SYLFF-Mikrokolleg „Forced Migration“
The RUB Research School cooperates with the Tokio Foundation to present you a Mikrokolleg within the Ryoichi Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellowship Fund (SYLFF) on the topic of forced migration.
Starting in 2018, the fellows are part of a small, highly interdisciplinary research group and work on individual doctoral projects within different research perspectives under the overarching topic of forced migration. The Mikrokolleg is located at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum and professors from different disciplines such as economics, law, political science or sociology focus on interdisciplinary cooperation.
The fellows of the SYLFF-Mikrokolleg work on a variety of aspects related to international forced migration which is understood as a cross-border “migratory movement in which an element of coercion exists, including threats to life and livelihood, whether arising from natural or man-made causes” (International Organisation for Migration).
All fellows are members of RUB Research School which provides an international research and social environment to support the fellows academic and non-academic future careers. The fellows eligible to apply for additional funding of RUB Research School PLUS and the Tokio Foundation, such as for field research and conference organisation.
Slyff Mikrokolleg Fellows
Fakultät für Sozialwissenschaft
Displacement and Reactions from below: Migration, Resistance and Adaption
In recent years, the conjunction of multiple crises provoked an escalating global rush for land, predominantly for lands in the global south. The further expansion of industrialized agriculture and large-scale land investments transforms local economies, social structures, and rural livelihoods and therefor are an important but largely neglected source of current migration flows. This PhD project asks how people react to a changing environment: While some stay in place and seek to adapt to the new situation others feel forced – or opt - to seek their future elsewhere.
A multi sited field research will (1) tract migration routes and explore the translocal lifeworlds of people displaced by large-scale land investments and (2) analyze social transformation at the place of origin and ask who is not able or willing to leave and how those staying back cope whit the transformation of livelihoods. This perspective integrates immobility in the study of forced migration and allows to develop a comprehensive analytical framework that embeds forced migration in a wider range of alternative strategies: People may also try to benefit from emerging job opportunities or, in contrast, raise their voice against land deals and seek halt or soften and shape ongoing transformations. As these reactions are deeply entangled, the research project will scrutinize how different strategic ‘answers from below’ intersect, restrict and enable each other.
IFHV (Juristische Fakultät/Institute for International Law of Peace and Armed Conflict)
Do human rights set standards for administrative procedures?
Much attention, in both, media and academia, has been paid to the human rights situation of forced migrants. Do they have a right to enter a potential host State when arriving at its borders? Which substantive rights do they enjoy once they have entered the territory of a host State? What is the relationship between human rights law and refugee law? These are only a few questions that have been examined in this context on a large scale. A related, but much less examined question is what procedural protection they enjoy in the asylum procedure.
When forced migrants arrive for example in Germany, they are required to register with the German authorities immediately. From this moment on, they are subject to an administrative procedure, the asylum procedure, in which the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees determines whether they will be granted asylum, other forms of protection or whether they must leave Germany again.
Such asylum procedures are usually rather lengthy and highly human rights sensitive. Not only do asylum seekers face many constraints of their rights during the procedure, such as the right to liberty or the right to privacy; the decision that stands at its end has great, often even existential implications for their lives. But what does this sensitivity mean for the asylum procedure from a legal point of view?
To address this question, my PhD project analyses the effects that human rights have on administrative law. Specifically, it sounds out the potential of human rights law to enhance the standing of people subjected to administrative procedures through multi-level international legal research.
UK Mong Marma
IEE (Institut für Entwicklungsforschung und Entwicklungspolitik)
Forced Migration and Land: An Expulsion in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) of Bangladesh
Forced migration in Global-South has appeared as global crisis. Displacement caused due to global ‘land rush’ by foreign corporate investors often received more attention in scholarly writings; however, local, national and transnational forces and their intersections receive less focused. Furthermore, everyday forms of displacement from social space and livelihood are nearly under-research. Such forms of displacement is perpetuated in borderlands of South Asia like Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) of Bangladesh. CHT, lone hilly ethnic region of Bangladesh, is part of mountainous belt located within Southeast Asia and South Asia. Excepting CHT, the rest part of Bangladesh is geographically plain and culturally has similarity with South Asian ethnic groups. Therefore, both culture and geography divides CHT within Bangladesh. Historically, it has been experiencing socio-economic and political transformation since British colonial era. The consequential features are ethno nationalism, peace-building development interventions, highly militarization, emerging middle class, frequent ethnic motivated violence, de-facto land ownership and land alienation of marginalised community. While every day forms of ethnic displacement continues, geo-politics among Bangladesh, India and Myanmar over projects such as ‘Asian High Way’, ‘Shwe Project’ (natural gas exploration project) and ‘Regional Connectivity Project’ are emerging as force of displacement in this region. This study will employ multi-sited ethnography from a historical and social perspective. It will explore how local, national and transnational forces’ triangulation enabled displacement from both social and physical space of CHT peoples; What are the displacement patterns and transnational mobility in different periods in CHT; and What are the impacts of displacement; resilient and copping mechanism of CHT peoples with displacement?
IFHV (Juristische Fakultät/Institute for International Law of Peace and Armed Conflict)
The Possibility of an International Legal Land Rights Framework
The allocation of land has shaped the history and structure of societies over millennia. Currently, land rights are receiving unprecedented levels of attention in international law. Land is increasingly seen as an emerging issue in human rights law, in large part due to the phenomenon of “land grabbing” and ensuing problems of forced migration. Land evictions and the dispossession of people from lands they depend on have prompted large numbers to leave their lands for fear of economic hardship or violence, mostly in the global south.
This project explores the possibility of an international legal framework to accommodate a land-rights related interplay between legal fields such as international human rights law, international environmental law or international economic law.
It addresses whether international law can and should regulate the relations of the multiplicity of stakeholders in land amidst competing notions of land as an economic asset, human right or key aspect of environmental protection. Is a global land rights system desirable and, if so, what would a “just” system entail? In this context, the thesis particularly scrutinizes current attempts to recognize a “human right to land” to protect vulnerable populations and examines its potential to tackle the concrete question of forced migration due to landlessness.
- October 2018:
Corinna Land raised additional funding by the Tokio Foundation for her project
- Februrary 2018: Sylff-Mikrokolleg Kick-off
The Kick-off Event of the Sylff-Mikrokolleg in Forced Migration started with a warm welcome by Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Löwenstein, Dean of RUB Research School and Research Academy Ruhr as well as a member of the Steering Committee of the Sylff-Mikrokolleg. Dr. Benjamin Etzold from the Bonn International Center for Conversion (Bicc) held the inauguration speech and provided a talk on „Violence – Mobility – Space. Key Perspectives in Forced Migration Studies“. Afterwards, the four Sylff fellows presented their PhD projects to the audience. All those present used the opportunity to discuss the different research projects within the get-together after the event.
- RUB Mailinglist on migration (Flucht und Migration)
Further information on projects and activities dealing with the subject flight throughout Germany can be found in the Interactive Map made by the Bonn International Center for Conversion (Bicc) in collaboration with the “Institute for Migration Research and Intercultural Studies”. The Sylff-Mikrokolleg is also listed in this map.