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:

Supplementary Material for “Estimating Party Positions” on OSF/SocArXiv

I have just made available the supplementary material for Ruedin, Didier, and Laura Morales. 2017. “Estimating Party Positions on Immigration: Assessing the Reliability and Validity of Different Methods.” Party Politics available on OSF/SocArXiv. The supplement is also available at the publisher’s website, together with the article. In the paper, we systematically assess various methods to identify the position political parties take on immigration. In another paper about to be published by Party Politics, Christoffer Green-Pedersen and Simon Otjes demonstrate that immigration really has become more salient over time. All the more important it is to place parties on this issue, and our extensive evaluation finds high consistency between expert surveys, manual sentence-by-sentence coding and manual ‘checklist’ coding. On the other hand, there are inconsistent results with the CMP/MARPOR, Wordscores, Wordfish, and a dictionary approach using keywords.

Green-Pedersen, Christoffer, and Simon Otjes. 2017. “A Hot Topic? Immigration on the Agenda in Western Europe.” Party Politics, doi:10.1177/1354068817728211.

Ruedin, Didier and Laura Morales. 2017. “Estimating Party Positions on Immigration: Assessing the Reliability and Validity of Different Methods”. Party Politics. doi:10.1177/1354068817713122


I’ve been waiting for it for a long time, and was very happy to see that SocArXiv took shape after Elsevier acquired SSRN. Although SSRN seems to have played fair, I was always somewhat uneasy about its for-profit ownership. Perhaps nothing will change with Elsevier as the new owners, but the unease does not go away. So I was quite excited to see SocArXiv appearing. I’m eagerly awaiting their proper launch (there is currently a temporary e-mail submission system to get going).

I really hope SocArXiv will be a success because it’s not enough to make our research available (on our websites, on an institutional repository, on Zenodo, etc.): it also needs to be found by those who look for it and reach new audiences.

Now, who is ready for an OHL for the social sciences?

Post SSRN?

Ever since SSRN announced its sale to Elsevier I’ve been musing post-SSRN. While SSRN has always been a commercial enterprise, re-investing profits into the business is quite a different kettle of fish to being part of Elsevier.

I’m currently exploring Zenodo hosted at the venerable CERN, and Econstor hosted at the Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.

Maybe we are slowly learning that we need to be in control of our infrastructure if open access is really going to mean something.

Would I like to pay to contribute to a book nobody reads?

I got this e-mail today:

Dear Dr. Ruedin,

I would like to invite you to contribute a chapter to a new open access book project under the editorship of Dr. Ingrid Muenstermann. The current working title of the book is “Immigration”.

That’s a really specific topic. (Honestly, most academic spam I get is even less specific.) Fortunately they offer a link to tell me more about this book project:

Check out the project outline for suggested topics, deadlines and information regarding the publishing process via your Invitation Page [link removed]

On this page, I learn that “This book will be a self-contained collection of scholarly papers targeting an audience of practicing researchers, academics, PhD students and other scientists.” and “The authors are given the liberty of choosing a topic which best suits their current research efforts. In other words, we do not limit you in terms of the topic but encourage you to present your work. Later, when all chapter proposals are collected, the editor will give a more general direction of the book and decide on its scope.”

That’s great, I get to write on anything I want. Nobody really cares; surely there’s a huge readership out there for this kind of book… not! The e-mail even provides information on the publisher:

InTech has been at the forefront of open access publishing for over 10 years, overcoming the challenges associated with restricted access to knowledge by providing free, unlimited access to scientific content to our readers, and helping our authors achieve global recognition.

My name is Ana and I will be your personal contact during the entire publishing process. Feel free to contact me anytime. I hope you will join us in this project.


Ana Simcic
Publishing Process Manager

[contact details removed]

I’m not sure why I’m hesitating.

Don’t we all seek seek global recognition? The publisher sure sounds important (does it matter that I have never heard of them?), and is a specialist in STM (science, technology, and medicine; just the kind of publisher I need to promote my research on “immigration”). It’ll only cost me €670 APC (at least the APC is mentioned somewhere on their website). The book will even be submitted to be included in the Thomson Reuters Book Citation Index…

Can you please just stop this?