Structural Racism in Switzerland: A Scoping Review

I’m happy to announce the publication of a research report on structural racism in Switzerland. The empirical core of the study are interviews as well as a scoping review that identified N=304 studies on structural racism in Switzerland (in broad terms).

Importantly, we focused on empirical evidence in Switzerland, because frankly, there is no need to look elsewhere to find structural racism.

The studies were classified by method, life sphere, how they classify the population, and a GRADE-style assessment of risk of bias. Conceptually, we draw on a frame by Osta and Vasquez (2021), which allows us to identify components of structural racism and connections between these components. All methods identify racial inequalities, racialized practices, or racist stereotypes across spheres and groups. In Switzerland, many studies draw on migration and nationality as classification, and most studies provide partial evidence. When considered jointly, however, the existing literature provides a clear picture consistent with structural racism.

The report is available in German and French (Italian will follow shortly), but unusually we also have an English summary/technical appendix to the scoping review available.

Mugglin, Leonie, Denise Efionayi-Mäder, Didier Ruedin, and Gianni D’Amato. 2022. ‘Grundlagenstudie zu strukturellem Rassismus in der Schweiz’. SFM Studies 81. Neuchâtel: Swiss Forum for Migration and Population Studies.

Mugglin, Leonie, and Didier Ruedin. 2022. ‘Structural Racism in Switzerland: A Scoping Review’. SocArXiv.

Osta, Kathleen, and Hugh Vasquez. 2021. ‘Implicit Bias and Structural Racialization’. Oakland: National Equity Project.

Out now: Restricting Human Movement during the COVID-19 Pandemic: New Research Avenues in the Study of Mobility, Migration, and Citizenship

I’m happy to announce that our research note on studying border closures and related restrictions to human mobility in the context of Covid-19 is now available at the International Migration Review.

We highlight how restrictions to human mobility were far from uniform across time and countries. The research note identifies 7 different databases that systematically collected information on these restrictions, which should help others identify the right database — they vary in what exactly they cover.

We also present possible research avenues in connection with these data on mobility restrictions: (1) drivers of Covid-19 mobility restrictions, (2) patterns of policy convergence and divergence, (3) the legality of mobility restrictions, (4) continuity and change in global migration policy, (5) citizenship and international mobility rights. In all these cases, data on restrictions during the pandemic can significantly advance research on the governance of mobility, migration, and citizenship.

Piccoli, Lorenzo, Jelena Dzankic, Didier Ruedin, and Timothy Jacobs-Owen. 2022. “Restricting Human Movement during the COVID-19 Pandemic: New Research Avenues in the Study of Mobility, Migration, and Citizenship.” International Migration Review. doi: 10.1177/01979183221118907.

Pre-print: How Working from Home Affected the Social Networks and Satisfaction of Migrant Populations during COVID-19

Wanner, Philippe, Didier Ruedin, and Roberto Desponds Rodriguez. 2022. ‘How Working from Home Affected the Social Networks and Satisfaction of Migrant Populations during COVID-19’. Preprint. Research Square.

Objective: We examine how the requirement to work from home during COVID-19 affected the social integration of immigrants. Methods: Using a representative panel of 7,400 immigrants to Switzerland, we run ordered logistic regression models to test how a change in job status and the obligation to work from home is reflected in a range of social integration and well-being indicators. Results: Switching to working from home during the semi-lockdown period is associated with increased difficulties in communicating with the local population, adapting to the Swiss way of life, and making friends. It is also associated with increased dissatisfaction with social relationships but does not lead to a more negative evaluation of the stay in Switzerland. Conclusion: We conclude that work is a place of socialization for migrant populations, and therefore, it is important to consider the negative impact of a forced shift to telework on the integration of these populations.

3-year postdoc on crises in liminal situations (Ukraine, Syria), 50% FTE

Mihaela Nedelcu and other colleagues are looking for a part-time Postdoc to complete the research team of the nccr – on the move IP45 project.

The project “Dealing with Crises and Liminal Situations: The Agency of Ukrainian and Syrian Forced Migrants in Three National Contexts”. Funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation, this position is based at the Institute of Sociology, University of Neuchâtel.

3-year contract (50%)
Application deadline : 25.11.2022
Starting date: 01.02.2023, or to be agreed upon.
Details of the project and the position attached to this email, or here. More information about the nccr – on the move:

Why Do Some Immigrants ‘Whiten’ their Résumés?

Over at the NCCR on the move blog, there’s a summary of research undertaken jointly with Eva Van Belle on CV Whitening. The blog post takes a step back and embeds considerations of CV Whitening in broader research on ethnic discrimination in the job market and the correspondence tests we use to measure discrimination.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

In Western countries, we observe that some employers discriminate against people with a name indicating that they are from a minority group. Research has shown that if you have a name signalling that you are an ‘immigrant’ or belong to an ‘ethnic minority,’ the chances of being invited to a job interview are reduced. Factoring in the potential discrimination, some immigrants and members of ethnic minority groups have been observed to adopt strategies to hide details that show their minority status from their applications.

Correspondence tests have highlighted systematic discrimination in the labour market. In a correspondence test researchers create fictitious applications and send them to real employers and landlords. The applications are constructed in a way to highlight discriminatory practices in cases where minority applicants are invited less often to interviews. On average, applicants from non-neighbouring countries find it much harder to be invited to a job interview.

Considering the discrimination, ‘immigrants’ and members of ethnic minority groups have a clear incentive to hide details from their applications that make their minority statuses apparent. On the contrary, if an employer cannot tell that the applicant is an ‘immigrant’ or belongs to a minority group, the chances of getting invited to an interview have been noted to increase.

Read on >>

Ruedin, Didier, and Eva Van Belle. 2022. ‘The Extent of Résumé Whitening’. Sociological Research Online. Forthcoming.