IMER Bergen

Research Projects

The following is a list of projects developed within the network of IMER. Some of IMER board members and researchers are either leading or are affiliated with the projects below.

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Project title: PROTECT The Right to International Protection. A Pendulum between Globalization and Nativization?

The PROTECT Consortium is led by Professor Hakan G. Sicakkan, professor at the Department of Comparative Politics, UiB, and IMER board member.

PROTECT studies the impact of the United Nations’ ‘Global Refugee Compact’ and ‘Global Migration Compact’ on the functioning of the international refugee protection system. This investigation will be done from the perspectives of political theory, legal theory, cleavage theory, public sphere theory, multilevel global governance, and ethnography. The entities focused on are the UNHCR and IOM (the global level), the European Union and the African Union (regional level), EU countries, Canada and South Africa (state level), and Canadian, South-African and South-European border zones (the local level). Empirically, PROTECT engages in an extensive legal, institutional, attitudinal, and media content data collection. As part of its empirical work, it aims to identify the changes in the notion of refugee protection due to the introduction of the two UN Global Compacts. Conceptually, PROTECT endeavors to develop a notion of refugee protection that is sensitive to the current political realities. Theoretically, it aspires to develop a theory explaining why a notion of refugee and refugee protection governance, and not other competing notions, wins the race at the global level.

For more information, see the project website



Project title: SuperCamp - Genealogies of Humanitarian Containment in the Middle East

This project analyses this “catch basin” and hypothesizes that the Middle East takes on features of what we call a “SuperCamp” – an area where migrants are not so much hosted but held hostage. It addresses one of the most pressing problems facing nation states: the movement of refugees and migrants from the global south to the global north. By reflecting on the positionality of the migrants in the “south” and the perceived threat to the “affluent north,” the project provides a more nuanced understanding of and theory on the historical and bio-political sources of containment. The project thus focuses on the consequences of displacement.

For more information, see the project website



Project title: Temporary Protection as a Durable solution? The 'Return Turn' in Asylum Policies in Europe

Following high numbers of refugee arrivals in 2015, European countries have responded with restrictive policies reinforcing the temporary nature of the protection they are willing to provide. These measures, part of a ‘return turn’ in the practice of refugee law, include granting short-term protection permits to refugees from certain groups, stricter requirements for receiving permanent residence, and regular protection reviews to identify people whose need for asylum no longer exists. By investigating (primarily) post-2015 developments in Norway, Denmark and the UK, the project invesigates 1) How  changes in national and EU-level laws and policies affect the durability of residence for recognized refugees, and 2) How  temporary protection interacts with facets of the welfare state designed to promote integration? What areas of conflict exist between asylum and integration policies on the one hand, and the intention of policies and their implementation on the other.

For more information, see the project website



Project Title: States of Protractedness: Utilizing Norwegian Expertise for Solutions to Protracted Displacement Situations

The project will take the knowledge from the Horizon 2020 TRAFIG project and bring it to Norway.

For more information on TRAFIG, see here



Project Title: Waiting for an Uncertain Future: the Temporalities of Irregular Migration

The WAIT project uses theories of temporality and the concept of 'waitinghood' as tools for producing new and critical insights into the cultural conditions and implications of migration. 'Waitinghood' is about the condition of prolonged waiting, uncertainty and temporariness which is characteristic of irregular migration. WAIT investigates how temporal structures related to irregular migration are shaped by legal regimes, cultural norms and power relationships, and how they shape subjective experiences and life projects. The project focuses on four European migration-hubs, notably Oslo (Norway), Stockholm (Sweden), Marseille (France) and Hamburg (Germany).

For more information, see the project website



Project title: Imagining and Experiencing the Refugee Crisis

The IMEX-project investigates both the experiences of the recent Syrian diaspora in Europe and of the majority population in Norway. We draw on panel data, qualitative interviews, and fieldwork in local communities to investigate zones of negotiation and meeting points between the majority and the minority in the wake of the 'refugee crisis'.

For more information, see the project website