Dissertation on everyday politics of forced migration

Everyday Politics of Forced Migration: Refugees, Host Community Members, and the Local Context

Author: Ezgi Irgil (University of Gothenburg)
November, 2021

Department of Political Science, The University of Gothenburg


This dissertation adds to and broadens the literature on forced migration by explaining how everyday politics influence new social dynamics in cities of arrival. Most of the existing research focuses on the Western context and highlights the cultural differences between the host community members and the refugees who arrive from outside of Europe and North America. To analyse whether these findings are applicable in non–Western contexts, Ezgi examine a South–South forced migration context in which both groups share the religion (Islam) but not the language (Turkish vs Arabic) through the case of Çarşamba (a district of the province of Bursa in Turkey).

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Youth Identity, Politics and Change in Contemporary Kurdistan

In recent weeks, images of migrants stranded at the Belarus-Poland border have gone viral. Among them are thousands of Kurds primarily youth from the autonomous Kurdistan Region of Iraq. What are the grievances of the youth that pushes them to make such a dangerous journey?

The contemporary history of the Kurdistan Region is marked by conflict and ethnic cleansing under the Ba’ath regime, significantly affecting the political situation of the Kurds in the Middle East. Most of the recent academic literature has focused on the macro politics of the Kurdish conundrum within Iraq and beyond. However, there is little scholarship about the Kurdish population and their socio-economic conditions in the wake of the US-invasion of Iraq in 2003, and almost none about the younger generation of Kurds who came of age during autonomous Kurdish rule.

This is a generation that, unlike their forebears, has no direct memory of the decades-long campaigns of repression, and has come of age in a region that underwent a significant transformation impacting and shaping the living experiences of the youth.

Based on the new book Youth Identity, Politics and Change in Contemporary Kurdistan, the contributors of the book will explore the social, economic and political challenges and opportunities for young Kurdish men and women.

Shivan Fazil
, Researcher, Middle East and North Africa programme, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
Bahar Baser, Associate Professor, School of Government & International Affairs, Durham University
Lana Askari, Researcher, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands
Megan Connelly, Non-Resident Fellow, Institute of Regional and International Studies, American University of Iraq – Sulaimani

Lucia Ardovini, Research Fellow, Swedish Institute of International Affairs

The webinar is hosted by The Swedish Institute of International Affairs (UI) as part of the Swedish Middle East & North Africa Network’s (SWEMENA) webinar program.


Please follow this link to register

CMES Public Seminar: Trendspotting “Breakthroughs” in the Middle East

Lund University organises annually a “Future Week” and this year’s theme is “Breakthroughs” in all conceivable forms. Centre for Middle Eastern Studies is participating with a panel of Middle East scholars who will present five trendspotting on a broad range of topics from climate change, migration, human rights, protracted conflict, democratization to peace and regional security.

Article on positionality in migration studies

Broadening the Positionality in Migration Studies: Assigned Insider Category

Author: Ezgi Irgil (University of Gothenburg)
June, 2020

Migration Studies, Oxford University Press


This article contributes to the debates on positionality in migration studies by introducing assigned insider as a new category. I define it as a position when both the interviewees and the researcher are of the same local origin in which the researcher is considered ‘an insider of the host community’ and the interview questions are about a migrant group. I developed this category based on interviews with host community members during my field study in Bursa, Turkey, where I was born and raised. Previous studies focused on the researcher being an insider from a migrant community or being an outsider conducting research on a migrant community different from his/her own.

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