Background and rationale
Migration is an inherently interdisciplinary and transnational topic, yet most migration research is produced by nationally-based institutions. The UK, France and Germany are no exception: despite the interconnectedness of their migratory systems, there is little crossover in their migration scholarship. However, as the European landscape of research rapidly evolves, promising opportunities have emerged recently, with the establishment in 2018 of two new migration research consortia: the Institut Convergences Migration (ICM) in France and the Centre for Integration and Migration Research (DeZIM) in Germany. Bringing together scholars from various disciplines, these new research institutes aim to stimulate innovative cross-disciplinary work, which could encourage enduring transnational collaboration on migration-related topics. As such, their interests are closely aligned with migration research in Oxford.
Building on these initiatives so as to move beyond the ‘institutional nationalism’ that currently limits migration scholarship, we will organise a workshop series rotating between the UK, France and Germany. The purpose is to strengthen the collaborations that have emerged between researchers based in Oxford, Paris and Berlin over the last year, by providing a space for substantive cross-national discussion. We will involve researchers at different career stages, by bringing together doctoral students, postdoctoral researchers and senior researchers from each location. Groupings from the three countries will meet every six months for scientific and cultural activities. By doing so, this project will inspire larger collaborative funding bids; encourage informal or formal co-supervision of doctoral students; and pave the way for the institutionalisation of exchange programmes between Paris, Berlin, and Oxford, particularly among early career researchers.
The makeup of our core team based in Oxford is well placed to strengthen these interdisciplinary and academic links: Dr Nicholas Van Hear is a senior researcher at COMPAS and DeZim fellow with a background in development studies; Dr Vari-Lavoisier is an early career researcher at ICM and associate at COMPAS and works on cognition and migration; and Dr Lena Rose is based at the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies with a Post-doctoral Fellowship. These three researchers have extensive experience in organising academic events, together as well as individually. Dr Lena Rose has furthermore convened the TORCH-funded Migration and Mobility Network, and the team will draw on this wider constituency in the University and beyond to support these events.
We will organise a series of three workshops, involving a combination of early career and more senior researchers, in January 2020 (Paris), in June 2020 (Oxford) and in January 2021 (Berlin). Members of this collaborative working group will share aspects of their work during an international conference, organised by the ICM in Paris in June 2021, at which we will convene a panel.