The seminars are organized  with the main objective of allowing researchers (GRITIM-UPF members, PhD candidates and guest researchers from other universities) to expose their own research, regardless of whether it is at an initial stage, with first results, or accomplished. The GRITIM-UPF Seminar series is open to its members and subscribers, as well as to other researchers and master and undergraduate students.

GRITIM-UPF Seminars 2018-2019

Research Methods and Methodologies in Migration Studies

This academic year the GRITIM-UPF Seminars Series will be focused on Research Methods and Methodologies in Immigration Studies.



  • UPF/18:00 to 21:00: Room 40.246. Jaume I Building, UPF Ciutadella Campus, Carrer Ramon Trias Fargas 25-27, Barcelona. (Except Andrew Geddes lecture, the room will be confirmed later on).
  • IBEI/13:30 to 15:30: Room TBC. Mercè Rodoreda Building, UPF Ciutadella Campus, Carrer Ramon Trias Fargas 25-27, Barcelona.
  • IEMed /18.30-20:30: Carrer Girona, 20, Barcelona.

Note: those interested are requested before to check the web GRITIM-UPF or contact us at [email protected] , since there can be unexpected modifications.

See the poster (Download all the information)



Lectures 2018-2019

1- Maria del Mar Griera (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)

Date: 7th February 2019

Place: UPF – Campus Ciutadella

Title: Religion in the streets: visibility, governance and the politics of space in the city of Barcelona

Abstract: Contemporary public space is witnessing a rise in religious expressions that reflect both the revitalization of religious identities at global level and the increase in religious pluralism in urban contexts.  More and more, religious groups are taking religion to the streets in an attempt to defend or challenge existing definitions of public space, to launch symbolic claims to territory, or to demonstrate communities’ willingness to participate in society. Departing from an empirical study, this presentation focuses on examining how moral imaginations and related affective dimensions shape the spatialization of religion(s) and the enactment of governmental regulations over public religious expressions in the city of Barcelona. More specifically, the aim is to compare among Buddhist, Sikh, Catholic and Islamic open-air religious events in order to understand how conceptions of ideal public space, regimes of urban visibility and public emotional registers are configured and mobilized in the governance of religious public expressions. The presentation shows how power constellations and postcolonial imaginations of the Near-Eastern’ Other –Muslim- and of the ‘Far-Eastern’ Other –Buddhist- (Obadia, 2015) have consequences in the configuration of urban governance regimes as well as practical implications for religious groups. The arguments of this paper are based on a collaborative empirical research project aimed at analysing public religious expressions in the cities of Barcelona and Madrid.

Bio: Mar Griera is the Director of the ISOR research group and (interim) Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at the Autonomous University of Barcelona. She earned her doctorate in Sociology in 2009 with a thesis, on public policy and religious diversity, that received the Outstanding Thesis Award (2010) from the UAB and the Manuel Sales i Ferré Prize from the Institute of Catalan Studies (2011).

She has been a visiting researcher at the Observatoire des Religions at Université de Lausanne (2016), at the Institute on Culture, Religion and World Affairs at Boston University (2009), the University of Amsterdam (2008), the University of Exeter (2006) and the University of Strasbourg (2004). She is a founding member of the Religion & Public Institutions Research Network, as well as a member of the IESR (Institut Européen en Sciences des Religions, Paris).

Recommended readings:

  • Burchardt, M., & Griera, M. (2018). To see or not to see: explaining intolerance against the “Burqa” in European public space. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 1-19.
  • Griera, M. (forthcoming). Religious visibilities and the politics of space in the neoliberal city, under revision.


2- Silvia Carrasco Pons (Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona)

Date: 7th March 2019

Place: UPF – Campus Cuitadella

Title: Early School Leaving among youngsters with an immigrant background in the EU and its impact on social integration

Abstract: The children of immigrants are widely overrepresented in the ESL rates in most EU countries with the highest proportions found in Spain, where deep changes in economy and public policy cutbacks place them most at risk of unemployment and exclusion. In the prevention of ESL the need of raising aspirations and increasing support is usually highlighted while the paradox between high aspirations and low achievement persists among them. During the session, some recent research results will be presented to reconstruct the processes experienced by a group of students considered at risk of ESL and focused on the relationship between students’ aspirations and families’ and teachers’ support as perceived by the youngsters themselves. The analysis draws on data from a longitudinal qualitative approach and is based on youngsters still in school, in out-of-school programmes and in NEET status. Our findings reveal that in spite of their families’ diverse support students’ aspirations are often neglected. The kind of teachers’ support received along their trajectories did not play a decisive role in reducing their risk of becoming ESLeavers by compensating for the effects of systemic inadequacies in unfamiliar contexts, increasing the fragility of the non-leavers’ trajectories among the case-study youngsters. Finally, the implications and impacts of ESL for social integration will be discussed.

Bio: Professor of Social Anthropology and founder of the Research Centre for Migration Studies and EMIGRA research group at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. She has worked extensively in the field of educational inequalities and education policies, especially focusing on school experiences and trajectories of the children of immigrants and minorities in Europe and the USA. After completing a 5 year EU project on ESL, she is currently involved in the TRANS-EMIGRA project doing fieldwork with young girls in Muslim families and the ORALPHA project that focuses on the teaching of oral languages to recently arrived migrants and refugees. She is a member of ACT NOW, DESC research network, devoted to the education rights of migrant and refugee children and youth in/from the MENAT Region.

Recommended readings:

  • Carrasco, S., Narciso, L. and Bertran-Tarres, M.  (2018) Neglected aspirations: Academic trajectories and the risk of early school leaving amongst immigrant and Roma youth in Spain. In: Van Praag et al (eds.) (2018) Comparative Perspective on Early School Leaving in the European Union, Routledge, New York, Chapter 11.
  • Reyes, C. and Carrasco, S. (2018) Unintended effects of language policy in the transition of immigrant students to upper secondary education in Catalonia, European Education Research Journal, Special Issue on Transitions.


3- Hèléne Thiollet (CNRS researcher at CERI-Sciences Po)

Date: 21st March 2019

Place: UPF - Campus Cuitadella

Title: Mixed Migration, the UNHCR, and the IOM: Multilateral Politics and the Labelling of Mobility

Abstract: ‘Mixed migration’ emerged in the discourses and policy documents of international organisations in 2006. It was coined as a “framework for action”, devoted of substantial legal grounds, used both by the IOM and the UNHCR in different sites of intervention globally. This article offers a genealogy of the governance this overarching category that straddles the usual differentiation between labour and forced migrants. It focuses on its emergence in the context of the Horn of Africa, using insights gathered during empirical fieldworks in Sana’a (Yemen) and Nairobi (Kenya) and participant observation to the 2006 and 2013 High Level Dialogues on Migration and Development in New York City (US). It sheds light on both the institutional dynamics within multilateral organisations and the impact of the context in which they operate.

By confronting the organisations’ discourses, IO’s agents’ discourses and behaviours and operations led by the IOs in the Horn of Africa, other regions and in multilateral arenas, it unveils the politics of migration governance. The main results of this research are to illustrate the evolution of the cognitive and policy translations of “mixed migration” from a protection agenda to a detection and data gathering objectives, which echoes a global trend in migration governance that could be termed “the retreat of protection”. The demise of the legal claims behind “mixed migration” is the product of power asymetries between multilateral organisations and the impact of State interets and fundings on migration governance. A more theoretical take-away is to look at the bottom-up construction of migration governance, at the tension between local contexts and multilateral settings, at normative dynamics in policy-making; which entails a methodological claim on the study of multilateral politics.

Bio: Hélène Thiollet is a CNRS permanent researcher. Her research focuses on the politics of migration and asylum in the Global South, and she focuses her empirical research on the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa. She teaches international relations, comparative politics and migration studies at Sciences Po.

She is a graduate from the Ecole normale supérieure (Ulm A/L98), holds a PhD in Political Science from Sciences Po and Master degrees in Geography of development (University of Paris 1 La Sorbonne) and Classics (University of Paris 4 La Sorbonne). In 2002-2003 she was a Visiting Student at the Harvard University Department of Government, with a fellowship from the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. She was a Post Doctoral Fellow at Oxford University in 2009-2010 with the OxPo Research grant and is now a Research partner at the International Migration Institute at Oxford. She has been a board member of Critique internationale, a French language IR journal, since 2009.

Helène coordinated the ANR research project "MobGlob – Global Mobility and Migration Governance" (ANR 2012-2015) with Catherine Wihtol de Wenden. She a member of the research programme "Global-cities: comparative approaches to cosmopolitanism and migration" funded by USMPC "Société plurielles".

Recommended Readings:

  • Antoine Pécoud (2018) What do we know about the International Organization for Migration?, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 44:10, 1621-1638, DOI: 10.1080/1369183X.2017.1354028. online access here.
  • Michael Barnett (2001) Humanitarianism with a Sovereign Face: UNHCR in the Global Undertow, The International Migration Review, Vol. 35, No. 1, Special Issue: UNHCR at 50: Past, Present and Future of Refugee Assistance (Spring), pp. 244-277 

4- IEMed Roundtable (Names TBC)

Date: 2nd and 3rd of April

Place: TBC

Title: TBC

Abstract: TBC

Bio: TBC


5- Ibrahim Awad (American University of Cairo)

Date: 25th April 2019

Place: IEMed (Carrer Girona, 20, Barcelona)

Title: (In)stability and Migration from North Africa

Abstract: The presentation will be about migration from North Africa and within it in conditions of political stability and instability. It will posit that in conditions of stability, socioeconomic factors determine migration flows from North African countries on the southern rim of the Mediterranean. These factors include labour market outcomes as expressed in unemployment, underemployment and employment in the informal economy as well as in terms and conditions of employment. In conditions of instability, political factors supplant socioeconomic ones as main determinants of migration. Stability is understood as the perpetuation of existing political and economic conditions. Instability is considered turmoil that encompasses uprisings, revolutions, civil strives, terrorism and wars. Instability can affect North African countries as well as countries of destination of North African migration.

In conditions of stability, migration from North African countries, determined by socioeconomic factors, will continue in comparable magnitudes to that of recent years. It is predictable and reduced in numbers. Instability may cause migration flows from North Africa to be larger than usual and to change directions. These flows are not predictable.  Migration and the socioeconomic factors determining it in conditions of stability will be reviewed. And potential factors of instability in the migration systems in which the North African countries are inserted will be explored in the light of past experience. The presentation will focus on North African migration in the Euro-Mediterranean region but will also refer to migration to other destinations.     

Bio: Professor of Global Affairs and Director, Center for Migration and Refugee Studies, School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, at the American University in Cairo. He holds a BA degree in political science from Cairo University and a PhD degree in political science from the Graduate Institute of International Studies, University of Geneva, Switzerland. He has worked for the League of Arab States, the United Nations and the International Labour Organization, holding positions of Secretary of the Commission, UN-ESCWA, Director, ILO Sub-regional Office for North Africa and Director, ILO International Migration Programme. His research interests encompass international migration; refugees; Euro-Mediterranean relations; international organization; global governance; political transitions in the Middle East and North Africa; and human rights. His recent publications include: “The Challenge of Global Governance in the Sustainable Development Agenda”; The Multiple Levels of Governance of International Migration: Understanding Disparities and Disorder; “ Egyptian Irregular Migration in the GCC Countries”; “Towards a Joint Approach to Migration and Asylum in the Euro-Mediterranean Space”; “The Making and Unmaking of the 2012 Constitution in Egypt”, in North Africa: from Status Quo to (R)evolution; “Labour Migration Governance in Times of Political Transition: A Comparative Analysis of Egypt and Tunisia”; “Population Movements in the Aftermath of the Arab Awakening: The Syrian Refugee Crisis between Regional Factors and State Interest”; “Breaking Out of Authoritarianism : 18 months of political transition in Egypt”; “International Migration in Africa”.

Recommended Reading:

  • Awad, Ibrahim, and Hedayat Selim, “Labour Migration Governance in Transition: Continuity and Change in Egypt and Tunisia (2011-2015)” Center for Migration and Refugee Studies, The American University in Cairo.
  • Boubakri, Hassan, Migrations et asile en Tunisie: conditions des migrants et des réfugiés et politiques migratoires. Cairo, Center for Migration and Refugee Studies, The American University in Cairo, 2015.
  • De Bel-Air, Françoise. “Migration Profile : Egypt.” Cadmus Home, 1 Jan. 1970,
  • Fargues, Philippe, International Migration and the Nation State in Arab Countries, Migration Policy Centre,
  • Khachani, Mohamed, La politique d’émigration au Maroc. N.p., n.d (Unpublished paper).
  • IOM, Migrants caught in crisis in Libya: the IOM experience. Geneva, International Organization for Migration (IOM), 2012, page 15.
  • Zohry, Ayman, The migration patterns of Egyptian migration to Italy and France.
  • CARIM- RR- 2009/17. Robert Schuman Centre for Adavanced Studies. San Domenico di Fiesole (FI), European University Institute, page 8.


6- John Erik Fossum (University of Olso)

Date: 29th April 2019 (From 13:00-15:00)

Place: IBEI - Campus Ciutadella (Building TBC, Room TBC).

Title: Europe’s identity post-Brexit: a distinct form of deep diversity?

Abstract: In the last decades, we have seen a comprehensive debate on European identity: what it might look like; how thick or thin it might be; and what might carry or sustain it (law, culture and political organizations). In the early 2000s, the main focus was on the prospects for developing an EU-based sense of constitutional patriotism, whose attractiveness has faded first with the constitutional setbacks and now with the EU’s post-crises mutations, notably de-constitutionalisation and the rise of authoritarianism in some member states. Increased EU differentiation (including member states seeking to renegotiate the terms of their EU relationship, whether as members or in the case of Brexit as a new category of ex-member state), coupled with the scholarly debate on democracy are all indications that the debate on Europe’s identity is cast in the spirit of deep diversity. In contrast to Taylor's conception of deep diversity, which was designed to describe Quebec's relationship to the rest of Canada, in the EU there is a deep contestation over identity but without an explicitly articulated theory of how that deep diversity will manifest itself. Today’s contestation is very broad and encompassing: among ethnic nationalists (right-wing populists of various stripes); multiculturalists; transnationalists; and cosmopolitans. These perspectives have different conceptions of what the EU is and what it should be. They also have different 'centres of gravity' and vary in terms of what they understand as forging and sustaining identities. In this article, I will outline and discuss these perspectives up against the present situation in Europe. The assessment will include attention to how each perspective understands identity and how it is forged/sustained; it will include an assessment of Brexit within this context; and it will pay special attention to the fact that the EU post-crises has become more differentiated. Is there

Bio: John Erik Fossum is Professor of Political Science at the ARENA Centre for European Studies, University of Oslo, Norway; head of ECSA Norway and vice-president of the Nordic Association for Canadian Studies (NACS). He has directed and participated in a broad range of research projects including “Reconstituting Democracy in Europe” (RECON), which had 20 partner universities across Europe; “Responding to Complex Diversity in Europe and Canada” (RECODE); EuroDiv: Integration and division: Towards a segmented |Europe?; Erasmus Academic Network on EU-Turkey Cooperation, (VIADUCT); and the European PhD-network “The Post-Crisis Legitimacy of the European Union” (PLATO). His main fields of interest include issues of democracy, identity and constitutionalism in the EU and Canada, Europeanisation and the transformation of the nation state. He has published 17 books, a range of special issues, and numerous articles and book chapters in political science, law and sociology outlets. Recent book publications include, The European Union’s Non-Members: Independence under Hegemony? (co-edited with Erik Oddvar Eriksen) (Routledge, 2015) and Federal Challenges and Challenges to Federalism, (co-edited with Markus Jachtenfuchs) (Routledge, 2017), Squaring the Circle on Brexit – Could the Norway Model Work? (with Hans Petter Graver) (Bristol University Press, 2018), and Diversity and Contestations over Nationalism in Europe and Canada (co-edited with Riva Kastoryano and Birte Siim)(Palgrave. 2018).

Recommended Readings:

  • Fossum, J. E. and Menéndez, A. J. (2014) Cosmopolitan Constitutionalism: Pie-in-the-skype or Path to the Future? In: Deliberative Kitrik – Kitrik der Deliberation. pp. 323-350.
  • Fossum, J. E. (2001) Deep diversity versus constitutional Patriotism: Taylor, Habermas and the Canadian constitutional crisis Ethnicities, 1 (2): 179–206.
  • Fossum, J. E. (2005) Conceptualizing the EU’s Social Constituency, European Journal of Social Theory, 8 (2): 123–147.


7- Hassen Boubakri

Date: May 2nd 2019

Place: IEMed (Carrer Girona, 20, Barcelona)

Title: Origin and impact of the migration crisis in the Mediterranean on the Maghreb and its Sub-Saharan and European neighbourhoods: a view from the south shore

Abstract: This conference will focus on the consequences of the Arab uprisings on migratory flows between the Maghreb, on the one hand, and, on the other, its sub-Saharan neighbourhoods in the south, and Europe in the north. The scale of the flows is unprecedented: the number of landings on the European coasts of the whole Mediterranean has multiplied by 7.5 in a few years, from 221,450 in 3 years (2008-2010) to 1,650 million between 2014 and 2016. In the central Mediterranean, the number of landings has increased tenfold from 55,300 to 681,332 during the same periods. Libya, and to a lesser extent Tunisia, have become the largest transit countries for Maghreb, and especially for sub-Saharan, migrants to Europe. In Libya, one of the largest immigration countries on the southern shores of the Mediterranean, which became a transit country, the crisis, unleashed in 2011 and exacerbated by the resumption of the civil war in 2014, has deeply affected the whole migration patterns, not only in Libya, but also in its Maghreban, sub-Saharan and European neighbourhoods. The civil war opened the way for the grip and reign of militias and armed groups on Libyan territory. Migrant smuggling and human trafficking have become one of the resources of the war economy, alongside the smuggling of Libyan arms, goods and oil. The grip of these networks extends to countries affected by insecurity and civil wars (such as Mali, Niger, Cameroon, Nigeria, CAR, Darfur, South Sudan ...). At the other end of the chain, the management of the EU's external borders is one of the issues that has been hardly hit by the effects of the 2011 uprisings. To protect and mitigate the arrival of migrants and refugees, the EU has stepped up maritime operations and programs to increase control of the maritime and land borders of Mediterranean and of sub-Saharan third countries. Outsourcing of the management of the EU's external borders is moving ahead!

Bio: Senior Professor Doctor of Geography and research supervisor of PhD’s at the Universities of Sousse, Sfax and Tunis (Tunisia). He has a long and constant (more than 25 years) experience with teaching, research, participation and/or leading of research projects and programs in different migration fields. He was the expert in charge of the coordination and facilitation of the workshop “Migration and Mobility” in the Framework of the “2017 Forum of EU-Civil Society Organizations Neighbourhood South” in Tunis (April 2017) and Brussels (July 2017); member of the panel of experts engaged by the European Commission for the evaluation of research programs (FP7 and FP6) in the field of migration topics; Research Coordinator for Tunisia of MICIC program; Tunisia report: “The implications of the Libyan crisis: How Tunisia hosts the migrants fleeing Libya since 2011?” ICMPD, UNHCR & IOM. Vienna. 60 p. 2017; Coordinator for Tunisia (National Observatory of Youth) of the 2014-2017 research program: "POWER2YOUTH" ( He was Visiting Professor at TAPRI (Tampere Peace Research Institute) in 2018, at University Ça Foscari of Venice/Italy (2002-2018), University of Nice Antipolis/France (2015), University Agha Khan/London/UK (2008) and University Poitiers/France (1999). He was also research coordinator (1999-2002) of an international program with an inter-disciplinary team, titled “Le Maghreb et les nouvelles configurations migratoires” (The Maghreb area and its new migratory patterns) carried out in the framework of the IRMC (Institut de Recherche sur la Maghreb Contemporain). He is Chairman of the Centre of Tunis for Migration and Asylum (CeTuMA) (Scientific NGO).

Recommended Readings:

  • 2018. Le prisme migratoire dans les relations futures entre le Maghreb et le reste de l’Afrique. In « Le partenariat Afrique-Europe en quête de sens ». Editeurs : Larbi Jaidi & Ivan Martin. OCP Policy Center. 314 p.
  • 2017. MIGRANTS IN COUNTRIES IN CRISIS. Libya Case Study. An Unending Crisis – Responses of Migrants, States and Organisations to the 2011 Libya Crisis. ICMPD. 96 p.
  • Boubakri, Hassen & El Karoui, Delphine. 2016. « Les migrations en Afrique du Nord et au Moyen Orient : le temps des révolutions ». Editorial: In Revue Européenne des Migrations Internationales (REMI). N° 3-4/Vol 31. 2015. (p.p. 7-15)
  • 2016. Migrations et asile en Tunisie depuis 2011: vers de nouvelles figures migratoires? In Revue Européenne des Migrations Internationales (REMI). N° 3-4/Vol 31. 2015. (pp. 17-37).


8- Tamirace Fakhoury

Date: May 23rd 2019

Place: IEMed (Carrer Girona, 20, Barcelona)

Title: Refugee politics in the Middle East: historical legacies and governance dilemmas.

Abstract: Syria’s neighbourhood currently hosts almost 6 million forcibly displaced from Syria. In this context, international actors have provided assistance to both refugee and host communities so as to help Syria’s neighbours cope with the refugee quandary. Notwithstanding this, response plans have been underfunded, host governments have stressed the limitations of their coping mechanisms, and refugees have been caught in a vicious circle of vulnerability. This seminar will review the overarching policy and historical legacies characterizing refugee governance in the Middle East. It will then explore how state actors namely Lebanon and Jordan and key supranational institutional bodies such as the European Union (EU) and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) have collaborated but also clashed on the refugee issue, generating ‘governance dilemmas’ on the ground and impacting refugee livelihoods and protection needs. The conclusion will show the implications of these dilemmas for the global refugee regime and for the power dynamics in the transregional Mediterranean system.

Bio: Associate professor in Political Sciences and International Affairs in the Department of Social Sciences, and the associate director of the Institute of Social Justice and Conflict Resolution (ISJCR).  Furthermore, she has taught at the summer sessions at the University of California in Berkeley between 2012 and 2016. Fakhoury earned the Jean Monnet fellowship at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy (2010/2011) and the Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship at the German Institute of International and Area Studies in Hamburg, Germany (2014/2015).  Her core research and publication areas are: power-sharing in divided societies, Euro-Mediterranean migration dynamics and governance, Arab states’ coping mechanisms with forced migration, and the role of immigrant communities and diasporas in democratization, and conflict transformation. Fakhoury has published in the International Journal of Middle East Studies, the International Spectator, the European Foreign Affairs Review, International Migration, the Middle East Journal and Current History. She is a member of the core coordination team of the Global Migration Policy Associates in Geneva and a member of the Steering Committee of the University Alliance for Refugees and At-Risk Migrants (UARRM)

Recommended Readings:

  • Fakhoury T. (2018). "Multi-level Governance and Migration Politics in the Arab World: The case of Syria’s displacement," Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies.
  • Brand, Laurie A. and Tamirace Fakhoury (2018). “Migration and Transnational Governance: Middle East Cases and Challenges.” Journal of Middle East and North African Migration Studies 5 (1).
  • Fakhoury, T. (October 2017) “Governance Strategies and Refugee Response: Lebanon in the Face of Syrian Displacement” International Journal of Middle East Studies 49 (4) 681–700