the Research Council of Norway, and organized in conjunction with the project Active Citizenship in Culturally and Religiously Diverse Societies (ACT)


PhD dissertation: With Faith in Development: Islamic Charity as Development in Practice?

Kaja Borchgrevink defended her PhD in June, at the Department of International Environment and Development Studies, NMBU. The dissertation explores ideals and practices of Islamic charity and how they relate to notions of development and development aid in Pakistan and the Pakistani diaspora. One of the articles addresses the role of religion in the migration–development nexus by investigating how Islamic charity is organized transnationally. Kaja's doctoral research was carried out within the project Private Islamic Charity and Approaches to Poverty Reduction.


Cathrine Talleraas appointed as Representative of the IMISCOE PhD Network

Cathrine Talleraas, Doctoral Researcher at PRIO, has been appointed as Representative of the IMISCOE PhD Network for the period 2017-2018. IMISCOE (International Migration, Integration and Social Cohesion in Europe) is Europe’s largest research network in the field of migration, integration and diversity. Its PhD network counts more than 800 members. As the Representative, Cathrine will be the PhD network's main spokesperson and its member in the IMISCOE Board of Directors. The PhD Network facilitates training activities, and aims to strengthen research and network opportunities for doctoral researchers. Read more on the PhD Network’s website and blog.


David Jacobsen spends nine months as visiting researcher at PRIO

David Jacobson will be a visiting researcher at PRIO until May 2018 on a Fulbright scholarship. David is a professor of sociology at the University of South Florida, and the founding director of the Global Initiative on Civil Society and Conflict. He works in the areas of immigration, refugees and citizenship; Big Data platforms for research; human rights; religion and conflict; borders and global seams; and woman's status in global conflict. While at PRIO he will be a member of the Migration and Gender research groups.

Upcoming Events

This is our current overview of what is happening in the near future. For updates about our events in Oslo, subscribe to our Migration seminars in Oslo mailing list. You can check your preferences to see if you already do, or not.

CONFERENCE 20 October 2017

Polish migration to Norway: Facts and knowledge gaps

Marta Bivand Erdal, Senior Researcher at PRIO, is a co-organizer of the conference Polish migration to Norway: Facts and knowledge gaps. Poles are the larges immigrant group in Norway and have been the subject of substantial research. Still, there are many unanswered questions. The conference emanates from a network of scholars in Norway and Poland who have been researching questions of Polish migration to Norway and transnational connections between the two countries. Marta recently co-edited a special issue of the journal Social Identities about Polish migration within Europe. Registration is required.

FINAL CONFERENCE 24 October 2017

Norwegian Values, Collective Identities, and a Resilient Society

This one-day conference is organized in conjunction with the completion of the PRIO-led project Negotiating Values: Collective Identities and Resilience after 22/7 (NECORE) which examines the social aftermath of the 2011 terror attacks in Norway. Speakers will include NECORE researchers Marta Bivand Erdal, Rojan Ezzati, Odin Lysaker, Kjersti Thorbjørnsrud, Tine Figenschou, and Henrik Syse, as well as film director Sara Johnsen and social anthropologists Sindre Bangstad and Thomas Hylland Eriksen. Most of the conference will be in Norwegian. Visit the PRIO web site for additional details and registration.


Migration, Transnationalism and Catholicism

PRIO invites you to a book launch where Dominic Pasura (University of Glasgow) and Marta Bivand Erdal (Peace Research Institute Oslo) will presem the book 'Migration, Transnationalism, and Catholicism: Global perspectives' (Palgrave, 2017). The book show-cases the diverse ways in which migration and transnationalism, through multiple spaces and encounters, are moulding the Roman Catholic Church as institution and parish, pilgrimage and network, community and people. Visit the PRIO web site for additional details and registration.


Labour migration and transnationalism

The Research Council of Norway invites you to a breakfast seminar with presentations from three ongoing research projects, including the PRIO-led Governing and Experiencing Citizenship in Multicultural Scandinavia (GOVCIT). At the seminar Marta Bivand Erdal, Senior Researcher at PRIO, will present insights from this project. The seminar is held in Norwegian and will take place at Kulturhuset (store sal), Youngs gt. 6, in Oslo. See the web site of the Research Council of Norway for additional details and registration

FINAL CONFERENCE 20 November 2017

Negotiating the Nation: Implications of Ethnic and Religious Diversity for National Identity

At the final conference of the project NATION researchers will present insights and analysis on negotiating the nation, drawing on top-down as well as bottom-up perspectives, honing in on the role of the media, providing international comparative perspectives, and foregrounding the roles of religion and religious diversity. The presentations will also address the project's research questions, from their contrasting vantage points, reflecting on the boundaries of the nation, as these are produced and reproduced, in more or less conscious and explicit ways. The conference takes place at the University of Oslo. Visit the PRIO web site for additional details and registration.

BREAKFAST SEMINAR 21 November 2017

Nationalism, Populism and the Everyday Nation in Europe Today

During this breakfast seminar, we will hone in on nationalism, populism and the everyday nation in Europe today. Our panelists will draw on examples from France, the UK, the case of Basque nationalism, Norway, and the broader European context, to discuss the interplay of nationalism, populism and the everyday nation. The seminar is organized in conjunction with the completion the project NATION and its final conference on 20 November (see separate announcement). Visit the PRIO web site for additional details and registration.

BREAKFAST SEMINAR 12 December 2017

Ten years of migration research at PRIO

Migration research at PRIO took the form of an established team in 2007 and has, since then, resulted in about 150 publications on a wide range of topics related to migration, transnationalism and diversity. A large number of researchers, assistants and students have been part of the team during these ten years. What have we found out over the course of this decade? At this breakfast seminar we will present a selection of key insights. Additional information about the programme will be published closer to the date, but it is already possible to register. See the PRIO website for details.

Recent Publications

Borchgrevink, Kaja & Marta Bivand Erdal (2017) With faith in development: Organizing transnational Islamic charity, Progress in Development Studies 17(3): 214–228.

Erdal, Marta Bivand & Marek Pawlak (2017) Reproducing, transforming and contesting gender relations and identities through migration and transnational ties, Gender, Place and Culture. DOI: 10.1080/0966369X.2017.1372378.

Erdal, Marta Bivand & Ceri Oeppen (2017) Forced to return? Agency and the role of post-return mobility for wellbeing among returnees to Afghanistan, Pakistan and Poland, in Vathi, Zana; & Russell King, eds, Return Migration and Wellbeing: Discourses, Policy-Making and Outcomes for Migrants and Their Families. Abingdon: Routledge.

Erdal, Marta Bivand & Tove Heggli Sagmo (2017) Descent, birthplace and residence: Aligning principles of citizenship with realities of migrant transnationalism, Norwegian Journal of Geography. DOI: 10.1080/00291951.2017.1369456.

Horst, Cindy (2017) Making a difference in Mogadishu? Experiences of multi-sited embeddedness among diaspora youth, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. DOI: 10.1080/1369183X.2017.1354161.

Stokke, Kristian & Marta Bivand Erdal (2017) Political geographies of citizenship (Introduction to special issue), Norwegian Journal of Geography. DOI: 10.1080/00291951.2017.1359207.

Recent Blog posts

Batman in Vienna: Choosing How to Confront Migrant Smuggling
Jørgen Carling on Tuesday, 12 September 2017

A Plural Conception of the Nation
Marta Bivand Erdal & Mette Strømsø, 18 August 2017

Why Don’t All Migrants Return in Times of Crisis?
María Hernández Carretero, 22 June 2017
PRIO's Migration Research group publishes several newsletters. In addition to this general update, there are project-specific newsleters and a mailing list for migration-related seminars in Oslo. You can update your preferences if you have received this e-mail as a subscriber, or you can sign up if it has been forwarded to you.
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