Bergen MigrationWeek 24-28 October

Join us for a week of migration related discussions and events in Bergen!

24 okt 16 19:30 – 28 okt 16 17:00,

Join us for a week full of events on Migration.

The week is organised by CMI, IMER, SKOK and the Faculty of Law at the University of Bergen in cooperation with Bergen Resource Centre.

The world is in a migrant crisis. Millions of people are displaced. People are fleeing war, poverty and oppression in the largest movement of peoples since WWII. The policing of the EUs outer boundary has broken down. Treaties regulating movement, work and asylum have crumbled.

In response, Europe erects new fences and introduces stricter immigration policies. What is at stake and how can it be solved?

Academics, journalist and filmmakers will meet and discuss migration challenges in panels and roundtables in the Migration week in Bergen 24-28 October.

All events are free, open to the public and represent some of the most exiting scholarship on migration aimed at the general audience.

The event is co-hosted by the International Migration and Ethnic Relations Research Unit Bergen (IMER), Centre for Women’s and Gender Research (SKOK), the Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI) and the Faculty of Law at the University of Bergen.




Den store flukten: Film, fakta og fiksjon

When: Monday 24 October, 19.30-21.00

Place: Litteraturhuet, Auditoriet

Presenters: Lars Petter Gallefoss (Pandora Film), Christina Pletten (Aftenposten), Frøy Gudbrandsen (BT, debattleder).


Seige systemer og ville ideer: Nytenkning på flyktninge- og integreringsfeltet

When: Tuesday 25 October, 19.30-21.00

Place: Litteraturhuet, Olav H. Hauge

Presenters: Thomas Hylland-Eriksen (UiO), OPEN Transformation, Susanne Bygnes (IMER, debattleder)



When: Wednesday 26 October, 13.00-15.00

Place: Bergen Resource Centre for International Development

Presenters: Luigi Achilli (European University Institute), Daniela Debono (Malmö University), Sine Plambech (DIIS)



When: Thursday 27 October, 10.00-12.00

Place: Bergen Resource Centre for International Development

Presenters: Nando Sigona (University of Birmingham), Kamel Dorai (Institut français du Proche-Orient), Evthymios Papataxiarchis (University of the Aegean)



When: Friday 28 October, 10.00-12.00

Place: Bergen Resource Centre for International Development

Presenters: Michel Agier (EHESS), Ilse van Liempt (Utrecht University), Dallal Stevens (University of Warwick)


A more detailed programme will come soon.



IMER lunch seminar series: Ivar Eimhjellen om Frivillig innsats under flyktningsituasjonen 2015/2016

Ivar Eimhjellen fra UNI Rokkansenteret presenterer en fersk rapport om frivillig innsats i Norge under flyktningsituasjonen 2015/2016.


Basert på en spørreundersøkelse om frivillig innsats gjennomført før og etter de økte flyktning- og aslylankomstene høsten 2015, ser han nærmere på nordmenns bidrag i forbindelse med flyktningsituasjonen. Hvordan ble folk rekruttert, hvem bidro og hva gjorde de? Hvilken rolle spilte nye, uformelle initiativer sammenlignet med de tradisjonelle organisasjonene?

Vi møtes i 4. etasje. En lett lunsj blir servert.


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?