The International Politics of Middle East Migration: Problems, Policy, Practice (March 2018 - March 2019)

british-academyResearcher: Dr Gerasimos Tsourapas
Funders: British Academy Rising Star Engagement Award


Migration has emerged as one of the major challenges of our time, from the Syrian refugee crisis or sub-Saharan migration via the Mediterranean to the mobilisation of the Turkish diaspora across Europe or the politics of labour immigration in the Gulf.

This project aims to forge a network of early-career researchers keen on understanding the international politics of cross-border mobility into, out of, and across the Middle East. It also seeks to foster engagement with senior academics and policy- makers via three initiatives. Firstly, a two-day symposium will allow early-career researchers to present their research in a context that facilitates feedback as well as networking and career development in discussion with senior scholars. Secondly, a half-day impact event will disseminate the symposium's findings to a broader audience. Finally, a webpage will serve as an online hub for early-career scholars to present their research findings, discuss fieldwork practices, and share resources.

Research Objectives

This project aims to encourage early-career researchers working on the international politics of Middle East migration, and to enhance their skills to engage in impact and career development via an interdisciplinary approach. The Middle East here includes Iran, Israel, Turkey, and the 22 members states of the League of Arab States. The project aims to involve 25 early-career international relations scholars, defined as either advanced doctoral students or post-doctoral researchers in the early stages of their career. 

Pending a selection process and budget limitations, it aims to ensure a mix of UK, EU, and Middle East participants across five sub-fields of migration politics, with reference to the Middle East: emigration; forced migration; diasporas; immigration; and return migration. The project will also invite 5 senior international relations scholars, working on each migration sub-field, that will aid in mentoring and training early-career researchers. 

The programme is centred around three initiatives: a two-day symposium will combine research presentations with feedback opportunities and career development; a half-day impact event will disseminate the symposium's policy findings; and, finally, a managed webpage and the project's broader social media presence via blogs, podcasts, and other forms will serve as an online hub for scholars to present their research findings, disseminate fieldwork practices, and share resources.