Conference on Migration, Mobility and Forced Displacement
This conference is the outcome of four intense months of research collaboration at the Merian Institute for Advanced Studies in Africa (MIASA). This first International Fellowship Group (IFG) has brought together 13 researchers from a wide range of disciplines and research backgrounds under the overarching theme of “Migration, Mobility and Forced Displacement”. The aim of this IFG was to develop a multi-level, multi-stakeholder perspective of migration, mobility and forced displacement, and the 13 fellows have provided a variety of perspectives, analytical tools and research questions. For the development of our research agenda, we employed a “bottom up approach”, taking our diverse research interests and experiences as a starting point and then identifying research topics with the potential for generating new insights through collaboration and comparative approaches. This led to the formation of four main research groups focusing on: “Free Movement“, “Representation and Narratives”, “Migration Infrastructures” and “Remittances”.
We are now excited to share our discussions and thoughts at this conference, in the presence of an additional five guest fellows. The presentation of the first results of the working groups forms the core of our conference programme. In addition to three panel sessions where papers and research agendas will be presented with comments from a discussant, we also have a more reflective and interactive format where we will contribute to the current debate on “Decolonizing Migration Research”. Both days of the conference are opened by keynote speakers providing valuable input from both academic (Loren Landau) and civil society/policy-oriented (Nunu Kidane) perspectives.
We see this conference as a milestone but not as an endpoint of our collective research agenda. It is an opportunity for stocktaking that will benefit greatly from the feedback provided by our commentators as well as from the valuable inputs provided by all participants during the plenary discussions.