Author Archives: imertarje

IMER LUNCH SEMINAR – Noor Jdid: Re-examining meanings of citizenship and participation through life experiences

CANCELLED!!! TUESDAY 23.08.2016, 1200-1330, NB!! CANCELLED EVENT!!!

A light lunch will be served

Abstract: People are accepted, they have their citizenship, they go to school but the people that you live together with, you don’t know them”

Across Europe, participatory citizenship ideals are being promoted politically as part of a set of policy ideas within a neo-liberal as well as new center-left approach. We witness that especially in integration, immigration and social cohesion policies that emphasize a shared commitment to active participation in society.

In other words, there are in political discourse certain ideas about what active citizenship is, where it should take place, and who is expected to be active. This one-size-fits-all model of active citizenship obscures the way in which differentials in citizenship identities and experiences, whether through axes of gender, class, race or age, or even place, shape how people define and access participatory opportunities.

Noor Jdid High-Res

Noor Jdid is a Doctoral Researcher at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) and Center for Women’s and Gender Research (SKOK). Her PhD is part of the larger SAMKUL-project “Active Citizenship in Religiously and Culturally Diverse Societies


IMER lunch seminar series: Comparative study of assisted return from Norway. By Arne Strand (CMI) and Synnøve Bendixen (UiB)


Comparative study of assisted return from Norway

Place: Department of Sociology, ground floor
Time: 31.05.2016, from 1200-1330

Event details here

Norway encourages assisted return for persons without legal residence permits in Norway and for those who wish to return to their country of origin. Those who apply for assisted return receive help with the application process, with transport back to their country of origin and, once returned, a cash grant and material reintegration support.

A comparative study commissioned by UDI has examined motivation for signing up to assisted return in Norway, and to what extent the returnees have succeeded in reestablishing themselves and sustain their return in their country of origin. The country cases are Afghanistan, Iraqi Kurdistan, Ethiopia and Kosovo.

Arne_strandArne Strand Political Scientist focusing on peace, conflict and aid, with a particular emphasis on Afghanistan. He has a PhD in Post-war Recovery Studies where he studied coordination of humanitarian assistance in complex emergencies.

Uni Rokkan

Synnøve Bendixen is Post doctoral fellow at department of Social
Anthropology,UiB. Her project: Denaturalizing difference: Challenging the production of global social inequality


IMER Lunch Seminar series: Marta B. Erdal: Forced to leave? The discursive and analytical significance of describing migration as forced or voluntary

Photo: Strait Times

It is increasingly acknowledged that there is no clear dichotomy between ‘forced’ and ‘voluntary’ migration. Instead, migration dynamics and migrants’ lived experiences suggest a blurring of the boundary between forced and voluntary, with combinations of choice and constraint that vary among individuals and groups, but also over time. Despite calls to integrate analysis of displacement into understandings of social transformation, however, there is still a distinct divide between bodies of literature on conflict-related migration and migration studies more broadly.

Date and time: May 3.rd, from 1200-1330
Place: Department of Sociology, Rosenberggaten 39, ground floor
A light lunch will be served

Link to event

In her presentation, Erdal focuses on a classic migration trajectory (leaving – arrival and reception – settlement – return or onward migration) to critically examine what these two bodies of literature have to say about each of these key points in the migration journey. Using examples from her and her colleagues’ qualitative research on ‘displacement’ from Afghanistan, and ‘migration’ from Pakistan, she highlights specific areas where the differential labelling of an individual migrant as ‘forced’ or ‘voluntary’ has a distinct effect (e.g. arrival and reception) and where this effect may be less apparent or ‘blurred’ (e.g. leaving or onward migration). In doing so she demonstrates the value of a conversation between the two bodies of literature, incorporating insights about the nature of displacement – with its inherent links to conflict and insecurity – as part of a larger picture of migration as a social process.

ErdalMarta Bivand Erdal is a senior researcher at PRIO. Her research focuses on migrant transnationalism, including remittances and diaspora engagements; on processes of migrant integration, including citizenship practices in diverse contexts; and on return migration and sustained transnational mobilities.

About the Seminar series:

Migration responses

Debating the current refugee crisis in Europe

The IMER Bergen Seminar series for the spring of 2016 will discuss a wide range of responses in the wake of the current migration crisis. How can the theoretical and empirical research currently being conducted on migration, ethnic relations, peace and conflict contribute to understanding the multi-faceted landscape of politics, boundaries and everyday lives of the refugee crisis?

IMER Lunch Seminar series: Olav Elgvin (UiB): Gay is who gay does? Assimilation, homosexuality and the causal power of discourse


Welcome! A light lunch will be served.

Research on processes of assimilation among immigrants – by which I mean the gradual adjustment to the prevailing norms in the majority society – has shown that it is a complex and many-faceted process. Some groups assimilate faster than others, and immigrants may assimilate in some areas of life but not in others. There is no consensus among researchers as to why assimilation processes can have such different trajectories. In this paper I explore how discourses and ideas may shape how assimilation processes play out.

Drawing on field work among LGBT people in Norwegian immigrant communities, I claim that many people of immigrant background have assimilated a central idea in contemporary Norwegian discourse, that has been contested in other parts of the world: That homosexuality is an inherent disposition, something one «is» and not merely something one «does». But there is little acceptance of the idea that homosexuality can be morally acceptable. My claim in the paper is that this can be attributed to the causal power of discourse. The idea of homosexuality as «merely something one does» has seldom been fully articulated in traditional discourses, and may thus easily give way to other ideas. The idea that homosexuality is morally reprehensible, however, has been strongly articulated in traditional discourses, and may therefore be more resistant to the pressures of assimilation.

Olav Elgvin is a PhD candidate at the Department of comparative politics, doing a PhD on Muslim religious leaders in Europe. He is also associated with the Fafo institute in Oslo, where he works on issues more broadly related to immigrant incorporation.

Healthcare and migration – open seminar

Photo: Ggia, Wikimedia Commons. Copyright: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International Public License

Europe is confronted by the biggest refugee crisis since WW2. In the series “The great societal challenges”, University of Bergen and Bergens Tidende explore the implications of this for the Norwegian healthcare system.  

Where: University Aula
When: Saturday March, from 1500-1700.

Vice rector Anne Lise Fimreite will open the event.

Professor of Law, Karl Harald Søvig, will have a keynote on health rights and health challenges for people without legal residence in Norway.

Editor Hilde Sandvik will lead the following panel discussion:

Marry-Anne Karlsen (PhD)
Ingebjørn Bleidvin (Dr)
Kjersti Toppe (Parliamentarian)

For more information (in Norwegian):


IMER / CMI lunch seminar on Syria: Kjetil Selvik: conflict dynamics and humanitarian consequences

Photo illustration:

Time: Tuesday March 1. @1200-1330
Venue: Bergen Resource Center for International development, Jekteviksbakken 31 (ground floor)

A light lunch will be served.

What are the driving forces behind the Syrian war? Why does the conflict seem so difficult to resolve? How are the citizens of Syria impacted by the atrocities? Will the recent established seasefire last? 

Kjetil Selvik is senior researcher at the Chr. Michelsen Institute. He specializes in comparative politics and have done his empirical investigations in the Middle East. Selvik studied Arabic in Damascus in the mid-1990s and has followed Syria’s political development ever since. He is also Adjunct Associate Professor at the Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages, University of Oslo.

IMER lunch seminar series Migration responses – Torgeir Uberg Nærland (UiB): Recognition through reception

Illustration: Wallpapercave

February 23, 2016 @ 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
Sosiologisk institutt, ground floor
Rosenbergsgaten 39

Hip hop music and the forging of civic bonds among minority youth in Norway 

A vast body of research documents that media coverage of ethnic minorities in Norway is systematically imbalanced and problem oriented, which in turn engenders a sense of exclusion. At the same time, hip hop music and artists are today regular fixtures in various media formats, and a genre that comprises a number of prominent performers of multi-cultural background.

Set against the backdrop of the exclusionary effects of news media representations, this interview study of a group of minority youth makes evident that mass mediated hip hop music is for them taken to entail public representation of minority experiences and sensibilities that engender a sense of democratic inclusion.

By combining recognition theory and reception theory, Nærland shows how hip hop-related media coverage is experienced to involve a positive affirmation of minority identity that also contributes to the formation of civic identity and affinities. The study argues that musical media events constitute ‘moments of recognition’ where dynamics of recognition is intensified.

Torgeir NærlandNærland further argues that recognition theory makes up a valuable supplementary framework for our theoretical understanding of the civic dimensions of media reception, and the role of popular music therein.

Torgeir Uberg Nærland is a researcher at Uni Rokkan Centre. His research topic is popular music; Music and democracy; documentary film and copyright; Public Sphere Theory


Welcome! A light lunch will be served.

About the Seminar series:

Migration responses

Debating the current refugee crisis in Europe

The IMER Bergen Seminar series for the spring of 2016 will discuss a wide range of responses in the wake of the current migration crisis. How can the theoretical and empirical research currently being conducted on migration, ethnic relations, peace and conflict contribute to understanding the multi-faceted landscape of politics, boundaries and everyday lives of the refugee crisis?

Åpent møte: Lista til Listhaug


Lista til Listhaug- hva betyr den egentlig?

Som svar på økninga i asylankomster presenterte innvandrings- og integreringsminister Sylvi Listhaug (FrP) i romjula en liste med forslag som skal bidra til å stramme inn asylpolitikken i Norge. IMER Bergen og CMI inviterer til debattmøte om innstramningsforslagenes praktiske konsekvenser.

Hvis lista over forslag blir gjennomført vil den gjøre Norge til et av de strengeste landene i Europa når det gjelder asyl. Forslagene inkluder innstramning i reglene om familiegjenforening, økt bruk av midlertidig opphold, krav til selvforsørgelse og krav å bestå prøver i norsk og samfunnsfag for å få permanent opphold.

For mange kan forslagene til tiltak virke abstrakte. Hva betyr egentlig innstramningsforslagene i praksis?

IMER Bergen og Christian Michelsens Institutt inviterer til et åpent arrangement der fire eksperter gir innsikt i innstramningsforslagenes praktiske konsekvenser. Du kan melde din interesse eller spre ordet på vårt facebook-event.

Terje Einarsen (UiB): Professor i jus, ekspert på asylrett
Helga Eggebø (KUN): Doktorgrad på tema familiegjenforening
Anita Rathore (OMOD): Nestleder i Organisasjonen Mot Offentlig Diskriminering
Cecilie Hamnes Carlsen (VOX): Ekspert på norsk- og samfunnsfagstester

Marry-Anne Karlsen (IMER Bergen) leder møtet

Tid og sted: Litteraturhuset i Bergen, Østre skostredet 5, 16. februar klokka 19:30

Seminaret er åpent for alle og gratis


IMER lunch seminar: Queering mobility: transgendered internal migrants and their experience of “transition” in South Africa

By  Nadzeya Husakouskaya (SKOK, UiB):


Migration studies in post-Apartheid South Africa have maintained a strong focus on cross-border mobility while often narrowing health-related research to HIV/AIDS concerns and framing gender in woman-oriented approach with a gradually emerging area of research on migrant sex workers. This paper offers to bridge certain gaps in migration research on health, internal mobility and gender. It revolves around experiences of black unprivileged transgender internal migrants accessing medical services in the public health sector in urban Gauteng, in particular, Johannesburg and Pretoria.

The paper explores their experiences of migration focusing on analysis of their transition ­ both gendered transition (different medical interventions that alter/modify gender-related attributes of the body) and spatial transition (diverse mobility patters, relocation, renegotiation of place of living and belonging) ­ and ways they negotiate belonging.


Nadzeya Husakouskaya is a PhD Candidate, Centre for Women’s and Gender Research (SKOK), University of Bergen, Norway. She holds a European master from 2013 in Migration and Intercultural relations (joint degree).


Welcome! A light lunch will be served.