Susanne Bygnes's picture

Susanne Bygnes

Associate Professor
  • E-mailSusanne.Bygnes@uib.no
  • Phone+47 55 58 97 32
  • Visitor Address
    Rosenbergsgt. 39
  • Postal Address
    Postboks 7802
    5020 Bergen

Key words: Migration, diversity, economic-crisis, refugee-crisis, Spain, Syrian diaspora, social mobilisation, high-skilled migrants, highly skilled refugees

Susanne Bygnes is associate professor of Sociology at the University of Bergen in Norway. Her main research topics include international migration and majority perspectives on diversity. Her recent work use 'crisis' as point of departure to understand new migratory patterns and local community reactions to sudden increase in diversity. Since 2013 she has worked with two particular cases of human mobility in the wake of the European financial crisis and the subsequent 'refugee crisis' to understand how crisis shape both migrants' and 'recieving communities' imaginations, experiences and reactions. Methodologically she draws mainly on in-depth qualitative interviews, but also works with ethnography and quantitative panel data. 

She had visiting scholar status at Scoula Normale Superioire de Firenze (University of Pisa) October to November 2018 and has previosuly been visiting scholar at UC Berkeley (June-August 2012), Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona (April-July 2014) and Sussex University (March-June 2015).

Bygnes is currently principal investigator for the project 'Imagining and Experiencing the Refugee crisis (IMEX)' (2017-2021). Her most recent articles on crisis and migration include Are they leaving because of the crisis? (2017) in Sociology and A collective sigh of relief: Local reactions to the establishment of new asylum centers in Norway (2019) in Acta Sociologica.


Susanne Bygnes also dessiminates actively in a range of foras outside the academic realm, ranging from local upper secondary schools and senior universities to governmental and NGO stakeholders and national newpapers, radio and TV.   


Selected op-eds and media interviews:

Radio interview, Nyhetsmorgen NRK P2 (20.05.2019) and interview at nrk.no (21.05.2019) about national and local level perceptions about refugee arrivals and integration.

Interview Interview BT Junior (4.10.2017)

Interview NRK Nyhetsmorgen (2.10.2017)

Interview NRK Ytring (1.10.2017)

Interview Dagsnytt 18 (18.06.2017) 

Interview TV-documentary Mottaket NRK Nett-TV (publisert 26.07.2016)

Invited op-ed kommentarartikkel, BT (21.07.2016)

Interview, Dagsnytt 18 (21.12.15)

Interview, Ytring NRK P2 (20.12.15)

Interview, TV2 Nyhetkanalen (20.12.15)

Interview, NTB, gjengitt b.la i Nettavisen (20.12.15)

Interview, Aftenposten (16.12.15)

Interview, EKKO NRK P2 (7.12.15)

Op-ed BT "Vil forlate Synkende skip" (6.10.15)

"Disse fem flokene må katalanerne løse", Interview Aftenposten (28.09.15)

Interview  Bergensavisen 14.03.15

Myten om fattige Spanjoler i Norge. Interview, Her og Nå NRK P1 17. 04.13

Op-ed Har vi multikulturalisme? VG 7. mai 2012 s. 28-29


Course development and teaching 

Susanne Bygnes has been responsible for developing and teaching courses at the undergraduate level and teach/supervise at the graduate level and post-graduate level (Bergen Summer Research School). She has been main and co-supervisor for Kristine Wenaas' MA-thesis on local reactions to a new asylum center (2017) and Evelyn Holmøys' thesis on 'Refugees welcome to the Arctic' (2017).



Bygnes is currently supervising Amany Selim's PhD-project on diaspora mobilisation in Europe (2017-2021). Selim will write her thesis as part of the IMEX-project.



University pedagogy 30 ECTS completed in 2019

Momentum- University of Bergen's traning program for young reserach leaders completed in 2018


Academic article
  • 2019. Not All Syrian Doctors Become Taxi Drivers: Stagnation and Continutity Among Highly Educated Syrians in Norway. Journal of International Migration and Integration. 1-14.
  • 2019. A collective sigh of relief: Local reactions to the estbalishment of new asylum centres in Norway. . Acta Sociologica. 1-13.
  • 2017. Welcome to Norway! Da flyktningkrisa kom til Norge. Tidsskrift for velferdsforskning. 286-301.
  • 2017. Are they leaving because of the crisis? The sociological significance of anomie as a motivation for migration. Sociology. 258-273.
  • 2016. Political motivations for intra-European migration. Acta Sociologica. 199-212.
  • 2016. Liquid migration, grounded lives: considerations about future mobility and settlement among Polish and Spanish migrants in Norway. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. 102-118.
  • 2015. Mistillitens migrasjon: Europeisk sør-nord-mobilitet i kjølvannet av krisa. Sosiologisk Tidsskrift. 171-192.
  • 2013. Ambivalent Multiculturalism. Sociology. 126-141.
  • 2012. Gender-equality as boundary: 'Gender-nation frames' in Norwegian EU campaign organizations. The European Journal of Women's Studies. 7-22.
  • 2012. 'We are in compleete agreement' The Diversity issue, Disagreement and Change in the European Women's Lobby. Social Movement Studies.
  • 2010. Making equality diverse? merged gender equality and anti-discrimination measures in Norway. NORA - Nordic Journal of Feminist and Gender Research. 88-104.
  • 2008. Interviewing People-oriented Elites. Eurosphere Working Papers.
  • 2014. Introdusjon til "Interne grenser: Nye former for migrajsonskontroll".
Popular scientific lecture
  • 2018. Fredagssalongen #8: Fornuft og følelser.
  • 2018. Flyktningestrømmer’ til Norge: Folk og fenomen .
  • 2014. The Social Construction of Whiteness.
  • 2012. How to write an article based thesis.
Academic lecture
  • 2019. Hard-working, gender-equal and outdoorsy: contesting ‘refugeeness’ with transnational resources and local knowledge .
  • 2019. 'The Refugee Crisis’ and Its Aftermath: Understanding Local-National Dynamics .
  • 2018. Critical events and new trajectories: (re)-entering adulthood after seeking asylum in Norway .
  • 2018. Crisis and continuity: Norwegian local communities in the wake of the 'refugee crisis'.
  • 2017. Contact between asylum seekers and Norwegians. Welcome to the neighborhood?
  • 2014. Migrasjon fra Spania til Norge etter 2008.
  • 2014. High-skilled Spanish migration to Norway after 2008.
  • 2014. Did we leave because of the crisis?
  • 2012. Ambivalent Multiculturalism.
  • 2011. I have a problem with the notion of diversity.
  • 2011. First and Foremost a Feminist: Social Movement Leaders' Framing of Multiple Equality Claims.
  • 2017. Krise og kontinuitet i mottak av flyktninger i Norden. Tidsskrift for velferdsforskning.
Academic monograph
  • 2008. Questioning modernity and development.
Doctoral dissertation
  • 2013. Diversity Dilemmas. Majority approaches to societal diversity in Norway and Europe.
  • 2019. Fridtjof (73) fryktet «horden av unge menn». Det var før asylsøkerne kom til Lindås.
  • 2014. Ser ingen fremtid i Spania.
  • 2014. Den lange veien til Norge.
  • 2012. Multikulturalismens begravelsesagenter.
Programme management
  • 2012. Teorier og politikk: Fortellinger om multikulturalismens død.
Academic chapter/article/Conference paper
  • 2014. Ad hoc multiculturalism: Prison staff approaches to cultural and religious diversity. 18 pages.
  • 2008. Dorothy E. Smith. 7 pages.

More information in national current research information system (CRIStin)

Selected Publications:

Bygnes, S (2019) Not All Syrian Doctors Become Taxi Drivers: Stagnation and Continuity Among Highly Educated Syrians in Norway. Int. Migration & Integration  Available Open Access

Bygnes, S (2019) A collective sigh of relief: Local reactions to the establishment of new asylum centers in Norway. Acta Sociologica https://doi.org/10.1177/0001699319833143

Bygnes, S. (2017) Welcome to Norway! Tidsskrift for Velferdsforskning 4 2017. Available Open Access

Bygnes, S. (2017) Are They Leaving Because of the Crisis? The Sociological Significance of Anomie as a Motivation for Migration. Sociology. doi: 10.1177/0038038515589300

Bygnes, S and Erdal, M (2017) Liquid Migration, grounded lives: Considerations about future mobility and settlement among Polish and Spanish migrants in Norway. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. Available Open Access

Bygnes, S and Flipo, A (2016) Political Motivations for intra-European Migration. Acta Sociologica. Doi 10.117/0001699316659909. Available Open Access

Bygnes, S. (2015) Migrants of disillusion: European South-North Mobility in the wake of the crisis.//Mistillitens migrasjon: Europeisk sør-nord mobilitet i kjølvannet av krisa. Sosiologisk Tidsskrift nr 3 2015.

Bygnes, S (2014) Ad-hoc Multiculturalism: Prison staff approaches to cultural and religious diversity. In: Judicialization and Citizenship in the Welfare State. Sinding Aasen, H. etl al (eds). Edward Elgar Publishing.

Bygnes, S. (2013) Ambivalent Multiculturalism. Sociology, Volume 47, issue 1, pp. 126-141. Doi: 10.1177/0038038512448560

Bygnes, S. (2012) 'We are in Complete Agreement': The Diversity Issue, Disagreement and Change in The European Women's Lobby. Social Movement Studies. Doi:10.1080/14742837.2012.703831

Bygnes, S. (2012) Gender-equality as boundary: 'Gender-nation frames' in Norwegian EU campaign organizations. European Journal of Women's Studies 19(1): 7-22.

Bygnes, S. (2010) Making Equality Diverse? Merged Gender Equality and Anti-Discrimination Measures in Norway NORA Nordic Journal of Feminist and Gender Research, 18 (2): 88-104.

Bygnes, S. (2008) Interviewing People-oriented Elites. Eurosphere Working Paper Series. Online Working paper no. 10, 2008 (fulltekst pdf)


Other peer-reviewed publications:

Bygnes, S (2013) Diversity dilemmas – majority approaches to societal diversity in Norway and Europe. PhD-dissertation, University of Bergen ISBN: 9788230821909

Bygnes, S. (2008): Dorothy E. Smith. In: Kjønnsteori. Gyldendal Akademisk 2008

Bygnes, S. (2008): Questioning modernity and development. VDM Verlag Dr. Müller 2008 (112 pages, published MA-thesis)



Bygnes, S and Karlsen, M-A (2017) Krise og Kontinuitet i mottak av flyktninger i Norden. Tidsskrift for Velferdsforskning 4, 2017


Book review:

Bygnes, S "The Rule of Violence: Subjectivity, Memory and Government in Syria by Salwa Ismail," American Journal of Sociology 125, no. 5 (March 2020): 1423-1424.

Bygnes, S. Krimmigrasjon? den nye kontrollen av de fremmede., Nordic Journal of Migration Research 2015 5(3): 155-156


  • Board member International Migration and Ethnic Relations (IMER Bergen) 2014-
  • Committee member, best sociological paper award, Norwegian Sociological Association 2018-
  • Director, International Migration and Ethnic relations (IMER Bergen) Dec 2015-June 2017 
  • Head, academic committee, Nordic Migration Conference 2016
  • Head, Norsk Nettverk for Migrasjonsforskning 2014-2016
  • Board member Nordic Migration Research 2014-2016
  • Medlem av Forskerutdanningsforum 2011-2012
  • Medlem av styret for det samfunnsvitenskapelige fakultet 2009-2010
  • Styremedlem i Sosiologiforeningen, Avdeling Vestlandet 2009-2010


Opponent, PhD defence:

Aydin, Seda: "Political socialisation processes of return migrants. The case of Turkish returnees from Germany". Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona, December 2019


Reviewer for :

Population, Space and Place

Sociological Forum

International Journal of Comparative Sociology


Journal of Youth Studies

Canadian Studies in Population

Social Movement Studies

Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies (JEMS)

International Migration Reivew

Refugee Survey Quarterly

Journal of Immigrant and Refugee Studies

Journal of Refugee Studies

Comparative Migration Studies

Migration Studies

International Migration

Tijdschrift voor Economische en Social Geografie

Nordic Journal of Migration Studies

Imagining and Experiencing the 'Refugee Crisis' (IMEX). Research Council of Norway: 1 million Euros (8 mill NOK). Frame: FRIPRO Young Reserach Talents. (2017-2021) PI: Bygnes

Labor Migration in Uncertain Times: Migration from Spain to Norway. Research Council of Norway: 3.500 000 NOK. VAM. Personal Postdoctoral Fellowship (2014-2018) PI: Bygnes

Claims-Making On Behalf Of Migrants In A Time Of Populism: Comparative Survey Experiments In Norway And California PIs: Kim Voss, Irene Bloemraad (both UC Berkeley), Elisabeth Ivarsflaten and Susanne Bygnes (both UiB), 15 000 USD, Peder Sather Grant Program (2017-2018). 

Flyktningekrisa: forestillinger og erfaringer. Pilotstudie finanisert av UiB og NFR. (2016). PI: Bygnes.