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Lost in Transit? Fragmented Journeys of Young Migrants with no Chance of Admission in Europe

Applicant Wyss Anna
Number 148940
Funding scheme Doc.CH
Research institution Institut für Soziologie Universität Bern
Institution of higher education University of Berne - BE
Main discipline Sociology
Start/End 01.10.2013 - 31.10.2017
Approved amount 230'600.00
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All Disciplines (2)

Discipline
Sociology
Ethnology

Keywords (6)

irregular migration; fragmented journeys; Europe; multi-sited ethnography; agency; asylum

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Das Dissertationsprojekt „Lost in Transit“ untersucht anhand einer ethnographischen Studie die fragmentierten Migrationswege irregulärer Migrant_innen innerhalb des Schengenraums im Kontext einer immer restriktiveren Migrationspolitik in Europa. Im Zentrum der Forschung sollen insbesondere die Konsequenzen des Migrationsregimes auf diese „unerwünschten“ Migrant_innen, ihre sozialen Netzwerke, ihre Lebensplanung sowie ihre Alltagsgestaltung stehen. Gleichzeitig soll aber auch untersucht werden, in welcher Weise diese mobilen Akteur_innen eine gewisse Autonomie innehaben, denn trotz rigoroser Überwachung und Migrationskontrolle vermögen sie oft über Jahre hinweg in Europa zu bleiben.
Lay summary

Inhalt und Ziel des Forschungsprojektes

Dem Forschungsprojekt liegt die Annahme zugrunde, dass das zunehmende Bedürfnis nach selektiver Steuerung von Migrationsbewegungen zu sich verändernden Migrationsmustern führt. Es lässt sich beobachten, dass es vielen „irregulären“ Migrant_innen trotz Grenzkontrollen gelingt, das Migrationsregime zu umgehen und einen Weg nach und durch Europa zu finden. Vermehrt wird hierbei der Weg über das Asylsystem gesucht, da es immer schwieriger wird, anderweitig nach Europa zu kommen, bzw. hier zu bleiben. Viele dieser Migrant_innen weisen ein spezifisches Migrationsmuster auf, das durch vielseitige Bewegungen zwischen zahlreichen Ländern und kurzfristige Aufenthalte an verschiedenen Orten definiert ist. Diese Migrationsbewegungen geschehen trotz einer internationalen Migrationspolitik, die gerade solche Bewegungen zu verhindern sucht.

Diese Personen befinden sich über längere Zeit in einer Transitsituation und sind abhängig von immer neuen Gelegenheiten, die sich ihnen unterwegs öffnen, seien dies eine Arbeitsstelle, ein Asylgesuch oder eine Unterkunft. Erst ihre äusserst hohe Flexibilität, macht Mobilität überhaupt möglich. Sie reagieren kreativ auf die sich schnell verändernde und verschärfende Migrationskontrolle und wechseln hierbei oft zwischen verschiedenen Migrantenstatus (z.B. Asylsuchende, abgewiesene Asylsuchende, irreguläre Migrant_innen).

Ziel ist es, neue Kenntnisse über die spezifischen Migrationsmuster dieser Migrant_innen in Europa zu generieren. Obwohl sie in der öffentlichen Diskussion sehr präsent sind, fehlt fast immer der Gesamtkontext ihrer Migrationsbiographien. Ziel des Forschungsprojekts soll es daher sein, die Migrationswege und Hintergründe dieser Migrant_innen zu untersuchen und diese auch über die Schweiz hinaus nachzeichnen zu können. Im Kontext einer sich sehr schnell verändernden Migrationspolitik ist es von grosser Relevanz deren Konsequenzen auch auf der Ebene individueller Migrant_innen zu untersuchen.

 

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 19.10.2016

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Hinter der Grenze, vor dem Gesetz. Eine Ethnographie des europäischen Migrationsregimes.
Eule Tobias G., Borrelli Lisa Marie, Lindberg Annika, WyssAnna (2020), Hinter der Grenze, vor dem Gesetz. Eine Ethnographie des europäischen Migrationsregimes., Hamburger Edition, Hamburg.
Migrants Before the Law: Contested Migration Control in Europe
EuleTobias G., BorrelliLisa Marie, LindbergAnnika, WyssAnna (2019), Migrants Before the Law: Contested Migration Control in Europe, Palgrave Macmillan, London.
Stuck in Mobility? Interrupted Journeys of Migrants With Precarious Legal Status in Europe
Wyss Anna (2018), Stuck in Mobility? Interrupted Journeys of Migrants With Precarious Legal Status in Europe, in Journal of Immigrant & Refugee Studies, 17(1), 77-93.
Contested Control at the Margins of the State
Eule Tobias G., Loher David, Wyss Anna (2018), Contested Control at the Margins of the State, in Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 44, 2717-2729.
Illegalisation, Masculinity and Intimacy. The Impact of Public Images on Male Migrants with a Precarious Legal Status
WyssAnna (2018), Illegalisation, Masculinity and Intimacy. The Impact of Public Images on Male Migrants with a Precarious Legal Status, in Tsantsa, 23, 121-126.
Navigating the European migration regime. Male migrants, interrupted journeys and precarious lives
WyssAnna, Navigating the European migration regime. Male migrants, interrupted journeys and precarious lives, Bristol University Press, Bristol.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Departement Recht und Ethnologie; Max-Planck-Institut in Halle Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Laboratoire des Processus Sociaux, Université Neuchâtel Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Research Infrastructure
Sussex Centre of Migration Research Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
Institut für Sozialanthropologie, Universität Bern Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Institut für Rechtswissenschaften, Universität Bern Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
department meeting of the Law and Anthropology Department at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology Individual talk Lost in Transit? Interrupted Journeys of Migrants with Precarious Legal Status in Europe 23.11.2017 Halle, Germany Wyss Anna;
Doctoral Program: Migration and Postcolonial Studies Meet Switzerland Talk given at a conference Illegalisation, Masculinity and Intimacy. The Impact of Contemporary Representations on Male Migrants with Precarious Legal Status 12.10.2017 Münchenwider, Switzerland Wyss Anna;
EASA Lawnet Workshop Talk given at a conference Anticipating What? Immigration Enforcement and Control Avoidance in the ‚Absence’ of Black Letter Law 19.09.2017 Bern, Switzerland Wyss Anna;
14th IMISCOE Annual Conference Talk given at a conference The Rejected and the Time Thieves: Irregularised Migrants in Permanent Temporariness 28.06.2017 Rotterdam, Netherlands Wyss Anna;
Sussex Migration Graduate Conference 2017 Talk given at a conference Irregular Migrants and Rumours of Rights. The Productive Role of Rumours in Shaping Irregular Migrants‘ Journeys in Europe 26.04.2017 Sussex, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Wyss Anna;
Migration und Männlichkeiten. Konstruktionen von Geschlecht und Differenz in der Einwanderungsgesellschaft Talk given at a conference Männlichkeit in Zeiten der Im-/Mobilität. Irreguläre Migranten in Europa 19.01.2017 Wien, Austria Wyss Anna;
14th EASA2016 biennial conference Talk given at a conference „If they Accept Me, it‘s Good, if Not, I Will Go to Another Country“. Fragmented Journeys of Irregular Migrants in Europe. 20.07.2016 Milano, Italy Wyss Anna;
2nd Annual Conference of the nccr – on the move Talk given at a conference Everywhere and Nowhere. Cross-Border Mobility of Irregular Migrants within the Schengen Area 23.06.2016 Neuchâtel, Switzerland Wyss Anna;
6th Ethnography and Qualitative Research Conference Talk given at a conference Between Restriction and Autonomy. Irregular Migrants Struggling for their Chance in Europe 08.06.2016 Bergamo, Italy Wyss Anna;
Between Autonomy and Vulnerability: Perspectives on Migration Talk given at a conference Between Resilience and Restrictions. Irregular Migrants Struggling for their Aspirations in Europe 20.05.2016 University of Neuchâtek, Switzerland Wyss Anna;
MiReKoc 10th Year Symposium "Border, Mobility and Diversity:
Old Questions, New Challenges", Migration Research Center at Koç University (MiReKoc) Talk given at a conference Stuck in Mobility? Fragmented Journeys of Migrants with no Chances of Admission in Europe 20.11.2014 Istanbul, Turkey Wyss Anna;
XVIII ISA World Congress of Sociology „Facing an Unequal World: Challenges for Global Sociology Talk given at a conference Contested Control: Irregular Transit Migrants in Europe 13.07.2014 Yokohama, Japan Wyss Anna;
IMISCOE 3 Cl PhD Conference „Changing Europe – Changing Migration“ Talk given at a conference Lost in Transit? Fragmented Journeys of Young Migrants with no Chance of Admission in Europe 20.04.2014 Antwerp, Belgium Wyss Anna;
Doktorierendentagung des Zentrums für Migrationsrecht Talk given at a conference Irreguläre MigrantInnen und das europäische Migrationsregime. Eine Forschungsskizze 28.11.2013 Studen (BE), Switzerland Wyss Anna;
Contested Control at the Margins of the State Talk given at a conference Lost in Transit? Fragmented Journeys and Social Networks of Young Migrants without Chance of Admission in Europe 22.11.2013 Bern, Switzerland Wyss Anna;


Self-organised

Title Date Place
Rassismus und Ökonomie im europäischen Migrations- und Grenzregime 26.03.2015 Zürich, Switzerland
Contested Control at the Margins of the State (Workshop) 22.11.2013 Bern, Switzerland

Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Talks/events/exhibitions Absurditäten im europäischen Migrationsregime German-speaking Switzerland 2020
Talks/events/exhibitions Book Launch: Migrants Before the Law. Contested Migration Control in Europe German-speaking Switzerland 2019
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Implementing Dublin – Perspectives on the Legislation-Practice Continuum Blog nccr – on the move Italian-speaking Switzerland International German-speaking Switzerland Western Switzerland 2019
Media relations: print media, online media Europas Illegale Nomaden Im Blick Reformiert.info German-speaking Switzerland 2016
Media relations: print media, online media Wohin gehen abgewiesene Asylsuchende? SRF German-speaking Switzerland 2016
Media relations: print media, online media Die Hoffnung stirbt zuletzt UniPress German-speaking Switzerland 2015

Awards

Title Year
SNIS Award for the best PhD thesis received in a Swiss University on a subject related to International Studies 2020

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
153225 Contested control at the margins of the state: Government responses to irregular migration in the Schengen area 01.09.2014 Project funding (Div. I-III)

Abstract

This project is about migrants with few chances of being granted legal residence status in Switzerland and other European countries. Previous observations suggest that migrants, whose country of origin leaves them with low chances of receiving asylum, or in fact any other type of residence permit, exhibit a highly complex migration pattern that is characterised by the following aspects. Firstly, these migrants are frequently in durable “transit” across Europe (and sometimes Africa), which is a multi-linear movement according to opportunities that open up along the journey. Secondly, transit migrants must exhibit a high degree of flexibility, as they have to respond to suddenly changing conditions, such as work opportunities, rejection of asylum claims, detention or deportation. Thirdly, transit migrants often switch between different legal statuses, such as asylum seeker, rejected asylum seeker, illegal worker or detainee. This must lead to a general state of uncertainty and psychological distress. The experience of these young adults should thus show a deep ambivalence between a sense of autonomy, on the one hand, and of profound hope- and powerlessness, on the other.I want to explore the “fragmented journeys” (Collyer 2007) of these migrants, by way of a multi-sited ethnographic approach and biographical interviews. What are their strategies to circumvent the restrictive Dublin regulation and other national as well as international control policies? How does their specific migration pattern influence their life prospects, their integration in however flimsy and unstable social networks?Given the fact that little is known about all this, the proposed study will produce novel data on a highly pertinent new migration pattern, transit migration. Shedding light on migrants’ practices, expectations and needs is very important since these aspects often remain hidden to the public. The study will provide new insights into the impact of European migration management on individual migrants. Hence, the collected on-the-ground knowledge will also be highly relevant in terms of policy making. Last but not least, the analysis will situate “transit migration” within the transnationalism paradigm in migration studies, thus hoping to also add theoretical value.
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