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Uncertain borders: Migration, belonging and sub-state nationalism in Europe - Project ID SAS0007

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  • Full or part time
    Dr K Botterill
    Dr R Whitecross
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

This comparative project aims to investigate how sub-state nationalism shapes migrant belonging and attachment to place in different European nations. In the context of geopolitical uncertainty in Europe, characterised by growing anti-liberal populism, fractured borders and ‘crises’ of migration, there is an urgent need to explore the dynamics of sub-state nationalism and its effect on migrant identities. Sub-state nationalist movements have been understood both as hostile towards diversity and immigration (Ignatieff, 1993), and as supportive of multiculturalism (Hussein and Miller, 2006; Mycock, 2012) provoking a ‘legitimation paradox’ for nationalists as they navigate ethnic/civic meanings of nation-building (Jeram et al., 2016). Less is known about the actions of migrants in legitimising sub-state nationalism, their membership of sub-state nationalist parties and, conversely, the impact of sub-state nationalism on migrant belonging and attachment to place. In what ways do migrants co-opt or contest sub-state nationalist discourse? What role do sub-state nationalist parties play in nurturing a sense of belonging for migrants? How important are territorial attachments in migrant belonging? Employing critical, innovative and participatory social scientific research methods (Kindon et al, 2010) the project will foreground migrant narratives exploring their perceptions and experiences of living in three European sub-state nations, such as Scotland, Catalonia and Flanders and negotiating nationalist identities.
Academic qualifications
A first degree (at least a 2.1) ideally in human geography, migration studies or social sciences with a good fundamental knowledge of qualitative research methodologies and theories of nationalism and migration.

English language requirement:
IELTS score must be at least 6.5 (with not less than 6.0 in each of the four components). Other, equivalent qualifications will be accepted. Full details of the University’s policy are available online.

Essential attributes:
• Experience of fundamental research methods
• Competent in a discipline related to the project, such as human geography, sociology, political science and migration studies
• Knowledge of theories of nationalism and migration, research design and methodologies
• Good written and oral communication skills
• Strong motivation, with evidence of independent research skills relevant to the project
• Good time management

Desirable attributes:
Fluency in English and another European language

When applying for this position please quote project ID SAS0007

Funding Notes

This is an unfunded position


Friends or foes? Migrants and sub-state nationalists in Europe
Hussein, A. and Miller, W. (2006) Multicultural Nationalism: Islamophobia, Anglophobia and Devolution. Oxford:OUP

Ignatieff, Michael. 1993. Blood and Belonging: Journeys into the New Nationalism. Toronto: Viking.

Jeram, Sanjay, and Ilke Adam. 2015. “Diversity and Nationalism in the Basque Country and Flanders: Understanding Immigrants as Fellow Minorities.” National Identities17 (3): 241–257

Jeram, S. van der Zwet, A, & Wisthaler, V. (2016) Friends or foes? Migrants and sub-state nationaists in Europe. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 42(8)
Kindon, S., Pain, R. and Kesby, M. (2010) Participatory Action Research Approaches and Methods. London: Routledge
Mycock, Andrew. 2012. “SNP, Identiy and Citizenship: Re-imagining State and Nation.” National Identities 14 (1): 53–69. doi: 10.1080/14608944.2012.657078

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