Rethinking international research partnerships: from old hierarchies to new forms of co-creation

30. Juni 2022

Nowadays, partnerships are state of the art in international research projects but underlying motivations often vary between the mere desire to meet funding requirements and the honest pursuit of more equitable relations between partners. Internationalisation is an important goal and essential tool for strengthening migration studies; however, this can only be achieved if inequities among partners from the global South and North are transparently addressed and participation and inclusive decision-making become part and parcel of cooperation activities. 

This round table discussed experiences with international research cooperation in forced migration studies and compared it with other fields of research. Thereby, it addressed the need to discuss and critically reflect questions of agency with regard to structural and content-related cooperation in international research projects. This requires the promotion of a global dialogue among different social knowledges to reach a more equitable articulation of knowledge systems. Unless scientists from the global North are not going beyond the failure of recognition of others’ epistemological capability, the major incompleteness and a profound problem about the truthfulness of arguments framed as universal generalizations is a concrete risk.  

By providing a platform for researchers from the global South and North who work in international collaborative research, this round table allowed to engage in a dialogue and consider diverse perspectives on research cooperation. The objective was to exchange about opportunities and obstacles in cooperation projects, and to learn from each other’s experiences in collaborative projects in unequal power relations. Building on this knowledge, this allowed us to identify practical steps to more participatory and co-creative approaches in international research cooperation.  


  • Merlin Flaig, German Institute of Development and Sustainability


  • Prof Dr Manuela de Allegri, Institute of Global Health, University of Heidelberg, Germany 

  • Dr Guia Gilardoni, Research Social Platform on Migration and Asylum, ISMU Foundation, Italy 

  • Prof Dr Ayhan Kaya, Istanbul Bilgi University, Turkey 

  • Prof Dr James Milner, Carleton University, Canada 

  • Prof Dr Andrea Pacheco Pacifico, University State of Paraiba, Brazil 

  • Janemary Ruhundwa, Dignity Kwanza, Tanzania 

  • Dr Zeynep Sahin Mencütek, Bonn International Centre for Conflict Studies, Germany 

@ 19th IMISCOE Annual Conference, 29 June – 1 July 2022 in Oslo/hybrid