Completed Doctoral Projects
Since 2005 CERGU has regularly announced and financed PhD and postdoctoral positions. Below is a list of completed doctoral projects with brief descriptions.
Governing the European Asylum System at the Greek Border Islands
PhD candidate: Alexandra Bousiou
Project period: 2016-2021
Outcome: dissertation/doctorate in Peace and Development Research
Project description: During 2015 more than one million people reached Europe across the Mediterranean, mainly through the East Mediterranean route from Turkey to Greece. On the other side of the European border the Turkish government registered nearly 2.2 million Syrian refugees, which makes Turkey the largest host of refugees in the world. The management of the external borders with a view to preventing and combating irregular migration while establishing a Common European Asylum System has been a priority issue for the EU. This project analyzes the implications caused by the ‘internal’ and ‘external’ externalization of the European Asylum Policy. The cases selected by this project are the Greek North East Aegean islands and the Turkish South West coast. This project also contributes to a mapping of the governance responses to the aforementioned implications. The research design includes primary and secondary sources ensuring significant empirical and theoretical contribution.
Internet of Things
PhD candidate: Xiangxuan (Emily) Xu
Project period: 2011-2017 (including parental leave)
Outcome: dissertation/doctorate in Economic Geography
Project description: My PhD project deals with the geography of digital economy by conducting empirical research into the rise of Internet of Things (IoT) where the physical world and cyberspace are interwoven. IoT provides an invaluable lens to investigate the evolving characteristics of such complex nexus of tangible and intangible economic space, how that drives innovation in services and its spatial ramifications as well as policy challenges.
Political ideologies and religion during the Vormärz period
PhD candidate: Anton Jansson
Project period: 2011-2015
Outcome: dissertation/doctorate in History of Ideas
Project description: My PhD project deals with politics and religion during the German Vormärz period, and I study the relation between religious and political ideas in some early formulations of the modern political ideologies (liberalism, conservatism, socialism/communism), with the intention of connecting this to theoretical discussions about concepts such as secularization, modernization and modernity.
Governing the Unaccompanied Child-- Media, Policy and Practice
PhD candidate: Live Stretmo
Project period: 2005-2014
Outcome: dissertation/doctorate in Sociology
Project description: Through three different case studies, this thesis analyzes how unaccompanied minors are constructed and governed as a specific group of refugees in Norway and Sweden. The first study investigates the Norwegian and Swedish media debate from 2000-2008 by examining how incidences of so-called “missing unaccompanied children” were highlighted on the media agenda. Part of this has also been to analyze the specific official actions taken by Norwegian and Swedish authorities. The second study analyzes how unaccompanied minors were framed in a more broad selection of Norwegian and Swedish official policy between 2000-2010 by looking at how unaccompanied children and youngsters were singled out as subjects of knowledge, and the actions and practices that legitimized these constructions. These two case studies demonstrate that unaccompanied minors have been similarly problematized in Norway and Sweden, hence making similar changes in mode of conduct legitimate. They were sometimes singled out as vulnerable children or child victims, but concurrently also as possible strategic migrants (adults trying to pass as children, problematic youngsters, etc.). This poses different types of threats to the asylum system, thus justifying care-oriented amid control-oriented strategies in their regard. The third case study analyzes how a selection of caregivers (i.e., officials and support staff) talk about their work with unaccompanied youngsters and children, and describes how 10 youngsters give meaning to their experiences of being categorized as unaccompanied. The caregivers held a repertoire of various constructions that clearly connect to many of the official or public narrations. Sometimes unaccompanied minors are framed as respectable exceptions to other problem categories, and at other times as problematic youngsters in need of compensatory pedagogics in order to overcome specific shortcomings. These caregivers, plus the media and national policy, further frame unaccompanied minors as specific rights holders due to their position-ing as “any other child”, therefore legitimizing softer and more care-oriented strategies. The interviews with the 10 youngsters illustrate how they try to re-position themselves as positive exceptions to the official images of strategic or problematic youngsters highlighted in the media, policy and practice. This study identifies a discourse where a lot of consensus and agreement on problematizations coexist in Norwegian and Swedish policy, public narratives, and in how people in the micro context talk and make sense of unaccompanied minors.