Online Workshop

(Im)mobility in international research cooperation: knowledge and partnerships between the South and North, East and West

Workshop objective and background

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 forced migration and refugee studies; however, this can only be achieved if inequities among partners from the Global South, East and West are transparently addressed and participation and inclusive decision-making become part and parcel of cooperation activities.

This workshop provided a platform for representatives of academic and policy-oriented forced migration and refugee networks to engage in a dialogue to explore, discuss and critically reflect on questions of structural and content-related cooperation among networks and in international cooperation projects in the field from Southern, Eastern and Northern perspectives. The objective was to identify opportunities and obstacles and to come up with practical steps that we, as a community, can take to work towards more participatory and co-creative approaches in international knowledge cooperation.

The event started with an impulse speech and discussion about the meanings of internationalisation. This was followed by a practically-oriented exchange and discussion about experiences with the “(im)mobilisation of knowledge: creation, dissemination and barriers” from different perspectives. The ensuing part provided a space to share insights into the underlying structures that foster or hamper international cooperation and to discuss different measures, procedures, tools, arrangements or agreements that can be taken to address inequities among cooperation partners. The concluding session served to agree on next steps and possibilities for further cooperation.

The workshop was part of the cooperation project FFVT and it was organised in cooperation with the German Network for Forced Migration Studies (NWFF). It was a logical next step that succeeded the joint NWFF and FFVT event ”CoNet Connecting Networks – Strengthening international partnerships in refugee and forced migration studies” held on 31 May 2021.

  • English
Tuesday, June 22, 2021
09:45 - 10:00
Welcome and introduction

By Jörn Grävingholt (DIE, for FFVT) and Annette Korntheuer (Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, for NWFF)

10:00 - 11:00
Part I: Meaning of internationalisation in forced migration and refugee studies

Impulse (10-15 min):  FFVT working group internationalisation (Merlin Flaig (DIE), Ulrike Krause (IMIS), Zeynep Sahin-Mencütek (BICC), and Lorenz Wiese (CHREN)) 

Follow-up discussion on the meaning and relevance of content-related interlinkages between for forced migration and refugee networks.  

Moderation: Merlin Flaig (DIE)

11:00 - 11:15
11:15 - 12:30
Part II: (Im)mobilisation of knowledge: creation, dissemination and barriers

Guiding question: “On a practical level, how do you deal with issues of knowledge creation, knowledge dissemination and knowledge barriers in international research cooperation?”

Impulse (5-7 min each):

  • Alemu Asfaw (Bahir Dar University, Ethiopia)

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

  • Olga R. Gulina (RUSMPI Institute on Migration Policy, Germany)

  • Irina Molodikova (Central European University, Hungary)

  • Najeeba Wazefadost (Global Refugee-led Network and Asia Pacific Network of Refugees, Australia)


  • Jörn Grävingholt (DIE)

Discussion and additional perspectives on the topic

12:30 - 14:00
Lunch Break
14:00 - 15:30
Part III: Partnership approach to international cooperation and projects

Guiding question: “Which measures, procedures, tools, arrangements or agreements can be taken to address underlying structures that cause inequity in international cooperation and projects?”

Impulse (5-7 min each):

  • Diogo Andreola Serraglio (South American Network for Environmental Migrants, Brazil)

  • Maria do Carmo Dos Santos Gonçalves (Migration and Social Transformation Network, Centro Scalabriniano de Estudos Migratórios, Brazil)

  • Rachel Criswell (UNHCR Global Academic Interdisciplinary Network)

  • Ranabir Samaddar (Calcutta Research Group, India)

  • Maha Shuayb, (Local Engagement Refugee Research Network [LERRN], Lebanese American University, Lebanon) and James Milner (LERRN, Carleton University, Canada)

Reflections from a donor perspective:

  • Roula El-Rifai (International Development Research Centre, Canada)


  • Benjamin Schraven (DIE)

Discussion and additional perspectives on the topic

15:30 - 15:45
15:45 - 16:30
Part IV: Next steps and possibilities for further cooperation

Moderation: Merlin Flaig (DIE)