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PRIO Migration Research Update | September 2016


PRIO Co-founds Europe Asia Migration Network

The Europe Asia Migration Network (EAMiN) is a forum between leading migration research centres in the two regions that aims to develop research collaborations and exchanges. The initiative has been spearheaded by the University of Sussex and, in addition to PRIO, includes Mahidol Unieversity (Thailand), the National University of Singapore, and Humboldt University of Berlin. Among the network members' shared interests are migration flows and policies, transnational families,and the links between migration, ageing and well-being. You can follow EAMiN on Twitter.


Transnational Islamic charity as everyday rituals

There is extensive research on 'migration and religion' and 'migration and development' but the overlap between these fields is rarely explored. In a recently published article in Global Networks, Marta Bivand Erdal and Kaja Borchgrevink argue that everyday rituals are a useful tool for exploring the role of religion in motivating migrant development engagements. The article is based on interviews with practising Muslims of Pakistani origin in Oslo, Norway, carried out within the project Private Islamic Charity and Approaches to Poverty Reduction.


Gémes Sándor/SzomSzedCollective identities in the aftermath of terror

22 July marked the five-year anniversary of the 2011 terror attacks in Norway, which were carried out by a perpetrator with anti-immigration sentiments. PRIO’s NECORE project addresses societal responses to these attacks and provided a foundation for an active role in the commemoration. Rojan Tordhol Ezzati addressed the need for a strong sense of community in societal responses to terrorism in an op-ed in the Norwegian daily Dagsavisen. Marta Bivand Erdal addressed the negotiation of collective identities  in a blog post, asking how we can move forward by creating space for different views and simultaneously maintaining unity.


Mstyslav ChernovCommunicating boundaries and belonging

‘Borders’ were the theme of the 2016 national science week in Norway and the public ‘science fair’ in central Oslo.  PRIO's Marta Bivand Erdal and David Jordhus-Lier (University of Oslo) conducted a popular-scientific geography experiment that focused on boundaries and belonging within different collectives. Visitors and passers-by were invited to place themselves by means of a pin: at the core, periphery, or outside of the boundaries of four collectives: the workplace or school, the city of Oslo, Norway, and Europe. The experiment sensitized participants to the salience of boundaries of belonging, or not, in a collective, but also to degrees of belonging within any given collective. The event was a collaborative effort between the University of Oslo’s Department for Sociology and Human Geography and PRIO.


Mstyslav ChernovThe refugee crisis seen from Afghanistan

The security situation in Afghanistan, feeds into migration pressures, as emphasized in the seminar ‘the refugee crisis seen from Afghanistan’, part of the Afghanistan week in Oslo. The European focus on ‘Managing Return Migration’ reflects a euro-centric approach to global questions of migration and protection. Information campaigns, discussed by Ceri Oeppen, seek to discourage emigration. Meanwhile, Afghan populations in Iran and Pakistan remain in the millions. Households often split in the course of return, and this is essential for the sustainability of return, writes Kristian Berg Harpviken. Migrants’ own management of migration and livelihoods points to the limitations of emphasizing border controls over facilitating solutions.


Søren Sigfusson/norden.orgLived Experiences of the Everyday Nation

Immigration leads to increased ethnic and religious diversity, which in turn has implications for national identity. The PRIO-led project NATION explores these implications through research in Norway, France, and the United  Kingdom. While nationalism is considered a mass phenomenon, the masses and their everyday lives are curiously missing from much research on the topic. Although policies may shift direction quickly, people’s perceptions and daily experiences have a dynamic of their own. Earlier this year, the NATION project convened an international workshop entitled Lived Experiences of the Everyday Nation in order to exploring these perspectives on nationalism as a part of daily lives.


Active Citizenship Today: Discourses, Conditions and Contestations

Who defines the requirements of active citizenship? How are practices and ideals of active citizenship challenged by cultural and religious diversity? Questions such as these were addressed at the conference Active Citizenship Today: Discourses, Conditions and Contestations in June. Abstracts of the 28 papers that were presented are available from the conference web page. The conference was associated with the ACT project, led by Cindy Horst at PRIO, and some of the presentations drew upon research within this project.


Researching Citizenship through Actor-Centered Approaches

Marta Bivand Erdal (PRIO) and Cathrine Brun (Oxford Brookes University) organized a sesion at the Annual International Conference of the Royal Geographical Society (RGS-IBG) 2016 about methodologies for studying citizenship. They had invited papers on approaches that were are unconventional, innovative and aimed to unpack taken-for-granted understandings of citizenship. The papers addressed participatory action research, examinations of political perormance, focus group methodologies and several types of multi-sited research designs. Abstracts for Session 1 and Session 2 are available on the conference web site.


Mobilizing Value across Time and Space

Can we go from the study of migrant remittances and return visits to more general reflections of the mobilization of value across time and space - perhaps even outside the theme of migration. This was the question that prompted Jørgen Carling and Marta Bivand Erdal to organize a sesion at the Annual International Conference of the Royal Geographical Society (RGS-IBG) 2016. The papers examined mobilization of value from a variety of perspectives, including transnational gifting and exchange, informal financial practices, and investment in housing and homes. Abstracts for Session 1 and Session 2 are available on the conference web site.


Migration on the rise

The Migration Research Group at PRIO has grown to unprecedented size, with more than twenty members and associates. Some are full-time migration researchers based at PRIO, while others have part-time positions or have migration as one of several research fields. The most recent additions to the team are Amanda Cellini (Research Assistant), Ebba Tellander (Research Assistant), Elin Martine Doeland (Research Assistant), Julie Marie Hansen (Research Assistant), and Kendra Dupuy (Senior Researcher).


Overseas fellowships in Loughborough, Poitiers, and Maastricht

Researchers from the Migration Research group will go abroad as visiting researchers in the second half of 2016. Mette Strømsø will spend a month at the Department of Geography at Loughborough University (UK), Rojan Tordhol Ezzati will spend two months at the MIGRINTER research group at the University of Poitiers (France), and Jørgen Carling is spending four months at the Mastricht Graduate School of Governance at UNU-MERIT United Nations University (Netherlands). In Jørgen's absence, Marta Bivand Erdal is coording the Migration Research Group.


PRIO migration researchers on Twitter

Many members of the Migration Research Group are on Twitter. Follow them here:

Jørgen Carling, Research Professor @jorgencarling
Amanda Cellini, Research Assistant @i_amcellini
Olga Demetriou, Senior Research Consultant @OlgaDemet
Elin Martine Doeland , Research Assistant @ElinDoeland
Kendra Dupuy, Senior Researcher @zillered
Marta Bivand Erdal, Senior Researcher @bivanderdal
Julie Marie Hansen, Research Assistant @JulieMHansen
Kristian Berg Harpviken, PRIO Director @harpviken
Cindy Horst, Research Director @CindyMHorst
Noor Jdid, Doctoral Researcher @noorjdid
Mette Strømsø, Doctoral Researcher @MetteStr
Cathrine Talleraas, Doctoral Researcher @CatTalleraas

Upcoming Events

07 October 2016

PhD Defence: Return Migration and Corruption: Experiences of Iraqi Kurds

Erlend Paasche will defend his PhD in Sociology, entitled Return Migration and Corruption: Experiences of Iraqi Kurds. His doctoral research was carried out at PRIO as part of the project Possibilities and Realities of Return Migration led by Jørgen Carling. The dissertation was submitted to the University of Oslo and has been examined by Ronald Skeldon, Arjen Leerkes and Mette Andersson. Before the defence, Erlend will give a trial lecture entitled 'Politics in the migration debate: the study of corruption as a missing link'. Details about the time and venue are announced on the Department's web site.

25 October 2016

Conflict, extremism and migration

PRIO and the Department of Psychology at the University of Oslo are co-organizing a one-day conference on conflict, extremism and migration. The event focuses on political-psychological approaches and asks whether interdisciplinary scholarship improve our understanding of these issues and contribute to policy development. See PRIO's web site for additional details and registration

Recent Publications

Bygnes, Susanne & Marta Bivand Erdal (2016) Liquid migration, grounded lives: considerations about future mobility and settlement among Polish and Spanish migrants in Norway, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. DOI: 10.1080/1369183X.2016.1211004 .

Carling, Jørgen (2016) Trajectórias transnacionais de mães e crianças nas famílias cabo-verdanas [Mother-child trajectories in Cape Verdean transnational families], in Furtado, Cláudio Alves; Pierre-Joseph Laurent; & Iolanda Évora, eds, As Ciências Sociais Em Cabo Verde. Praia: Edições Uni-CV (187–206).

Erdal, Marta Bivand (2016) Juxtaposing Pakistani diaspora policy with migrants’ transnational citizenship practices, Geoforum 76: 1–10.

Erdal, Marta Bivand & Kaja Borchgrevink (2016) Transnational Islamic charity as everyday rituals, Global Networks. DOI: 10.1111/glob.12137.

Erdal, Marta Bivand & Mette Strømsø (2016) Norskhet i flertall [Plural Norwegianness], PRIO Policy Brief, 14. Oslo: PRIO.

Horst, Cindy & Mulki Al-Sharmani (2016) Marginal actors? Diaspora Somalis Negotiate Their Citizenship, in Ahponen, Pirkkoliisa; Päivi Harinen; & Ville-Samuli Haverinen, eds, Dislocations of Civic Cultural Borderlines: Methodological Nationalism, Transnational Reality and Cosmopolitan Dreams. Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing (107–122).

Fangen, Katrine & Åshild Kolås (2016) The “Syria traveller”: Reintegration or legal sanctioning?, Critical Studies on Terrorism. DOI: 10.1080/17539153.2016.1192260: 1–19.

Recent Blog posts

The End Of Migrants As We Know Them?

Monday, 19 September 2016

The UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants holds the promise of progress. But ahead of the summit, communications staff were pushing a warped view of migrant diversity. Even the International Organization of Migration (IOM) is straying from its mission to uphold the human dignity and well-being of migrants. When migration issues rose to the top of… Read more »

Refugee Resettlement as Humanitarian Governance: The Need for a Critical Research Agenda

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

This blog post suggests understanding refugee resettlement as an instrument of humanitarian governance from the selection of refugees to their long-term integration. It presents a five-point research agenda aiming to investigate resettlement’s power dynamics in multiscalar perspective, with a focus on: political economy; the UNHCR’s competing goals; and the role of discretion, persuasion and coercion… Read more »

A Sense of Community in Times of Terrorism

Thursday, 21 July 2016

In contrast to the impression one may derive from “the debate about the debate” in Norway, “we” – the overwhelming majority – can agree on many points, including the fact that we stand united in the struggle against extremism. We succeeded in doing so in the “rose marches” five years ago, and we can continue… Read more »

Negotiating Collective Identities

Thursday, 21 July 2016

The 22 July attacks, now five years ago, bore horrific testimony to what an ideology of exclusion and hatred, at the hands of one man, can do. Whilst the terror was of such a scope that the moment called for a unified response, ideological cleavages along the Eurabia, anti-Islam, and anti-immigration lines soon re-emerged in… Read more »

A Post-Brexit We?

Monday, 4 July 2016

Who is the ‘we’ in the context of the Brexit vote? Whilst the protection of British borders was a key ingredient in Brexit debates, the answer to what kind of a community we are talking about within those borders, remains in desperate need of addressing. Lingering notions of cultural purity cannot stand unchallenged. Which community,… Read more »

Syria Travellers and Security Threats

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Foreign fighters returning from Syria have emerged as a looming security threat in many European countries, so also in Norway. As well as preventive measures against radicalization and mobilization by the Islamic State, there have been calls for the withdrawal of citizenship and deportation of returned foreign fighters. This raises a number of questions. Are Norwegians more secure if we send potential terrorists… Read more »

Norway and Kenya Prepare for Forceful Returns of Somalis

Sunday, 12 June 2016

As the blessed month of Ramadan begins, many here in Mogadishu are concerned about the security situation, with talks of increased numbers of Al-Shabaab insurgents entering the city in preparation of carrying out attacks... Read more » 

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