Workshop: Managing Return/Migration through 'Voluntariness'

Wann: Dienstag, 29.01.2019, 16:00 Uhr. Wo: Besprechungsraum des Dekanats für Sozialwissenschaften, Rooseveltplatz 2, 1090, 4. Stock. Reinhard Schweitzer stellt das neue Projekt "RevolTURN - Managing Migrant Return through 'Voluntariness' vor.

New research project:

“REvolTURN – Managing Migrant Return through ‘Voluntariness"
Researcher: Reinhard Schweitzer
Supervisor: Prof. Sieglinde Rosenberger
Project duration: 1.10.2018 - 30.9.2020
Funding: Horizon 2020 (H2020-MSCA-IF-2017 - Project no. 790197)

Project summary & Aims

In their efforts to more effectively “manage migration” many western states
increasingly rely on public policies for the so-called ‘voluntary return’ of
irregular migrants and (refused) asylum seekers. Relatively little is known
about how these approaches work in practice, whether they meet their
stated goals, and what implications they have for migrants’ rights and agency.
The project REvolTURN seeks to address this research gap through a close
and comparative analysis of ‘voluntary return’ policies in Austria and the UK,
including their adoption, implementation and immediate outcome. More
specifically, it will examine:
• how voluntariness of return is constructed and framed in law, policy
and public discourse,
• which notions of voluntariness are crucial for policy implementation,
• what impact this has on migrants’ own decision-making about their
This will require a mixed-method approach that combines comparative policy
and discourse analysis, detailed institutional ethnography (through
observation and in-depth interviews) and a survey among potential
Overall, the project aims to contribute to recent scholarship on the
in/effectiveness of migration policies and the agency of migrants holding no
or highly precarious statuses.

Aim of the Workshop

The aims of this dedicated workshop are:
• To present the research project to a wider audience within
and beyond the University,
• To discuss (potential) conceptual and methodological
challenges across disciplinary boundaries, and
• To initiate a broader theoretical debate on the role that
‘voluntariness’ plays in relation to various (other) aspects of
the so-called “management of migration”;

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