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University for Continuing Education Krems (Danube University Krems)

Meeting room (Department for Migration and Globalisation) / Zoom


Interdisciplinary migration research seminar series

Beyond the usual suspects:
Overlooked (f)actors in migration governance

October 2022 - June 2023


Convener: Dr Lea Müller-Funk & Dr Federica Zardo, Department for Migration and Globalisation


The interdisciplinary seminar series on migration research at the Department for Migration and Globalisation at the University of Continuing Education Krems focuses on the work of scholars who deal with migration in some capacity. Between October 2022 and June 2023, this year's series will focus on often overlooked actors and factors in migration governance through nine talks covering three more specific foci migration governance beyond state actors; migration governance beyond migration policy; and colonial heritage, history and memory in migration (governance). The seminar takes place once a month.


Register here for the next talk:

Department for Migration and Globalisation at University for Continuing Education Krems


Thursday, 20 October, 2-3pm

Professor Jana Lipman (Tulane University)

"Protest Against Forced Repatriation":

Humanitarianism and Human Rights in Hong Kong, 1988-1997 



In 1988, Hong Kong dramatically changed the status of incoming Vietnamese from de facto “refugees” to individual asylum seekers, needing to prove their claims. Despite initial reservations, the UNHCR ultimately endorsed this new policy for the whole region. In response, Vietnamese in the camps organized dramatic demonstrations against Hong Kong and the UNHCR, filed scores of lawsuits, and protested repatriation flights. This historic encounter raises questions about the conflict between human rights and humanitarianism, the politics of prima facie refugee status vs. individual asylum determination, and the role of refugee activists and host governments, all which remain relevant today.


Participation via Zoom or in presence (meeting room Department for Migration and Globalisation).


Thursday, 24 November, 10:30-11:30am

Professor Anja K. Franck (University of Gothenburg)

"Laughable borders":

Making the case for the humorous in migration studies 



Humor is widely recognized as a fundamental aspect of the human experience, that also plays a vital role in the way marginalized groups comment on and mock power. Yet, in migration research the methodological and analytical value of the humorous has been almost entirely overlooked. Rather, migration studies has commonly centered its analysis around suffering and tragedy and, in the process, migrant trajectories have become depicted as endeavors largely devoid of laughter, humor, irony and play. In my article “Laughable borders” I suggests that this humorless representation of the migration process– and indeed of the migrant subject itself– has implications for the types of knowledge that we (re)produce around migrants’ experiences, subjectivities and struggles. In fact, I argue that our failure to recognize migrants as humorous individuals risks feeding into processes of exceptionalization and de-humanization through setting “the migrant” up as an obscure figure that lacks “essentially human” qualities.


Thursday, 26 January 2023, 10:30-11:30am

Assoz. Professor Elisabeth Scheibelhofer (University of Vienna)

Delivering and (re-)producing social inequalities in a diverse society: Insights from welfare state institutions and street-level bureaucrats’ practices (in presence)



Today, we are experiencing social life in a super-diverse society (Vertovec 2007) and the question arises as to how welfare state institutions deal with this fact. In our various research projects about inequalities in transnational migration societies, my research team and me are focusing on the perspective of the involved actors themselves, who are both at the core of our interpretative constructivist research (Charmaz 2008): migrants and street-level workers of diverse welfare state institutions. We perceive these actors as embedded into broader societal systems: In the case of street-level bureaucrats, these are the welfare state institutions they work for; for migrants, these are their manifold social networks including their workplaces etc., but also broader society that confronts them with everyday discrimination and racism. I will conclude the talk by addressing difficulties we are dealing with in our research, such as the consequences of positionalities of the actors involved and us, the researchers.

See more about our work at: https://inmi.univie.ac.at/   


Thursday, 23 February 2023, 10:30-11:30am

Professor Peter Scholten (University of Rotterdam)

Rethinking the governance of migration and migration-related diversities: the prospects of a complexity governance approach



Why are migration and diversity policies so often perceived to have failed? What goes wrong in how we approach the governance of these issues? In this presentation I will elaborate a very basic assumption; that complex problems require a complexity approach. I wil show (1) that a complexification has and is taking place in migration and diversity, (2) that this conflicts with approaches of rational societal engineering and interventionism that prevail in many migration and ‘integration’ policies, (3) that this leads to alienation in terms of consequences of policies as well as effects it has on frontline officers implementing policies, and (4) that a complexity approach requires a more fundamental rethinking in how policies are designed but (5) that this can lead to succesful mainstreaming of policies and preventing alienation. 


Thursday, 23 March 2023, 10:30-11:30am

Dr. Sarah Nash (UWK)

Issue parking in policy silos: an interpretive comparative analysis of policy discourses on climate change and migration in Austria, Germany, Denmark, and Sweden.



In the burgeoning literature on climate change and migration policy, the focus is overwhelmingly on the international arena or a handful of affected states. In contrast little is known about national policy discourses in the Global North. As influential contributors to global conversations this is a glaring omission. This paper therefore explores policy discourses on climate change and migration in four European nation states and poses the question: how do national policy discourses on climate change and migration influence policy objectives? In answering this question, the analysis focuses on the interaction of, and parking of the issue in, particular policy silos be it climate, migration, security, or development policy. The discourse analysis presented in the paper draws on document analysis and 34 semi-structured interviews conducted with stakeholders across the 4 case studies between September 2020 and April 2022. The relevance of this paper goes beyond the field of climate change and migration. As the cross-cutting nature of climate change across all policy silos becomes more recognised and holistic and system-based approaches more mainstream, analyses that join up climate policy with discussions in other policy silos will become increasingly important.


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