In September 2020, a new research project - "Smart Migration and Asylum Governance" (SMAG), examining policy effects and effectiveness of migration and asylum policies will be launched. In the framework of the project, three PhD positions related to different subprojects will be filled.


The overall aim of the “Smart Migration Asylum Governance” research program is to contribute to a better understanding of the governance of asylum and migration. This requires both a better understanding of the effects of migration and asylum policies on mobilities and mobility choices as well as a better understanding of the dynamics of international cooperation, how different sets of policies adopted by some countries influence policymaking elsewhere, how policies adopted at in different contexts interact with each other.

The PhD program constitutes of three distinct, yet interlinked subprojects, each pursued by an individual PhD researcher.

Sub-project 1: Understanding responsibility sharing and dynamics of international cooperation in the context of forced displacement

Strengthening the international response to the challenge of forced displacement has been a major objective of the Global Compact on Refugees. Yet a central challenge in cooperation in the context of international protection and migration is that cooperation is asymmetric: different stakeholders have very different, at times incompatible interests; they also differ considerably in their capacities to influence the terms of the debate, the dynamics of cooperation and the nature of cooperation arrangements. Last, they have also very different capacities in implementing policies, again requiring international cooperation.

Sub-project 2: Understanding migration policy effectiveness: effects of migration policy, unintended consequences and interactions with other policies.

Research on the effects and effectiveness of migration policy has considerable advanced in recent years, thanks, amongst others to the development of a variety of indices of migration policy and methods to assess some effects of migration policy measures, notably on the scale and composition of migration flows.

Sub-project 3: Assessing extraterritorial interventions on the basis of agent-based modelling.

The focus of sub-project 3 is on migration policy interventions “upstream” that is measures in or by countries of origin and transit, how such measures impact on migration decisions and what these implies for the design of effective governance and cooperation.

Find more information about the sub-projects here.

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