What’s new?

In an interview with ARA I spoke about the political response by the EU to Ukranian refugees. The article was published March 22, 2022.

Today (25.11.2021) the Croatian television HRT 1m at 9.30 pm CET broadcasts a programme on Sebastian Kurz, the former Austrian prime minister, featuring an interview with me speaking about Kurz’s migration agenda. More details (in Croatian) here, https://hrtprikazuje.hrt.hr/hrt-preporucuje/agenda-20-3544323

Interested in identity politics? The Austrian public radio station Ö1 just released a programme on the issue with contributions by political scientists inlcuding Colin Crouch, Reinhard Heinisch and myself. You can listen to the programme online up to seven days after it was first broadcasted.

Monday, 22.11.21: Wie entstehen kollektive Identitäten? (How do collective identities emerge?) (with: N. Anyanwu, E. Fels, R. Heinisch, L. Susemichel, J. Kastner, C. Crouch, L. Hadj-Abdou) https://oe1.orf.at/player/20211122/657575

Wednesday, 24.11.21: Die Polarisierung der Gesellschaft: Identitätspolitik als Spaltpilz (The polarization of society. The divisevness of identity politics) (with: C. Crouch, M. Marsovszky, R. Heinisch, L. Hadj-Abdou) https://oe1.orf.at/player/20211124/659800

The call for Rethinking Knowledge Politics in Migration Research, Teaching & Practice has now been closed and we have received wonderful abstracts. December 3, 2021 we will be a) thinking about the migration research agenda & practice, b) reflecting on fieldwork & methods, and c) thinking about changing the way we teach.

We will also have a public keynote and roundtable with wonderful scholars including E. Tendayi Achiume from UCLA Law School, Ipek Demir from the University of Leeds and Aurora Vergara Figueroa from Icesi University.

Date: Fri, December 3, 2021 Time: 7:00 PM – 7:45 PM SAST / 6:00 PM – 6:45 PM CET / 12:00 PM – 12:45 PM EST, Location: Online

Registration:  https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/rethinking-knowledge-politics-in-migration-research-teaching-practice-tickets-211588546037

Check out this space, for the call for papers for the workshop on Rethinking Knowledge Politics in Migration Research, Teaching & Practice together with the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA) that I organized with my colleague Kudakwashe Vanyoro from the University of Witwatersrand (Johannesburg). Apply to take part in an exchange between African and European migration scholars.

Together with my wonderful colleague Dr. Federica Zardo from EIF/Vienna I present a paper this Wednesday 15th of September 2021 at the EISA Conference on Labelling migration: Categorizations in European Union Policies.

Join my ECPR 2021 Conferennce presentation on Wednesday September 1st on “Sovereignist or Economic Interests? Migration debates in Austria during Covid-19“, and my presentation on Thursday September 2nd of my paper Migration Governance 2.0 – Changing Governance and Status Quo Perspectives” co-authored by the wonderful Dr. Andrea Pettrachin (Collegio Carlo Alberto), in which we use Social Network Analysis to understand migration governance. Thanks to the ECPR Standing Group on Ethnicity & Migration for the suberbe organization.

The debate on Europe and Social Justice I had the pleasure to participate in together with Bruno Palier, Andreas Wimmer and Turkuler Isiksel at Columbia university has been published at first of May by Le Grand Continent. You can access it here.


Interested in Executive Training on Migration? There are still some places available for the upcoming (May 26 to 31, 2021) European University Institute/School of Transnational Governance online seminar on Effective Migration Management: Putting Policy into Action. All info here.


Upcoming April 21, 2021, 3 to 4.30 pm: Webinar on Centre-right Parties and Immigration in an Era of Politicization. You can register here.

The increasing salience and politicization of migration in the past decades have not only led to a rise of the Populist Radical Right but have also shaped mainstream parties such as the Centre-Right considerably. Key events such as the 2015 migration crisis and resulting perceptions of increasing (irregular) migration opened up opportunities for the Centre Right to successfully mobilize the electorate. Images of disorder and chaos, closely associated with immigration flows, have raised concerns amongst people with a conservative value orientation who value order and security. Appearing ‘tough’ or proactive on the issue, then, may well appeal to core voters of the Centre-right. Although, since the bulk of studies have concentrated on the anti-immigrant, populist radical right, we have been lacking careful, in-depth analyses of recent election campaigns and results exploring potential positional shifts on and reconfigurations related to immigration of the Centre-Right. These issues are explored in a new Special Issue on Centre-right Parties and Immigration in an Era of Politicization published in the Journal for Ethnic and Migration Studies. In this webinar the editors and authors of this special issue will present key findings from this publication.

My presentation at the VUB event from March 2021 “Towards the decolonization of (EU) migration studies” is now online. You can access it here.

Calls for decolonizing the university have increased in the past years. The 2020 transnational Black Lives Matter movement has also reverberated these calls in the field of European migration studies.  In this seminar, insights were presented into what decolonization of (EU) migration studies might mean, why it is necessary and how researchers can contribute to this endeavour.  

Speakers: Darshan Vigneswaran & Leila Hadj Abdou

New Publication out: Centre-right parties and immigration in an era of politicisation

Open access article by Leila Hadj AbdouTim Bale & Andrew Peter Geddes (2021). Centre-right parties and immigration in an era of politicisation, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, DOI: 10.1080/1369183X.2020.1853901

While not typically the focus for academic or journalistic analyses, centre right political parties have been, are and will likely remain key actors in migration policy and politics across Europe. This special issue introduction questions and qualifies the extent to which the 2015 migration crisis affected centre-right parties’ politics, positioning and policy positions on immigration, problematising the idea that the crisis represented an ‘external’ challenge to party politics and stressing instead the agency and role of political parties in imbuing crisis-like events with particular meanings. It argues that the crisis refracted and intensified social and value conflicts that were already developing in European party politics. While some policy innovations did occur, they tended to confirm directions that were evident before – sometimes long before – the crisis. The article emphasizes the need to pay attention to significant variation within the centre-right party family on immigration policy, and changes made over time by parties preoccupied with public opinion, with inter-party competition and with challenges posed by real-world events that were often beyond their control, but also with internal power struggles.


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