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Refuge and Belonging: 
Transformations of Refugee Protection in the Federal Republic of Germany
January 2014 - December 2015, Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford, UK
Germany is one of the main countries of asylum and host to the largest population of refugees in the industrial world. While little discussed even in current immigration debates, the Federal Republic has always welcomed forced migrants on various grounds. It has been refuge to displaced ethnic-Germans, to political asylum seekers, to resettled refugees from around the globe and to forced migrants who escaped war or other situations of despair. However, access to protection has always been highly selective. Rationales upon which refuge in the Federal Republic of Germany has been granted have been politically contested and altered from civic-political to cultural-national models and back. This research project examines the history of refuge in the Federal Republic of Germany and the transformation of political debates about refugees. It is pioneering in its topic and its applied concepts, drawing on theories of political belonging and memory, shedding new light not only on the history and theory of refuge but on the receiving country's political culture.
Funded by German Research Foundation (DFG)

New 'Recipe' in Refugee Protection?

Developments and the Current State of Germany's Resettlement Program
April-Dezember 2013, Institute for Migration Research and Intercultural Studies, University of Osnabrück, Germany
In this research project I examine the ways and motives behind the implementation of a regular resettlement program by which the federal government of Germany pledged to resettle 900 refugees between 2012 and 2014. In addition to the historical development towards this policy the actual practice of resettlement will be analysed under the criteria of refugee protection. The project is set within the lager context of the Common European Asylum System and the relationship between Global Refugee Policies and national politics of migration.
Funded by Fritz-Thyssen Foundation.


Rationales of Resettlement:
The Australian Government's Motives in the Orderly Departure Program
October-November 2012
In this project, I investigate in archival research Australian political discussions about the resettlement of Vietnamese refugees between 1979 and 1982.
Project funded by Swinburne Institute for Social Research, Melbourne.
Publications: Journal article forthcoming.

Incorporating Pasts:
Political Memories and Migration in Australia
Doctoral Dissertation
I examined how the remembrance of Australia's migration past correlates with migration policies. In particular, I analysed how Australia Day has been utilised in the politics of migration and for the incorporation of immigrants, how the South Australian Migration Museum altered its representation of multiculturalism, and what role memories played in and after the Tampa debate about boat people. The project led me to develop a concept of 'political memory' and allowed me to set migration politics in a larger framework of politics of belonging.
Partially funded by Friedrich-Ebert Foundation and the Australian government's Endeavour Programme.
Publications: Several articles and book chapters; monograph forthcoming.