Reaching Out to Close the Border: The Transnationalization of Anti-Immigration Movements in Europe (MAM)

Reaching Out to Close the Border: The Transnationalization of Anti-Immigration Movements in Europe (MAM)
Photo: yourrs @ Flickr
Led by Kristian Berg Harpviken
Jan 2020 - Dec 2023

​Immigration is seen as a major concern by many Europeans. Simultaneously, opposition to immigration - across the political spectrum - is the issue which most forcefully mobilizes politically. It is this Mobilization Against Migration (MAM) that gives our project its name.

It is a paradox that anti-immigration movements, whose key concern is opposing mobility across borders and who advocate isolationism, nationalism and cultural traditionalism, often work transnationally, with joint events, strategies and campaigns across borders and in multilateral forums. 

MAM studies contemporary European anti-immigration movements, by focusing on

  1. interaction (forms and consequences), 
  2. framing (political-ideological underpinnings), and 
  3. outcomes (on migration policies). 

A comprehensive analytical state-of-the-art framing will be followed by a pilot study to trace transnational outcomes in Europe, five comprehensive studies of most different cases (Germany, Italy, Norway, Poland, UK), and a major synthesizing comparison. 

A Methodology Lab, including leading scholars with various specialties, will be engaged to inform the ambitious multi-methods design, with process-tracing as the key methodology aiming for theory development. 

The main sources of data are surveys, internet (both to map interaction and gather documents), and interviews. The multidisciplinary team of five draws from globally leading research environments on social movements, radicalization, conflict and migration. 

MAM will engage with users in a Practitioners Exchange, from the initial design phase to the ultimate dissemination of findings. Through its platforms for engaging both scholars and users, research communication is an integral part of the project from day one, including an integrated outreach strategy on multiple platforms to reach all relevant audiences. 

A core ambition of the project is to inspire new projects on transnational anti-immigration mobilization, while also drawing up and generating interest in a new agenda on the contentious governance of migration.

Funder: This project is funded by the Research Council of Norway under the VAM Programme.

Research Groups

Publications

Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Fangen, Katrine & Maria Reite Nilsen (2020) Variations within the Norwegian far right: from neo-Nazism to anti-Islamism, Journal of Political Ideologies. DOI: 10.1080/13569317.2020.1796347: 1–20.
Lewicki, Aleksandra & Yasemin Shooman (2020) Building a New Nation: Anti-Muslim Racism in Post-Unification Germany, Journal of Contemporary European Studies 28(1): 30–42.
Fangen, Katrine & Carina Riborg Holter (2019) The battle for truth: How online newspaper commenters defend their censored expressions, Poetics 80(101423): 1–11.
Fangen, Katrine & Mari Vaage (2018) “The Immigration Problem” and Norwegian Right- Wing Politicians, New Political Science 40(3): 459–476.
Fangen, Katrine & Mari Vaage (2014) FrP-politikeres innvandringsretorikk i posisjon og opposisjon, Agora: Journal for metafysisk spekulasjon 3(4): 30–63.