Research projects and consultancies

Promoting inclusion for Migrants’ Empowerment

An EU funded project developed in partnership with: Merseyside Expanding Horizons (UK), Per Esempio (Italy), Peñascal S.Coop. (Spain), United Societies of Balkans (Greece), Apprentis D’Auteuil (France), AWO KV Bremerhaven e.V (Germany). The project aimed to improve the quality of youth work addressing the social inclusion of young migrants.

The project has been developed in partnership with: Merseyside Expanding Horizons (UK), Per Esempio (Italy), Peñascal S.Coop. (Spain), United Societies of Balkans (Greece), Apprentis D’Auteuil (France), AWO KV Bremerhaven e.V (Germany).

The high numbers of migratory flows that move across the Mediterranean and the Balkan route, bringing thousands of people out of wars, conflicts and poverty to Europe, is reflected in the higher and higher number of young migrants, most of them minors. The reason why these young people leave their country are: to escape from persecution or serious damage, and thus seeking “physical protection”, economic reasons and future expectations, and eventually reunion with their families.

Psycho-social support actions are relevant to understand their stories, the reasons that pushed them to migrate, their needs and their future aspirations. Youth workers and youth organizations can play, in these terms, an important role.

Through informal and non-formal activities, if they are trained and equipped with the appropriate tools, youth workers may provide the PIN-code, which is the access key to enter and be included within the host societies.

Starting from these considerations, the project “Pin for ME” aimed at:

  • Improving the quality of the socio-educational animation for young migrants through cooperation among youth organizations and youth workers.
  • Increasing the capacity and improving the strategies of youth workers and organizations, addressed to the young migrants’ support.

The project included three complementary activities:

  1. 1 Training Course in Palermo,
  2. 4 Study Visits in Palermo, Paris/Le Mans, Liverpool and Bremerhaven
  3. 1 Final Seminar in Palermo.

During the Study visit in Liverpool, EU participants had the opportunity to visit local organisations and share methodologies with their staff and directors. Special thanks to : Asylum Link Merseyside, Refugee Council in Manchester, Sola Arts, and Fire Fit Hub.


Supporting the Effective Reintegration of Roma Returnees in the Western Balkans

This is a regional project that focuses on return migration and the vulnerability of Roma migrants in its context. The project follows the consideration of the Western Balkan countries as “safe countries of origin” in 2015 by the European Commission.

Funding

World Bank (2017-18)

Team

Dr Zana Vathi (International Consultant)

Summary

This is a regional project that focuses on return migration and the vulnerability of Roma migrants in its context. The project follows the consideration of the Western Balkan countries as “safe countries of origin” in 2015 by the European Commission. This means that asylum claims on political grounds from these countries would be highly unsuccessful and so would be followed by returns. Indeed, EUROSTAT reported that in 2016, Western Balkan countries were the main country of origin for the returnees from EU countries. The project has a strong focus on policy-making, as the findings will be directly reported to the EU Commission, which will then tailor its approach to the Western Balkans’ region.

Publications

Vathi, Z. (2018). How can we address the vulnerability of returnees? Paper presented at the workshop ‘Supporting the Effective Reintegration of (Roma) Returnees’. Inception Workshop, January 15, 2018. World Bank Office, Vienna.


EU Migrants of the North West: Continuation and Disruption in the post-Brexit era

The future of 3.2 million EU nationals in post-Brexit UK continues to be at the top of the news agenda, however their voice is rarely heard. This project aims to analyse the impact that Brexit is having on EU citizens residing in the UK.

Funding

Edge Hill University RIF (2017)

Team

Dr Zana Vathi (Principal Investigator); Dr Ruxandra Trandafoiu (Co-Investigator)

Abstract

The future of 3.2 million EU nationals in post-Brexit UK continues to be at the top of the news agenda, however their voice is rarely heard. This project aims to analyse the impact that Brexit is having on EU citizens residing in the UK. The project employs major migration theories and concepts and aims to empirically investigate and theorise the unprecedented situation of EU migrants in the UK post Brexit. Another major objective is to inform public discourse, charities and government policy about the attitudes, needs and aspirations of EU citizens post Brexit, with particular reference to the North West. It is estimated that 252,000 EU migrants live in this region (Hawkins, House of Commons report, 2016), yet there are hardly any dedicated migration studies. Many areas in the North West (with the notable exception of Liverpool) voted to leave the EU. Correlated with UKIP support patterns, these statistics could indicate a certain risk for the long-term prospects in the UK of EU born residents, making research not just necessary, but essential.

Publications

Vathi, Z. and Trandafoiu, R. (2018). Losing Rights? The impact of Brexit on the high and low skilled EU migrants in the north west of the UK. IMISCOE Annual Conference, Barcelona. (forthcoming).

Trandafoiu, R. and Vathi, Z. (2018). Fractured Nationhood: Politics From Afar for the Romanians in the UK During Brexit. Annual Conference of Romanian Studies, Bucharest. (forthcoming)Last updated onLast updated on April 9, 2018.


Bringing the aesthetics in: migrants’ relationship with urban space in Toxteth

This project will interweave cultural geography, urban sociology and environmental psychology to investigate the role of physical environment in the belongingness of migrants. It will look at a specific locality in Liverpool, Toxteth, which is characterised by a strong local identity.

Funding

British Academy Small Grants (2015)

Team

Dr Zana Vathi (Principal Investigator); Dr Kathy Burrell (Co-investigator); Natalie Robinson (Research Assistant)

Abstract

This project will interweave cultural geography, urban sociology and environmental psychology to investigate the role of physical environment in the belongingness of migrants. It will look at a specific locality in Liverpool, Toxteth, which is characterised by a strong local identity. Although Liverpool has a diverse historic and contemporary profile as a city, it is almost absent in the literature on contemporary migration into Britain. While there have been discussions on the significance of the aesthetics of physical environment for community satisfaction or the human experience of inhabiting urban spaces, the appreciations that migrants may build of material space have been largely ignored. In this project we put migrants’ appreciation of aesthetics centre stage; rather than focus on migrants as passive subjects of the host country’s politics of immigration, or on processes of integration into the culture of the host society, we concentrate on the ways in which migrants’ appreciations of aesthetics relate to their perceptions of place, identity and sense of belongingness.

Publications

Vathi, Z. (2016). Visualising belongingness to urban space: migrants and locals in Toxteth, Liverpool. The Black E, Liverpool, 15 June – 15 July.

Vathi, Z (2016). ‘Here to stay’. Plenary talk for the event Migration, locality and the physical environment in Toxteth. Edge Hill University, 15 September.

Vathi, Z. (2017). Diaspora without the nation-state? Spatial transformations of urban space and Toxteth’s glocal diaspora. IMISCOE Annual Conference, Rotterdam28-30 June 2017.

Vathi, Z. and Burrell, K. (2016). Dereliction and revival: belongingness and wellbeing among migrants and locals in Toxteth. Annual Conference of RGS-IBG, London, 29 August – 2 September.


The return to and (re)integration of Albanian migrants and their children in Albania: implications for policy-making

The economic crisis in Greece, where many Albanian migrants have migrated to since the beginning of the 1990s, is affecting the lives of migrants and is catalysing their return to Albania. To date, little is known about this phenomenon. Some press articles maintain that a large part of the Albanian community in Greece have returned or plan to.

Funding

Edge Hill University RIF (2013)

Team

Dr Zana Vathi (Principal Investigator); Dr Veronika Duci (Research Assistant)

Abstract

The economic crisis in Greece, where many Albanian migrants have migrated to since the beginning of the 1990s, is affecting the lives of migrants and is catalysing their return to Albania. To date, little is known about this phenomenon. Some press articles maintain that a large part of the Albanian community in Greece have returned or plan to. They also briefly mention that children of migrants are feeling alienated and experiencing difficulties in what is a new environment to them. This project focuses on the return to and (re)integration of the Albanian migrants and their families in Albania and takes a particular interest in the children. It aims to add to the knowledge on return migration and contribute to its theorization. It also aims to inform policy makers in Albania on the needs of the migrant families and their children.

Publications

Vathi, Z., Duci, V. and Dhembo, E. (2016). Homeland (dis)integration: Educational experience, children and return migration to Albania. International Migration 54 (3): 159-172.

Vathi, Z. and Duci, V. (2016). Making other dreams: The impact of migration on the psychosocial wellbeing of Albanian-origin children upon their families’ return to Albania. Childhood 23 (1): 53-68.


A study of Polish migrants deported from the UK

Edge Hill welcomes Dr. Witold Klaus who will be working in close collaboration with Dr. Agnieszka Martynowicz to develop knowledge in Poland and the UK about the pre- and post-deportation experiences of EU nationals.

Dr. Agnieszka Martynowicz will be working in collaboration with Dr. Witold Klaus to develop knowledge in Poland and the UK about the pre- and post-deportation experiences of EU nationals. The research will focus on experiences of Polish migrants removed from the UK, because of being perceived by the British society and government as ‘unwelcome’. This group consist, inter alia, of post-sentence deportees and those removed under European Arrest Warrant.

Witold Klaus is a lawyer and criminologist. He holds a PhD in law and is a professor at the Institute of Law Studies, Polish Academy of Sciences where he heads the Department of Criminology. Witold is also a research fellow in the Centre of Migration Research at Warsaw University. He is one of the co-founders and serves as President of the Board in the Association for Legal Intervention. In recognition of his social activity, Witold was awarded the Social Nobel Prize by Ashoka Foundation – Innovators for the Public in 2009.
Witold is an author of a number of publications on criminology, victimology, refugee and immigrant rights, human rights, criminal policy, juvenile and restorative justice. Currently, he is involved in several research projects including: techniques of criminalisation of migration, effects of detention and its alternatives on immigrants, victimisation of homeless people, criminal careers of former juvenile delinquents, relations between migration and integration policies.

Recent publications

W. Klaus, M. Lévay, I. Rzeplińska, M. Scheinost (2018) “Refugees and asylum seekers in Central-European Countries – reality, politics and the creation of fear in societies” In: H. Kury, S. Redo (eds.) Refugees and Migrants in Law and Policy Challenges and Opportunities for Global Civic Education, Springer, p. 457-494.


A. Gliszczyńska-Grabias, W. Klaus (2018) ““Governmental Xenophobia” and Crimmigration: European States’ Policy and Practices towards “the Other””. No-Foundations: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Law and Justice, vol. 15, p. 74-100.


W. Klaus (2017) Security First – New Right-Wing Government in Poland and its Policy Towards Immigrants and Refugees. Surveillance and Society, vol. 15(3/4), p. 523-528.


W. Klaus (2017) Closing gates to refugees. The causes and effects of the ‘2015 migration crisis’ on border management in Hungary and Poland. The Yearbook of the Institute of East-Central Europe, vol. 15(3), p. 41-64.


W. Klaus (2017) Families as a collective abuser. A case of family violence against Chechen refugee women in Poland. Studia Migracyjne – Przegląd Polonijny, vol. 3(165), p. 89-10.