IMER Abroad: PROVIR Seminar – Precarious migrants and access to welfare: Between policy, law and practice
This workshop will discuss the legal and experienced dilemmas found in the encounter between migrants living in a legally precarious situation and the welfare state in which they reside. Participants will present ongoing empirically based research on migrants’ access to welfare in policy, law and practice in various European countries. They will also discuss the particular position of youth and children in vulnerable situations. The program is available here.
Lessons from the past: framing post-war immigration in Germany by historical analogies
In many West European countries, the experience of mass immigration after 1945 was perceived as something basically new and unprecedented. In the lengthy process of coming to terms with the new situation and of developing a self-understanding as countries of immigration and of ethnic pluralism, historical arguments often played an important role. By placing present-day immigration into a historical perspective, by constructing narratives of continuity (and discontinuity) and not least by presenting persuasive historical analogies, historians (and others) introduced arguments that informed the debates of the day and allowed the experiences of immigration and multi-ethnicity to be integrated into (national) narratives of identity. The German case is particularly interesting in this respect, since a tradition of tolerance and successful integration had to be invented in spite of the fresh memories of the Nazi-past that were witness to the contrary.
Christhard Hoffmann (born 1952 in Luneburg, Germany) is a German historian and professor of modern European history at the University of Bergen. In the period 2007-2013 he was Head of the Department of Archaeology, History, Cultural Studies and Religion.
Hoffmann defended in 1986 his doctoral dissertation on German Antiquity historians’ representation of Jews and Judaism in the 19th and 20th centuries  at the Technische Universität Berlin, where he also worked as a researcher for many years. From 1994 to 1998 he was a visiting professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and since 1998 he has worked at the University of Bergen.
Hoffmann has an extensive list of publications in the fields of German-Jewish history and cultural history, history of anti-Semitism and migration history.
Communicating Migration Seminar series
The IMER seminar series for 2014 will cover how migration and ethnic relations are communicated in every-day encounters, in mass and social media, in politics and in teaching at the universities. Has the way people talk about migration and migrants in different social contexts changed over time, and in which ways has it changed? How does migration theory and research fit in with other topics and theories in the social sciences, and how do results from migration research inform public debate and policy development?
Communicating migration will be discussed from various angles in our seminar series on international migration and ethnic relations during spring and autumn 2014. We welcome papers that touch upon this broad theme from different angles. Historical analyses of change over time in regard to politics and public debate, research foci and disciplinary concerns are specifically welcomed.
BSRS 2014 Governance to meet Global Development Challenges
Welcome to BSRS2014!
The theme for BSRS2014 is Governance to meet Global Development Challenges. The event will take place from June 23rd to July 4th 2014 at the University of Bergen. Please find information about the courses, application form and other activities at the menu to your right side.
One of the courses is and IMER/SKOK PhD course.
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How might we think about race as a paradoxically fungible yet persistent feature of human history? This mini seminar examines race as a global phenomenon with long and diverse histories. In its migrations, conceptions of race have repeatedly been marshaled, decried, dismissed, and repurposed, reformulating conceptions of kinship and social organization along the way. From ancient empires, medieval religious conflicts, and early modern accounts of “barbarians” and “strangers” to the longue durée of colonial settlement and slavery, and from the revolutions and uprisings of the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries to more recent accounts of physiognomy, eugenics, and DNA, the phenomenon of race has interacted dynamically across time and space with conceptions of caste, color, class, language, identity, law, region, and religion. Our class will begin with a conventional genealogy of race as arising from the age of Atlantic Revolutions, the slave trade, and scientific thinking in Europe and the United States before complicating our understandings of the phenomenon as one shaped over centuries of contact and interchange. Our second session will examine a longer history of race and caste in relation to Iberian colonization of the East and West Indies and our third session will investigate race and the littoral in Indian Ocean studies. Registration deadline is August 8th, 2014.
Plural policing and the safety–security nexus in urban governance
Based on a study of policy frames in urban politics in Sweden, Malmö in particular, this article discusses the safety–security nexus in urban governance. It argues that perceived safety figures as an index of order and integration, and security becomes part and parcel of an expanded cohesion agenda which chain-links criminal justice, immigration control and civic integration. The expanded cohesion agenda in urban governance involves plural urban policing enabled by partnership agreements between the police and local authorities. The article demonstrates how force-based, pre-emptive crime-fighting is intertwined with preventative empowerment programmes; the ‘will to power’ is embedded in ‘the will to empower’. The preferred solution to social problems is extended force-based policing in combination with more police involvement in ‘social’ governance. It is argued that the expanded social cohesion agenda works to ‘criminalize’ specific subpopulations by replacing ‘social’ welfare politics with crime prevention programmes. Under an expanded cohesion agenda, crime prevention has less to do with preventing people from violating the law and more to do with securing the social order. Moreover, it is argued that security politics relates to a broader urban politics aimed at nurturing prosperous diversity considered to benefit the city as a whole, at the cost of problematic difference. In conclusion the article argues that urban security politics lends itself to old welfare state structures, even as responsibility for social crime prevention is devolved ‘downwards’ and distributed across and array of agencies. The social democratic legacy – the revised welfare state – seems to offer favorable conditions for plural policing of minority groups in the city.
Randi Gressgård is professor at the Centre for Women’s and Gender Research (SKOK), and affiliated with the research unit International Migration and Ethnic Relations (IMER), University of Bergen. Her research interests include migration & minority studies, gender & sexuality studies and urban studies. Among her recent publications are Multicultural Dialogue: Dilemmas, Paradoxes, Conflicts (New York and Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2010/2012) and ‘The power of (re)attachment in urban strategy: Interrogating the framing of social sustainability in Malmö’ (Environment and Planning A 2014, vol. 46).
Lisa Kings: Contesting urban management regimes: The rise of urban justice movements in Sweden
Addressing segregation, racism and welfare transformation, a new form of grassroots mobilization among young adults is emerging in the peripheries of Swedish cities. The common denominator is that they define themselves as urban justice movements– with place as the social ground for mobilization. Witha Gramscian perspective, the article analysis the rise of urban justice movements in relation to contemporary urban policies in Sweden. We argue that Swedish urban policies during the last 20 years have created a hegemonic urban management regime underpinned by area based programs with a focus on network steering and new forms of partnership between civil society and public institutions. The emergence of urban justice movements is here understood in relation to firsthand negative experience of– and later active revulsion from– having participated in activities and issues related to the urban management regime. These experiences and the later proclaimed autonomy of the movements have been a key condition for the beginning of a broader struggle that merges local rootedness with wider structural-institutional conditionality. (co-authored by Aleksandra Ålund (Linköping University) and Nazem Tahvilzadeh (KTH Royal Institute of Technology).
Vanja Lozic: Problematizing parents, governing troubled youth
The paperfocuses on current debate on troubled youth, living in socio-economically deprived suburbs in Sweden, and particularly discourses on problems of alienation, crime, arson and anti-social behaviour among youth. In the paper, interviews with the representatives of different organisations involved in managing the youth problem are analysed. One recurring theme in the interviews is problem discourses representing the parent as a problem. Departing from Foucault´s understanding of governmentality and the formation of subjectivity, we analyse the construction of problems, problematization, and conceivable solutions, as depicted by the interviewees. The problematizations recurring in the interviews are the deficiency of urban space, dysfunctional family relations and parents as being passive and culturally different. On the basis of such problematizations the interviewees propose solutions in various ways fostering the parents to become responsible and active subjects, who have internalised current norms and values. Other central solutions emerging in the interviews are the development of various forms of communicative skills as well as a range of pre-emptive measures targeting the parents. An important conclusion in the paper is that this way of developing possible solutions to the problems of suburban youth tends to focus on the transformation of individual parents, while structural dimensions get out of focus. What appears is a desire to foster parents and thus to produce a certain kind of subject, namely an active, responsible and cooperative individual, involved in the local community. (The paper is co-authored with Magnus Dahlstedt.)
Vanja Lozic holds a PhD in history and issenior lecturer in Science of Education at Kristianstad University, Sweden. His research deals with issues in education from the perspectives of ethnicity, multiculturalism, gender, disability, youth cultures and work integrated learning. At present, he is participating in a research project “Cooperation, education and inclusion in multi-ethnic urban settings”, which concerns the connections between institutional restructuring, youth resistance and strategies for social inclusion. The aim is to investigate the measures for social inclusion within schools, local institutions and civil society actors in socioeconomically deprived areas of large cities in Sweden
Sara Kohne: The experience of change in culturally diverse urban areas. Examples from two districts in Berlin and Oslo.
During the last two decades, central inner city areas have constantly become more attractive to the middle class as places for living and leisure. It is especially because of their history and cultural diversity that these urban districts gain ”new” popularity. This development is, among other things, connected to larger processes of economic and societal change, such as globalisation and de-industrialisation, and it is often called gentrification – a process of urban transformation that results in the physical, sociocultural and economic upgrading of city districts.
In taking a qualitative oriented approach on two culturally diverse urban areas that are partly experiencing the process which has just been described, Kohne´s aim is to identify challenges and assets that are experienced by the residents living and working in such districts.
In her presentation, Kohne will present selected findings from her work with the areas Kreuzberg SO36 in Berlin and Grønland-Tøyen in Oslo. She will discuss them in a comparative context.
Sara Kohne is a PhD candidate in the discipline of Cultural Studies at the Department of Archaeology, History, Cultural Studies and Religion at the University of Bergen. Her research interests lie within the areas of cultural understandings of place, processes of change, and inequality in urban contexts.
Echoes of race in Amsterdam
In this talk, I will discuss how racialized discourses on multicultural failure and the trouble with the children of migrants is taken up and contested in multicultural Amsterdam. Like in other Western European countries, multiculturalism backlash discourses have dominated public debates in the Netherlands since the 1990s. I ask how people who are framed as part of the problem engage the moral imperatives of such backlash discourses and the anxieties they broadcast. Amsterdam’s Diamantbuurt provides a good vantage point for such an exploration since the neighbourhoods’ unruly Moroccan-Dutch young men have played an important role in Dutch backlash discourses. How do Moroccan-Dutch Diamantbuurt residents, who are closely identified with these iconic bad guys, negotiate the dominant narrative regarding their neighbourhood? This article demonstrates that for these residents, the anxieties articulated in backlash discourses become the grounds for an anxious grappling with abjectness and identification.
Anouk de Koning is assistant professor in Anthropology and Development Studies, Radboud University, Nijmegen, the Netherlands. She is the author of Global Dreams: Class, Gender and Public Space in Cosmopolitan Cairo (AUC Press, 2009) and, with Rivke Jaffe, Introducing Urban Anthropology (Routledge, 2016).
A light lunch will be served
CANCELED More infoermation about eventual repacements will be available sook
Predatory security: Reshaping the city and the state in Mozambique
Notions and practices of security colonise both state and urban contexts across Africa. Arguably, these notions and practices are also integral to wider global political formations where urban formations in Africa are often cast as pre-figuring the shape of future global cities more generally. Based on fieldworks in the Mozambican cities of Maputo and Chimoio, this paper sees security there as related to violent crime and capital accumulation in ways that undermine policy-oriented representations of security provision as solely undertaken by state police supplemented by neoliberal assemblages of security firms. Rather, and more specifically, the paper shows how security is not only subjected to a spatialized logic of race and social control but also renders violence – in all its forms – central to its exercise and cosmologies. This point will be emphasised by analysing how various forms of policing must be understood beyond the security-development nexus. These forms of policing increasingly involve a gradual emergence of what I call ‘predatory security’ that is central to violent modes of capital accumulation that shape African urban landscapes as well as define the contours of the state. The paper suggests that as a configuration of accumulative violence such predatory security has consequences for how we should approach calls for rights to the city as well as the state in urban African orders and beyond.
Bjørn Enge Bertelsen, associate professor, Department of Social Anthropology, University of Bergen, has researched issues such as state formation, violence, poverty and rural-urban connections in Mozambique since 1998. Bertelsen has published extensively internationally and is publishing the monograph Violent Becomings: State Formation, Culture and Power in Mozambique (Berghahn Books, 2016) and has co-edited the anthologies Crisis of the State: War and Social Upheaval (with Bruce Kapferer, Berghahn Books,  2012) and Navigating Colonial Orders: Norwegian Entrepreneurship in Africa and Oceania, ca. 1850 to 1950 (with Kirsten Alsaker Kjerland, Berghahn Books, 2015).