In February, the first International Fellowship Group (IFG) within the framework of the Maria Sibylla Merian Institute for Advanced Studies in Africa (MIASA) started at the University of Ghana. The main topic of the group is "Migration, Mobility and Forced Displacement". The members of the group come from several African and European universities and cooperate in four research groups: "Migration Narratives", "Free Movement", "Migration Infrastructures" and "Political, economic, social and internal remittances". Convenors of the group are Franzisca Zanker and Stefan Rother from ABI, the Principal Investigator is Joseph Teye from the Center for Migration Studies at the University of Ghana. The IFG will conclude with a conference in Accra at the end of May.
While migration research in the past decades has increasingly highlighted the transnational dimension of migration as a bottom-up process, policy responses have so far mostly been framed as an issue of control or management from the top down. However, the migration experience is shaped not only by nation-states but rather by a multitude of actors which also directly and indirectly influence the politics of migration and how it is governed. The aim of this fellowship group is to bring together a group of renowned scholars from a variety of disciplines in order to develop a multi-level, multi-stakeholder perspective of migration, mobility and forced displacement. The main focus is on migration within and from Africa, but some fellows will also contribute a comparative perspective with regards to other regional migration processes in the Global South, such as in South-East Asia. We base our research project on a very broad notion of governance that encompasses governance by, with and in some instances also without governments, including both formal and informal structures. Theoretically, we draw from the different disciplines represented by the fellows, which are sociology, political science, geography, anthropology and development studies. How the different backgrounds help us to see different perspectives in our own work and develop joint research questions will be one of our endeavors. Moreover, we seek to address two major research areas. Namely, to map out multiple stakeholders and to pinpoint the various multi-level perspectives of migration research.
List of Fellows and Guest Researchers download pdf
The work of the fellows will be regularly published here - watch this space! On #MIASAmigration the participants regularly post about the process and results themselves.