Bergen Summer Research School

Course | BSRS 2019

Migration Processes and Practices

Theories, methods and ethical conduct

lesvos boats

Course leader
Synnøve Bendixsen, Associate Professor, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences and University of Bergen

Course lecturers
Ruben Andersson, Associate Professor of Migration and Development, University of Oxford
Thomas Faist, Professor of Sociology of Transnationalization, Migration and Development, University of Bielefeld
Cindy Horst, Research Director and Research Professor in Migration and Refugee Studies at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO)
Jessica Schultz, Researcher and Senior Adviser, Chr. Michelsen Institute
Hakan Sicakkan, Professor at Department of Comparative Politics, University of Bergen
Sarah Tobin, Senior Researcher, Chr. Michelsen Institute

What is the role of migration research for informed policy? This interdisciplinary course will explore methods, dilemmas and unintended consequences in the (mis)use of migration research in the field of policy-making and public arena.

Refugee and migration researchers frequently pursue a dual imperative of generating rigorous research and simultaneously influencing policy and practices that concern the lives of migrants and refugees.This interdisciplinary course aims to deepen the understanding of this dual process. It asks: What risks and limitations of this dual imperative do researchers face and in which ways can researchers counteract these? What is the role of research in policy-making and public debates on immigration and refugees? In which ways can abstract and theoretical work on refugee and migration contribute to improve debates, influence public perceptions and develop better policies?What different forms of co-creation of knowledge are feasible, and how can collaborative processes be initiated, take form and develop? This course introduces PhD candidates to key concepts, cross-cutting research and analysis in the fields of anthropology, sociology, political science, and law. It offers lectures by leading migration scholars, and student presentations.

After attending the course students should have: 

  • an understanding of the role of researchers and research in shaping policy, practices and public debates in the field of migration and refugee studies, and why it poses ethical and practical challenges
  • familiarity with political, anthropological and sociological issues associated with responses to migration and refugees
  • an appreciation of the main academic and policy debates in the field of international migration, refugee protection and international law related to refugees
  • developed their own informed views about the desirability and feasibility of exercising refugee and migration research to address policy-making.

Synnøve Bendixsen is an Associate Professor at the Western Norway University of Applied Science and at the Department of Social Anthropology, University of Bergen. She has conducted research on refugees and irregular migrants in Norway, young Muslims and religiosity in Germany, marginality, urban life and diversity. She has written several journal articles, book chapters and co-edited books on these topics. Bendixsen is also the co-editor in chief for the Nordic Journal of Migration Research and the series co-editor (with Edvard Hviding, UiB) for the Palgrave Macmillan series Approaches to Social Inequality and Difference.