FEDCIT - Federal state against cities: Immigrant incorporation in the context of new immigrant reception

The unprecedented number of newcomers in the past year provides an immense challenge to federal state and local authorities, who have to co-ordinate the provision of policies and funds for incorporating immigrants into society. This comparative study seeks to understand the role of federal states for the incorporation of immigrants in the context of the recent influx of asylum seekers in Germany and Austria in 2015.

Few studies have so far investigated the role of federal states in immigrant incorporation and no research has yet been carried out on the character of federal state immigrant incorporation policies that captures institutional structures, officials and immigrant spokespersons’ agency as well as the role of power in the design and implementation of these policies. By bringing together debates on multi-level governance as well as cities as scale the research advances our concepts of the governance of immigrant incorporation in a globalised and interconnected world.

Using mixed methods, the project applies an institutional ethnography of federal state ministries responsible for immigrant incorporation that allows tracing internal processes of policy development and observing interactions between the involved institutions and actors. The yielded thick description is combined with economic data as well as interview data and policy documents.

By deploying a comparative research design that consists of case studies in four federal states (Baden Württemberg and Saxony, Upper Austria and Burgenland), two of which are located in Germany and two in Austria, the project identifies the impact of different factors on federal states’ immigrant incorporation policies, namely the national level’s stance towards immigration, the regions’ economic positionality, and local actors’ active lobbying on the federal state level.

Hard Facts

Project Duration: September 2018 - August 2020

Funding: Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions (H2020)

Project Leader: Ayse Caglar

Project Staff: Maria Schiller

Living right: an anthropological study of far-right activism

This project seeks to investigate new forms of civic engagement pursued by far-right movements and to understand their increasing appeal among “ordinary,” socially established citizens. Instead of studying extreme right political parties or subcultures, the predominant topics in current scholarship, I will look closely at day-to-day activism, using hitherto neglected anthropological methodologies that offer unique insights into the motivations for involvement and the relations between ideas, beliefs and practices. Focusing on far-right groups acting within and between several European countries, the project will investigate the processes of translation between locally grounded and transnational far-right practices and ideologies and the tensions produced as they try to orient themselves around both transnational and local concerns.

Combining participant observation with life stories interviews and a study in the history of ideas, the project aims to explore moral claims and lived experiences of present-day far-right activists. In so doing, it calls into question well-established categorizations (West/East, moral/immoral), emphasizes the importance of emic understandings and motivations of far-right actors, and investigates the different facets of far-right organizations, which, contrary to the common label “hate groups,” increasingly put forward “humanitarian” claims and “positive” visions (of community, society, the future). It aims to bring greater clarity to political discussions within Europe by problematizing a simplistic right-left binary that obscures the nuances of different and overlapping political positions. In addition to making a critical methodological and theoretical contribution to the study of a resurgent European far right, this project will also engage with a set of more enduring issues—the shifting understanding of social solidarity and reciprocity, different means of civic engagement, and the place of morality in politics.

Hard Facts

Project Duration: September 2018 - August 2021

Funding: Elise Richter Programme (FWF)

Project Leader: Agnieszka Pasieka

Translating Socio-Cultural Anthropology into Education (TRANSCA)

TRANSCA is a project that will state what social anthropology can do for education as a sustainable response of the European educational sphere to on-going and new societal challenges such as diversity, immigration, socio-economic disparities and exclusionary politic.

TRANSCA is a strategic partnership with the goal of  further developing the cooperation between teacher education and socio-cultural anthropology in order to address the crucial issue of social inclusion in schools by implementing e.g. tools for self-reflexivity and hierarchical positionality.

TRANSCA aims to promote, and in some countries initiate, the process of transferring relevant aspects of socio-cultural anthropological knowledge into teacher education in Europe by building on existing approaches and experiences and adding new and innovative didactic assessments and practices with regard to core societal issues and social science concepts (such as interculturality, diversity, migration, integration, gender, intersectionality etc.).

Hard Facts

Project Duration: September 2018 - August 2020

Funding: Erasmus +

Project Leader: Wolfgang Kraus

Project Staff: Christa Markom, Jelena Tosic

Website: https://transca.univie.ac.at/

Configurations of “remoteness” (CoRe) - Entanglements of Humans and Transportation Infrastructure in the Baykal-Amur Mainline (BAM) Region

The Arctic and Subarctic have gained a surprising amount of attention in recent years. What used to be the ‘remote’ backwaters of global economic and political currents has morphed into a new frontier of geopolitics, resource extraction, and developmental designs. New transportation infrastructure often plays a critical role in the transformation of ‘remoteness’. The effects of new transportation infrastructures – accessibility, the shrinking of social and physical distance, the increased speed of connection – are not uncontested. On the one hand, those for whom ‘remoteness’ has been an asset, are often among the opponents of such developments. New transportation infrastructures are often not built to make the lives of local residents easier but to move cargo from point A to point B. Thus, there are ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ of such infrastructural developments.

Hard Facts

Project Duration: July 2015 - July 2020

Funding: FWF

Project Leader: Peter Schweitzer (Scientific Lead)

Project Staff: Alexis Sancho-ReinosoOlga Povoroznyuk, Gertrude Saxinger, Sigrid Schiesser, Christoph Fink (nicht mehr aktiv)

Student Collaborators: Gertraud Illmeier, Ilya Krylov

Website: http://core.univie.ac.at/