I’m a Research Professor in Migration Studies at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO). I’m a Geographer, and my research focuses on migration and transnationalism, in both emigration and immigration contexts. My research spans different categories of migrants, including refugees, labour migrants and return migrants, and the perspectives of migrants, non-migrant populations, as well as of state actors in emigration and immigration contexts. I work at PRIO, where I am very fortunate to be co-directing our PRIO Migration Centre (together with Jørgen Carling). My staff page at PRIO can be found here.
Between 2021-2026 I will be researching ‘Migration rhythms in trajectories of upward social mobility in Asia’, funded by an ERC Starting Grant. To find out more watch a 2 mins video on the project here and listen to this PRIO peace-in-a-pod episode. In 2022 we’re developing the methodological approach and research design, before fieldwork and data collection in Hanoi, Manila, Mumbai and Karachi will follow, for substantial parts of 2023.
In 2022 my research also focuses on migration and development in the MIGNEX project (led by Jørgen Carling), and I’m contributing to the QuantMig (Quantifying Migration Scenarios for Better Policy) project’s conceptual parts. In the Geographies of Conflict-Induced Migration project (led by Andreas Forø Tollefsen) we’ve run a survey with people from South Sudan in two refugee settlements in Uganda, with our Ugandan partners, and will be analysing the survey – map – and open-ended questions in 2022/2023. In the AidAccount project (led by Cindy Horst) we’re researching accountability in relational humanitarianism in protracted conflicts, among other the case of displaced Muslim populations in Sri Lanka. In the FAITHED project, we’re exploring ‘Non-Formal Faith Education, the Public School, and Religious Minorities in Norway ‘.
I am currently the Chair of the Training Committee of the IMISCOE network (International Migration and Social Cohesion in Europe), the largest migration studies network in Europe, supporting the IMISCOE PhD Academy. I am a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies and of the Editorial Advisory Board of the Central and Eastern European Migration Review.
My interest in migration studies is professional and personal. Starting my Undergraduate degree in Geography at University College London, I was interested in social justice and especially in poverty and inequality in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Thanks to inspiring lecturers who offered reading lists the length of journal articles, with the advice of making an intelligent choice about what to read, I both learned a lot, and quickly appreciated the need for making deliberate choices about focus.
I chose to focus on migration, in the first instance conducting fieldwork among Afghan refugees in New Delhi, together with my friend and fellow geographer Ceri Oeppen (now at the University of Sussex). Our first joint publication – a text box on Afghan refugee resettlement in the post 9/11 setting – appeared in Forced Migration Review, shortly after our fieldwork was completed.
Subsequent research for my Master’s thesis and my PhD dissertation focused, respectively, on the engagements of Tamil diaspora in development (and peacebuilding) in Sri Lanka, and on remittances and transnational ties between Pakistani migrants and their descendants in Norway, and communities of origin in Pakistani Punjab. My research interests since are deeply shaped by insights and inspiration from these first research experiences, also reflected in my publications.
I was born in Poland, and grew up first in Poland, then mainly in Norway, with my Polish mother, British father, and a little brother born in Norway. My family did not plan to move to Norway, but as so often is the case with migration – circumstances change – and a temporary stay, before a planned onward movement, turned into settlement in Norway.
My family migration background, along with growing up with grandparents living in two different countries, other than the country I was living in, and speaking other languages than that I spoke with my friends, has without a doubt affected the questions I ask about emigration, immigration and migration-related diversity, as well as about categories and research ethics in migration research. I live in Oslo with my husband and four children.
If you’d like to get in touch, please write an email. I’m also on Twitter, which I solely use professionally, and on Facebook, where I mix personal and professional posts. Most of my publications are accessible via links – either published as Open Access in journals, or via the PRIO repository – if you’re interested in a publication that’s not accessible, please just let me know and I will share. You could also check my pages of Academia.edu and ResearchGate, but I have not systematically been updating them.