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New Centre Will Focus on Global Migration

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A more nuanced and fact-based public debate about the advantages and disadvantages of international migration from the perspectives of society and the individual. This is one aim of the new Centre on Global Migration that is being formed at the University of Gothenburg.

‘I hope and am convinced that the centre will play an important role in making the existing research visible and strengthening the research through increased internal and external cooperation. We also want the centre to contribute with solutions to problems in society related to migration and integration,’ says Helena Lindholm, pro-vice-chancellor at the University of Gothenburg.

Global migration is an important aspect of today’s world and society, and the phenomenon is characterised by two opposing trends that the new centre wants to acknowledge. One consists of increased immigration pressures due to political or military conflicts, poverty and environmental disasters. The other comprises increasingly restrictive national immigration policies and negative attitudes to the ongoing immigration, according to Andrea Spehar, public scientist and director of the centre.

‘The global migration is expected to increase in the future and one of the most important issues many countries are dealing with right now is how the benefits of migration can be maximised at the same time as negative effects are minimised,’ she says.

International migration affects society and individuals in many ways. It has important impacts on demographic structures, labour markets and international relations, and it also affects issues related to people’s identity and sense of belonging.

‘While some research subjects have a micro perspective and focus on migrants as actors, others are more interested in the social structures and institutions that affect and are affected by migration. The new centre creates increased opportunities for collaborations across many of the University’s disciplinary boundaries,’ says Spehar.

The centre of expertise and research will also serve as a hub for interaction between business, public actors, civil society and the University of Gothenburg on matters related to migration and integration. Several local actors, such as the City of Gothenburg, Region Västra Götaland and the Red Cross, will be involved in the work in various ways.

‘Society needs increased knowledge about refugeeship and refugee organisations, and about what may help and hinder integration and inclusion. And the research community needs to collaborate with various actors in society in order to increase access to practice- and policy oriented knowledge. By working together, all of us can become better at asking research questions of relevance to both research and practice,’ says Lindholm.

About The Centre on Global Migration

The Centre on Global Migration is established as a multidisciplinary centre of expertise and research at the University of Gothenburg and will be hosted by the School of Global Studies. The centre gathers research about migration within several subject areas, including anthropology, medicine, psychology, political science, religious studies, history, education, law, economics and sociology.

More information:
Helena Lindholm, tel. + (0)76 024 01 88, email: helena.lindhom@gu.se
Andrea Spehar, tel. +46 (0)70 769 48 50, email: andrea.spehar@pol.gu.se