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Expected effects

Success criterion and impact

FLOW’s academic success criterion is to expand migration research, rendering it interdisciplinary and applicable to North European conditions.

FLOW’s international articles (approx. 3 to 4 per postdoc) are directed towards interdisciplinary field journals such as International Migration, International Migration Review and Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, which are interdisciplinary. However, even in these journals it is difficult to analyse these issues in a genuinely interdisciplinary manner. Therefore, the management group will publish an anthology with Oxford University Press, in which interdisciplinarity and the North European context will be highlighted. 

The long-term academic success criterion will be the building of a strong AAU environment, cf. the section on positioning, which will be leading in Denmark and will support the dedicated effort of the HORIZON programme regarding migration; as either a partner or a leader (we will participate in the SC6-H2020 Consortium building Workshop in Brussels on 26 October).

FLOW disseminates research results to stakeholders, decision makers and the population in general. Stakeholders in the
areas of education and the labour market will be the direct beneficiaries of FLOW’s results; both in the form of experience from other countries and the specific Danish studies. The stakeholder panel is key to this interaction.

FLOW’s management group will also write a research dissemination debate book (New Hans Reitzel format, “Perspektiver” [Perspectives], approx. 80 pages). A webpage is allocated, providing access to some of FLOW’s data material (the survey part via www.surveybank.aau.dk), the English publications and a number of Youtube expert interviews.

The objective is for stakeholders, decision makers and populations to act on a basis which is as wellinformed as possible. Immigration and developed welfare states are hardly incompatible. It is not a question of either/or. More likely of both/and. However, striking this balance requires deep insight into the nature of the challenges, the consequences of integration and effective integration policies. FLOW will deliver this. This is knowledge for the world.

FLOW’s national and international positioning – expected effect

AAU is well-positioned in international migration research, which can be traced back to the former Academy for Migration Studies (AMID). FLOW creates a new platform for a research initiative at AAU which may become the leading Danish university environment. Among our closest “competitors” is the Centre for Advanced Migration Studies at the University of Copenhagen.

Outside of the university environment, particularly the Rockwool Foundation research unit has played a prominent role in Danish migration research. Since 1997, this unit has delivered a series of analyses, primarily based in economic theory. The analyses of the unit form a sound basis for a description of the socioeconomic integration of immigrants in Denmark, whereas their sociocultural integration is less documented. At the same time, the unit has only delivered a limited number of solution-oriented proposals, which require field-specific knowledge about education, labour market and welfare policies. Moreover, no Danish studies have been conducted on the effect of climate changes on migration flows into Northern Europe. We therefore expect that FLOW will gain a prominent position in the Danish research field.

The international field continues to be dominated by American research and still appears quite subject specific. Economists have developed models to explain the causes of migration flows; these include a “push” and “pull” terminology. Political scientists and sociologists have primarily studied what Castles et al (2014) call historical structural causes of migration, which consider underlying economic dominance structures to be among the main causes of migration. 

Political scientists and sociologists have also described the consequences of immigration primarily in a conflict perspective; including the inherent conflict between host population and immigrants regarding the access to education, jobs and welfare benefits (e.g. Sherif 2015). Anthropologists and ethnographers have provided analyses with more emphasis on the identity and networks of immigrants. This has led to theories concerning the importance of diasporas on both decisions to emigrate, and the opportunities for socioeconomic and sociocultural integration. A prevalent hypothesis is that the diaspora is not (fully) integrated socioeconomically and socioculturally in the host country. Therefore, a discipline-specific division still exists in the field, which enables interdisciplinary breakthroughs (Favell 2015). However, the discipline-specific approach is being phased out in step with the establishment of European migration-specific research centres. FLOW wishes to position itself as one of these centres with specific expertise within immigration to developed North European welfare states.