Working Areas

Migration processes and inclusion are complex areas of research, which MIS organised into five working areas. Each of these working areas combines a focus on a phenomenon linked to migration processes with a focus on a particular aspect of inclusion. Each of these combinations addresses questions that are of interest to several disciplines, thereby creating a space for interdisciplinary cooperation. Transversal forms of collaboration (such as regular workshops, conferences) will further support trans- and interdisciplinary research (e.g. the meaning of cross-border movement for cultural identities).

Global Connectivity and Socio-Economic Participation

Contemporary globalization has meant an unprecedented increase in the mobility of goods, services, money, data and people, including migrants (although the recent Corona crisis also shows that globalization can also bring about a sudden interruption of mobility). Increased mobility has become an opportunity for many but a problem for others. It is paradoxical that increasing connectivity has provoked a backlash against mobility amongst many political movements. For this reason, it is important to examine global connectivity within the framework of socio-economic participation.

Related topic or research questions:

  • How does global connectivity affect migrant participation in host countries (especially at the local level)?
  • What are connections to their home countries?
  • What kind of transnational networks do exist?
  • How well does policy coherence for sustainable development address mobility and integrate migration in sustainable development strategies?
  • What do we mean by “sustainable migration”?
  • How coherent are migration governance strategies with normative commitments to human rights?
  • How are situations of (suddenly) interrupted movement (as during the Corona crisis) or connectivity being experienced and which socio-economic effects do they bring about?
  • How does access to technology and information affect human mobility and social integration?
  • Which dependencies are created by global connectivity and the movements of goods and people?
  • What sustains local communities in the context of globalization?
  • Are economies at the service of their communities or are communities at the service of their economies?


Diversity and Social Cohesion

Global connectivity has contributed to increased diversity. Even within a globalized world, Luxembourg takes a special position with its diverse population and its foreign population percentage of 47.5%. It is therefore a place where we can study challenges related to the construction of cohesion before the background of various forms of diversity (“heterogeneity of diversity”). Culture contact, meeting people of different nationalities and backgrounds, and switching between languages characterize everyday life in Luxembourg. Cultural diversity manifests itself in manifold social contexts, in schools, state institutions, the work place, but also in families. A multitude of constellations must be taken into account, such as children growing up in mixed-national households or dual citizens, and the ways in which questions of belonging and identity are discussed and managed.


Related topic or research questions:

  • How does Luxembourg amongst other societies deal with multiculturalism?
  • How do individuals make sense of their cultural and national identities?
  • How are (especially young) migrants integrated into their host societies on the local level?
  • How can liquid integration, conceptualized as a dynamic, open-ended process, be lived in localities?
  • How can we deal with heterogeneity, population growth (or other developments of the population) in a sustainable way?

Related projects:

Cross Border Movement and Citizenship

In a “borderless Europe”, characterized by free movement of people, citizenship assumes a new dimension as cross-border mobility is promoted through the regionalization of migration laws and regulations. The legal context in which migration occurs is vital to understanding the rights and responsibilities of migrants and non-migrants alike as evolving notions of citizenship affect the socio-economic and cultural protection of people. Individuals can even lose their citizenship and thus become stateless when they engage in cross-border movements. These movements (e.g. cross-border residential mobility, cross-border labour migration can be viewed as “Acts of Citizenship” (Isin, E., 2008) because they are effectively a negotiation of the relationship between rights, responsibilities and territories.

Related research questions:

  • What has free movement of people in Europe affected rights and responsibilities related to citizenship?
  • How is citizenship evolving in Europe and the world?
  • What rights and responsibilities characterize evolving discussions regarding asylum seekers?
  • How is citizenship as an indicator of how a country envisions diversity and cohesion?
  • How are pathways to citizenship evolving?
  • How are secondary movements shaped by citizenship?
  • How do stateless minorities shape societies?
  • What measures do the EU and member states take against statelessness in Europe and abroad?
  • How are the Dublin III Regulation and the Schengen Agreement perceived by migrants and residents locally?
  • How are rights and responsibilities negotiated in Luxembourg’s Greater Region?

Related projects:

Multilingualism and Educational Challenges

Migration complexifies individual and societal multilingualism entailing challenges and opportunities. Through the lens of multilingualism, migration-related research seeks, on the one hand, to understand challenges emerging from linguistic diversification in social-economic, and cultural fields such as education (in schools, adult, vocational, higher education and workplace communication), and areas of  media, literary and artistic practice. On the other hand, multilingual practices in these same areas can be considered as generating potential for innovation and for re-imagining society and social cohesion.

Related topics and research questions:

  • How is multilingualism part of people’s lives?
  • How is multilingualism used as a social practice to navigate/mediate conflict?
  • How is the multilingualism of culturally diverse groups of learners addressed in contexts of schools and work?
  • How is/was linguistic diversity conceptualized, and in how far is/was it related to concepts of social cohesion and diversity?
  • How is multilingualism/multilingual practice part of literary writing, media and artistic production?
  • How does such practice articulate new understandings of subjective/collective experience of migration?
  • How can multilingual communities promote new forms of communal living?
  • Are there specific lessons to be learnt from Luxembourg?

Related projects:

Experiences of Borders and Cultural Identities

The enormous increase in the mobility of people – as well as things, ideas or capital – in the past decades has led to a changed understanding of borders. Research in social sciences and cultural studies no longer regards borders as fixed markers of territorial relationships, but is primarily interested in the processes of their production and (de)stabilization. These processes, also effective and particularly visible in times of covid-19, take place to an important degree in the field of everyday cultural life in which borders are experienced and negotiated. Dealing with everyday practices, narratives, aesthetics etc. gives insights into the complex functioning of borders. In migration research, this changed understanding of borders allows discussing and analyzing questions of social and cultural belonging and forms of conviviality in increasingly diversified societies beyond geopolitical patterns, ethnic-national categories or normative ideas of integration.


Related topics and research questions:

  • How are borders and boundaries experienced and performed in everyday life?
  • How are bordering processes manifest on a territorial, social or symbolic level?
  • Critical methodological reflections on how to grasp borders through their social and cultural effectiveness or acts of (re)production?
  • Migration and the moral economy of social belonging
  • Conviviality and the negotiation of everyday aesthetics and ceremonial life
  • (Post)colonial bordering processes in non-metropolitan places – (in)visibility and social recognition of Non-European migrants in Luxembourg

Related projects: