Migration, State and Pedagogy – University of Copenhagen

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Migration, State and Pedagogy 

Migration as prism for pedagogical studies of state formation processes

The overall aim of this research focus area is to develop new fields of study for educational research that can capture the intersections and dynamics between issues/objects of welfare work, migration and state (trans)formation processes across different national, regional, local and institutional settings and contexts.

The objective is to investigate how the welfare nation-state is (re)structured and (re)shaped when faced with intensified transnational as well as rural-urban migration. The (re)shaping of the welfare nation-state is studied across a variety of fields, where the migrant or the non-migrant is addressed as an object of pedagogical and social concern, and thus, a problematic of the welfare nation-state.

We depart from historical, sociological and ethnographic observations of competing and often contradicting representations and problematisations of migration and the (non-)migrant. Migration has been problematised, represented and articulated as an economic resource (e.g. in the form of high-skilled transnational labour migrants, social entrepreneurs, young apprentices in rural areas), a welfare burden (e.g. young addicts in rural areas, refugees, elderly immigrants, unemployed immigrants), a security treat (e.g. dropouts, radicalized Muslims) and/or a cultural problem (e.g. non-Western housewives, isolated immigrant children). These competing problematisations, representations and articulations of migrants and non-migrants and pedagogical interventions/welfare work addressing them offer unique opportunities to study the ambiguous (re)shaping of the welfare nation-state in a time of intensified global competition.

Below you can find abstracts of our current research projects:

The research projects of the four research focus area members are as diverse as ‘welfare management of corporate high-skilled transnational labour migrants and their families’, ‘life coping strategies of rural youth who stay behind’, ‘care work addresses elderly migrants’ and ‘networks of voluntary community work addressing the immigrant’. It is the ambition to maintain this diversity of research topics and empirical contexts, as we argue that it can broaden our understanding of how patterns of (non-)migration intersect with ‘pedagogical interventions and state (trans)formation processes in a globalizing world.

The research focus area is a forum for discussion and development of new historical, sociological and ethnographic understandings of migration and non-migration, public and private welfare work and the development of the welfare nation-state in a global perspective.

In order to qualify these discussions and conceptual and empirical understandings we seek to promote international scholarly exchanges of conceptions and ideas. This exchange will enable us to challenge local truisms. The research focus area welcomes interested Ph.d.-fellow and researchers for collaboration and sparring to contact Bolette Moldenhawer.

Visit the Danish website of this research priority area.