Thursday, 19 January 2017

Hearing in Berlin \ Researchers call for a strengthening of forced migration and refugee studies

At the hearing of the German Parliament’s Committee on Education, Research and Technology Assessment on 18 January 2017 in Berlin, BICC (Bonn International Center for Conversion) and IMIS (Institute for Migration Research and Intercultural Studies), University of Osnabrück, presented new data on the state-of-the-art of forced migration and refugee studies in Germany and called for decentralized support of this field of research.

In light of the importance of ‘displacement’ in the globalized world, research in this field is far too fragmented. In his presentation to the Committee, Conrad Schetter, Director for Research at BICC, pointed out: “Forced migration and refugee studies must be more institutionalized, more long-term oriented and be better interconnected”.

In the collaborative project ‘Forced Displacement—Research and Transfer’, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, a team of BICC and IMIS researchers has collected and evaluated data of just under 500 research projects. The data show that research on forced migration and refugees is done all over Germany and in all social sciences. “Projects on displacement, however, are often short-term. Dependence on third party funding, too, makes it difficult to uphold sustainable research on this key global issue of the future”, Andreas Pott, Director of IMIS, points out.

BICC and IMIS suggest that the Academic Council should author a feasibility study on the systematic “establishment of forced migration and refugee studies” in Germany and the support of a decentralized network of researchers on this topic. Furthermore, more funds are key for interdisciplinary collaborative research, the promotion of young researchers and university courses.

The cooperation project ‘Forced Displacement—Research and Transfer’ by BICC and IMIS is funded as a pilot study by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and is supported by the German Foundation for Peace Research (DSF).

Further information about the hearing:

Further information on the project Forced Displacement—Research and Transfer and the interactive map can be found at:

Researchers call for a strengthening of forced migration and refugee studies (Press release in English, pdf)

Wissenschaftler fordern Stärkung der Flucht- und Flüchtlingsforschung (Press release in German, pdf)