Category Archives: Research practice

Looking ahead

Looking ahead to 2021, I’m especially looking forward to starting my ERC project ‘Migration rhythms in trajectories of upward social mobility in Asia’ in mid-2021. To find out more watch a 2 mins video on the project here and listen to this PRIO peace-in-a-pod episode. The project will be hiring two post-docs (announcement in late 2021). To sign up to be informed once information is available, click here and fill out the form .

The launch of the PRIO Migration Centre is a really exciting step: find out more at our virtual home and subscriber to the PRIO Migration Update  for more on our publications, educational opportunities, resources, and other news. A key aspect of PRIO’s research on migration is that it spans the entire migration chain—from the conditions that spur departures, via migration processes to settlement and integration, sustained ties with communities of origin, and possible return or onward migration. This is reflected in the diversity of projects where migration takes on a central – or more peripheral role – empirically as well as conceptually. Very happy to be co-directing the PRIO Migration Centre with Jørgen Carling.

In 2020 my research focus is (and has been) on data collection on migration and development (MIGNEX) (fieldwork in Pakistan and coordination of qualitative data collection in ten countries) and diaspora external voting (DIASPOLitic) (coordinating data collection with Polish and Romanian migrants, in Oslo and Barcelona). The former delayed but ongoing, due to the pandemic, the latter completed just as the pandemic hit Europe. We are also working on a new H2020 project which PRIO is a partner in, QuantMig (Quantifying Migration Scenarios for Better Policy). I’m wrapping up analysis and writing in ongoing projects on nurse migration (WELLMIG) and questions of immigration, housing and Islamic finance (FINEX), and preparing for work on new projects in 2021. As of 2020 I’m also the Research Director for the Social Dynamics department at PRIO (for a two-year period).

The Lifelong Peace Advocate: A Portrait of Marek Thee (1918–1999) by Marta Bivand Erdal

“The story of Marek Thee’s life, including his engagement with PRIO for two decades, underscores the importance of which stories we choose to tell – and, in turn, which stories we choose to forget. By choosing to tell – and to share – Marek Thee’s story, PRIO is choosing to foreground the story of a remarkable life, of an astounding character and human being. In doing so, PRIO also seeks to actively narrate a past that was not only idealist in its peace activism, but that was (or sought to be) international and welcoming to outsiders.”

I am so grateful for having been given the chance to get to know the story of Marek Thee. A Polish-Jewish boy from small-town Poland, his family’s sole survivor of the Holocaust, a Polish diplomat in Palestine-then-Israel, an academic, again a diplomat in Indochina, an academic again, and eventually, exiled from Poland and arriving in Oslo in 1968. A 20th century life story to read, to grieve with, to reflect upon, and an impressive, yet very human dedication to peace and a better future, to be inspired by.

Thank you to Halina Thee (Marek Thee’s younger daughter) for willingly, with patience and humour, sharing his story with me. Thank you Stein Tønnesson and Nils Petter Gleditsch for asking me to try to help share this important lifestory, and thanks for the support in making that happen. All the #PRIOstories are worth a read, definitely don’t miss this one!