In the 21st century, migration processes - multidirectional in their spatial as well as social and cultural structure - increasingly contribute to the shaping of societies. Consequently, the presence of migrants adds emphasis to intercultural relations and intercultural communication, which are of key concern for social cohesion.
Arguably, migration and globalisation may be considered twin processes. They contest concepts of the nation state, including territoriality and citizenship, and direct attention to questions of social justice and human rights, peace and conflict. They also lead to the emergence e.g. of new concepts of identity and transnational social spaces. Answers to policy questions linked to phenomena as diverse as voluntary and forced migration, internal displacement and transcontinental flows, movement of unskilled labourers and brain drainers need differentiated investigation and evaluation as well as complex negotiation.
EMMIR responds to this rising importance by providing state of the art education in theoretical concepts, empirical methods and transdisciplinary approaches to migration studies. Teaching and research in EMMIR will address issues that currently rank highly on the global agenda - and need expertise on transnational, transcultural and transdisciplinary level. Migration and mobility, flight, displacement and refuge - globally and (supra)nationally discussed primarily on a policy level - touch decisive dimensions in economic and social development, demography, international relations, political theory and cultural cooperation, to name some, not all of the key areas. Sustainable answers bridging the interests of nation states (incl. their welfare systems and labour markets) with human rights, democratic values and globality have yet to be found. Research on intercultural relations and intercultural communication is closely linked to these questions and frequently key to the understanding of problems and conflict.
The curriculum takes into account all forms of migration and displacement. Related issues to be addressed are intercultural conflict resolution mechanisms, multi cultural governance issues and global/regional integration.
The two key terms of reference for this study programme are migration and intercultural relations. Migration is understood here as encompassing all forms of international migration, voluntary as well as forced movements. Internal displacement, prominent especially in African contexts, will also be addressed. Intercultural relations include not only communication and other forms of interaction between the majority and resident minorities/diasporic communities within nation states but also interethnic relations in the (inter-)national arena and beyond nation states - including multinational settings and concepts such as multiculturalism or cosmopolitanism.
There are four programme foci:
The foci serve as the foundation students use to develop their individual specialisation and profile, e.g. by combining them with a geographic focus involving one or more of the countries in the partnership, potentially also linked to individual language skills.
EMMIR, combining the expertise of European and African universities, strongly encourages students to critically evaluate the existing body of knowledge and to conduct their own research projects. Students will have the benefits and challenge of an international learner group where participants' different backgrounds will in itself offer valuable intercultural perspectives for the study of migration.
EMMIR aims at training young academics that contribute to improved information about the dynamics of migration and will become new professionals, consciously combining their specific national/regional/ institutional situatedness and tasks with transnational perspectives, in the specific context of this programme primarily in Europe and Africa.
In order to train for a labour market demanding flexibility, self-motivation and problem-solving skills, the didactics of EMMIR are built around the idea that young professionals need state of the art, in-depth-knowledge in their field plus the tools to present and negotiate, to apply and to conceptualise, to cooperate, administrate and to manage. In cooperation with numerous actors and institutions in the field (associates and others) students will be exposed to specific labour market segments, they gather experience that can be actively linked to the study programme and their specialisation.
The cross-cutting aim is to promote problem solving skills and the ability of knowledge transfer. Graduates will be qualified to pursue doctoral studies or employment in national and international governmental and non-governmental institutions dealing with migration, intercultural competence and education, in particular intersecting with development issues and/or gender issues.
The language of instruction is English, but students will be encouraged to enhance bi- or multilingual language skills. EMMIR builds on and supports multilinguality by offering language courses and by its mobility path. Students are encouraged and supported to expose themselves to different cultural and economic settings in Europe and Africa.
Mobility and Specialisation
EMMIR combines the mobility of the full cohorte with individual research mobility and specialisation. The mobility path serves two purposes. On the one hand it exposes students to different migration policies, various approaches to intercultural relations, several academic institutions and economic, social and cultural settings that are shaping migration processes as well as migrantsâ€™ experiences. On the other hand it allows students to develop individual research foci - drawing on the expertise of all involved partners and their specialisation in a decentralised way.
EMMIR mobility path enhances:
- to focus on â€˜majorâ€™ nations in global migration e.g. Germany or Sudan (as the largest African nation with major forced migration and internal displacement),
- to focus on intercultural relations/migration issues in small nations and young nation states (Europe, Africa);
- to specialize in comparative research on two or more of the involved countries, and/or drawing on the expertise and access to selected partner networks,
- to specialize in overarching questions, e.g. research on global migration - drawing on EMMIR as a network of networks.
Last update of this section: 17 September 2010