Call for Papers: Discrimination and Racism in Cross-National Perspective — IMISCOE 2020

Discrimination and Racism in Cross-National Perspective

Panel organised at the 17th IMISCOE Annual Conference Luxembourg

30 June – 2 July 2020

Organizers: Patrick Simon (INED), Didier Ruedin (University of Neuchâtel)

For a long time racism has been studied without references to discrimination and was mainly conceived as a specific expression of prejudice. The turn to more subtle and systemic forms of racism has paved the way to the development of studies in terms of ethnic and racial discrimination. This researche on discrimination against immigrants and their descendants in Europe has grown significantly in the last twenty years, paralleling the settlement of immigrant populations. They document differential treatment and discrimination in different markets (e.g. labour market, housing) and social spheres regulated by principles of equality (e.g. school, health service, police). Patterns of discrimination are embedded in institutional contexts and a larger societal environment, characterised not only by economic uncertainties and increasing political polarisation in public debate around immigrant related issues, but also by increasing diversity and opportunities of contact. Such changes in the context are likely to affect attitudes and ideology diffusion in majority and minority members. However, studies about discrimination do not refer specifically to racism, and the methodological gains in measuring discrimination did not transfer directly to the measurement of racism. How far racism and ethnic and racial discrimination are distinct, and how they relate to each other are key issues we would like to explore in this panel.

This workshop will bring together researchers on discrimination and racism, tackling these issues from various disciplines, theoretical backgrounds and methods. We welcome empirical studies of discrimination patterns across a large variety of domains, theoretical perspectives on how the prevalence of ethnic discrimination and racism should be explained and conceptualised, and studies on the consequences of anti-discrimination policies and legislation, in historical perspective as well as in contemporary contexts. We also welcome papers which use and discuss theories about cross-country differences, ethnic hierarchies, and evolution over time, including studies which compare the historical experiences of discrimination and racism among early European immigrants in the US with more recent immigrant groups on both sides of the Atlantic.

Submit your abstract specifying the research question, data, methods and findings (200 words maximum) at no later than 25 November 2019. For further information get in touch with Didier Ruedin ( The notification of acceptance will be made by 30 November 2019.

Call for Papers — Highly skilled migration in the labour market: Brain waste or brain gain?

IMISCOE Annual Conference 30 June – 1 July 2020, Luxembourg

Highly skilled migration is a major phenomenon in a globalized world with important implications for source and destination countries. In the past, most studies have focused on the so-called brain drain (i.e. human capital emigration from developing countries). Here we seek contributions on the phenomenon of brain waste: the underutilization of migrant education and skills in the host country. Such a labour market mismatch is often referred to as over-education, horizontal mismatch between employment and field of education, or simply skills mismatch. Consider the example of a migrant scientist who works as a taxi driver.

We are seeking innovative quantitative papers that examine the (different) reasons and consequences of educational or skills mismatch, either vertical or horizontal, including contributions to better measurement. Possible research questions are the propensity of immigrants to become self-employed as a result of mismatch, their propensity to (re-) migrate due to mismatch, or their likelihood to send remittances, or the eventual consequence of hosting mismatched immigrants for the host labour market. We particularly welcome papers that fully account for the gender dimension of brain waste.

Papers addressing counterfactuals will be specially welcome: the mismatch a migrant would have experienced – if any – if he or she stayed in the country of origin (the migrant scientist working as a taxi driver may not have found adequate employment in the country of origin).

Conference: IMISCOE Annual Conference, 30 June — 1 July 2020, Luxembourg; see for further information. Conference fee: €200.

Please submit your abstract online (max 200 words) at Deadline: 24 November 2019.

Research group:

Call as PDF: IMISCOE Brain Waste 2020

Protest Movements in Asylum and Deportation — Out Now

The book of the Taking Sides project is out now as an e-book: “Protest Movements in Asylum and Deportation“. It’s open access, so there’s no reason not to read it!

This comparative project examines protest against deportations in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland. In some ways, it is a follow-up to the FP-7 project Support and opposition to Migration (SOM), where we examined the politicization of immigration more widely. The politicization of asylum, and particularly politicization in favour of asylum seekers and against their deportation was not treated much in SOM. Taking Sides includes an extensive media analysis of newspapers in the three countries, alongside many in-depth case studies. My contribution was more on the quantitative analysis of the media study, and in chapter 5 we summarize similarities and differences across the three countries, 1993 to 2013. We show that the frequency of anti-deportation protests has developed differently in the three countries, and outline a shift in the main actors in these protests, and with that a shift in repertoires. There’s a clear uptake in failed asylum seekers (potential deportees) to participate in these protests.

We differentiate between solidarity protest and case-specific protests as different kinds of protests. This is a slightly different vocabulary to what my colleagues Johanna Probst and Dina Bader used in their Social Movement Studies paper which draws heavily on the case studies. Overall we find little evidence that there is a transnational movement orchestrating protests against deportations, with many local protests seemingly taking place independently of each other. While some of these protests are also against deportations more generally, many of them focus entirely on the case at hand. The protest is not against deportations, but against the deportation of a particular asylum seeker who is considered ‘integrated’ and ‘deserving’ to stay.

The book includes chapters that outline the context of the protests: across countries, and across time within these countries, focusing on political institutions or legal changes. One of the chapters asks what makes a successful protest against deportation, pushing it quite hard what can be said with the data at hand. We don’t have a research design that would allow a systematic comparison between successful and unsuccessful cases, but the qualitative case studies offer some useful pointers where more rigorous research should start. What’s also intriguing is that the difference between successful and unsuccessful protests is not clear cut if one follows the cases over time. It is not uncommon for individuals to be deported (i.e. unsuccessful protest), yet the individual returning at a later stage (i.e. successful in preventing the long-term deportation). The qualitative data also provide insights on the strategies actors use in protesting against the deportation of asylum seekers, with several chapters outlining particular protests in detail.

Probst, Johanna, and Dina Bader. 2018. ‘When Right-Wing Actors Take Sides with Deportees. A Typology of Anti-Deportation Protests’. Social Movement Studies.

Ruedin, Didier, Sieglinde Rosenberger, and Nina Merhaut. 2018. ‘Tracing Anti-Deportation Protests: A Longitudinal Comparison of Austria, Germany and Switzerland’. In Protest Movements in Asylum and Deportation, 89–115. IMISCOE Research Series. Springer. Some supplementary analsis here: