The Institute for European Studies (IES) , a Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) is calling for applications for one full-time doctoral researcher in the field of migration and diversity policy research. Prospective PhD candidates are hereby invited to submit project proposals on the themes described below. Research at the IES explores the ways in which Europe and the wider world address today’s policy challenges.The deadline for submitting applications is 15 May 2019.
PhD Research on Migration and Diversity
The ‘Migration, Diversity and Justice’ (MDJ) cluster of the Institute for European Studies focuses on migration, immigrant integration, justice and home affairs as well as equality and diversity policies (from the local level to the EU and UN). The candidate for the PhD position should develop a research proposal for one of the following two researchs lines of the MDJ cluster: (1) European Anti-Discrimination Policies and Politics; or (2) EU-West African Cooperation in the Field of Migration.
Research Line 1: European Anti-discrimination Policies and Politics
Since 2000, the European Union has developed anti-discrimination policies. European cooperation in this field originally raised high hopes among racial equality activists. A few years later, researchers warned however that the new anti-discrimination legislation in Europe was poorly implemented at the national level. Times have changed since the adoption of the European Racial Equality Directive. The participation of right-wing populist parties in governments has become the new ‘normal’ and anti-racist activism, particularly from black and Muslim organizations, has considerably increased. These activists of the ‘second anti-racist wave’ have lost hope in anti-discrimination legislation, and its individual approach. Instead, they demand structural reforms and the ‘decolonization of minds and societal structures’. In sum, anti-discriminsation policies are increasingly polarized.
The potential PhD candidate should develop a research proposal that deals with the evolution of European and member states’ anti-racist activism and/or anti-discrimination policies since 2000.
Research Line 2: EU-African cooperation on migration
Africa has become a focal point in the efforts of European Union actors to better ‘manage’ migration into Europe. Worth over 3.3 billion euro, a new ‘European Union Emergency Trust Fund for stability and addressing root causes of irregular migration and displaced persons in Africa’ (EUTF) has become a powerful instrument in terms of funding and development assistance. Scholars have been following with interest the EU’s external migration governance. Only more recently however, researchers have made an effort to grasp the perspective and ‘agency’ of African migrant-sending and transit countries. This is of central importance. The EU does not negotiate in a vacuum. Partner countries have their own interests and ideas in the field of migration.
The potential PhD candidate should develop a research proposal on EU-African cooperation in the field of migration, ideally with a focus on the agency and behaviour of African actors. We explicitly welcome research proposals that contribute to a comparative understanding of migration policy-making in West-Africa.
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The application deadline is 15 May 2019