Call for applications

Workshop: Assessing the social determinants of health in the context of social integration of forced migrants

In-person workshop on 7th July, 2022 in Bielefeld
Online meetings (about one hour per working group) between 15
th June and 5th July, 2022 – upon availability of participants

The main objective of this workshop is to create an interdisciplinary working group to review and improve methods for assessing different aspects of social determinants of health, and to examine interrelations with social integration in the context of forced migration. Among the various facets of social determinants of wellbeing, this workshop will focus on food security (including elements of social and physical as well as economic access), housing (including structural aspects related to urban design, water/sanitation), and exposure to and experience of violence (interpersonal and community level). We seek to contribute to the comprehension and analysis of migration as a longitudinal and dynamic process (incl. pre-, peri and post-migration stages), whose various facets intersect with other factors (such as gender, literacy, ethnicity, and lifestage) in shaping the social determinants of health, health outcomes and successful integration.

By asking the question ‘how can the social determinants of health be measured in contexts of forced migration?’ the workshop will critically examine current research with a particular focus on methodological approaches and related challenges. Drawing on a diversity of disciplines, areas and backgrounds, the workshop stands to improve existing methodologies and develop novel ones. Shifting the focus from a discussion of research results to the assessment of different methodological approaches and research tools also allows for a meta-analysis of existing studies and stock-taking.

The workshop aims to inform research among forced migrants in Germany. To this end, it will facilitate learning from diverse disciplinary and regional contexts by including participation from researchers working with forced migrants in other regions or settings, including postdoctoral researchers and doctoral students.

The concept of the workshop includes a hybrid approach.

The online components (starting around 15th June, 2022), prior to the 1-day in-person meeting, give participants the opportunity to present their work and to prepare their input to the workshop in small subgroups focusing on the area of their primary interest (food security, housing, or exposure to violence in the context of forced migration).

The in-person workshop, on 7th July, 2022 at Bielefeld University, including keynote presentations by senior guests, thematic sessions of the subgroups, and plenary sessions, arranged by cross-cutting topics (e.g. migration stage, lifecourse stage, gender, methodological questions, ethical issues).

After the in-person meeting, workshop participants are expected to continue working with their subgroup in order to generate publications, grant submissions, research collaborations, or other joint ventures including a repository of instruments for measuring food security, housing adequacy, and exposure to violence as social aspects of integration in the context of forced migration.

We encourage submissions on the following areas:

  • food security: Forced migrants often suffer from a lack of access to sufficient and healthy food during their trajectories. In addition, the requirements of different food cultures are often neglected in destination countries.
  • housing: Shelter during the migration journey often does not provide sufficient protection from weather extremes, and housing in the destination countries in many cases does not respond to forced migrants’ needs.
  • exposure to different kinds of violence: Forced migrants are often exposed to different forms of violence (structural, interpersonal, gender-based) both before, during and after their journey.

Please submit an abstract of 350 words by 20th May, 2022 to Dr. Kerstin Schmidt: kerstin.schmidt1@uni-bielefeld.de Abstracts will be reviewed by the organizing committee.

Important dates:
Submission deadline: 20th May, 2022
Responses: 27th May, 2022
Online meetings: starting around 15th June, 2022 In-person workshop in Bielefeld: 7th July, 2022

We are looking forward to your contributions!
Kerstin Schmidt, Nora Gottlieb, Manuela Orjuela-Grimm


Dr. Kerstin Schmidt, School of Public Health / AG 2 Population Medicine and Health Services Research, Bielefeld University, Germany
Dr. Nora Gottlieb, School of Public Health / AG 2 Population Medicine and Health Services Research, Bielefeld University, Germany
Prof. Manuela Orjuela-Grimm, Migration and Nutrition Epidemiology Group, Departments of Epidemiology and Pediatrics, Columbia University, USA; guest lecturer at Bielefeld University in the summer term 2022 (funded by the International Guest Lectureship Programme of Bielefeld University)

The Institute for Migration Research and Intercultural Studies (IMIS) at Osnabrück University, Germany will cooperate in the organization of the workshop and contribute with their expertise in forced migration.

All information summarized (PDF)

DeZIM Workshop Series

Authoritarianism and (Im)Mobility: Moving Beyond Exile and Forced Migration

7-8 November 2022
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin


  • Gülay Türkmen (WZB)
  • Zeynep Yanaşmayan (DeZIM Institute)
  • Ertuğ Tombuş (HU Berlin)

Liberal democracy is in decline around the world. With 70% of the world’s population now living in autocracies, the third wave of autocratization is in full swing. This turn towards authoritarianism in world politics has drawn much scholarly attention in recent years. Existing research has demonstrated political discontent, dissatisfaction with deterioration of democratic and civil rights, and perceived corruption to be important emigration drivers both in democratic contexts and in autocratizing countries. Similarly, scholars have established democratic governance as an important incentive for prospective migrants. Recent studies on forced migration, exile and transnational repression have also contributed to our understanding of the relationship between authoritarianism and migration.

Connecting this literature with the “mobility turn” in migration studies, this workshop seeks to move beyond the existing focus on exile and forced migration to display the various paths of (im)mobility in authoritarian settings. We aim to receive contributions on one or more of the following questions:

  • What kinds of (im)mobility practices does democratic decline in general, authoritarianism in particular, produce?
  • In which authoritarian contexts and under which circumstances mobility appears as a life aspiration?
  • What motivations shape (im)mobility decisions in authoritarian settings? What resources make mobility or immobility a viable option?
  • What impact, if any, do diaspora communities have on democratization/autocratization processes of origin countries?

Contributions can address theoretical questions that conceptualize the relationship between democratization and (im)mobility. Alternatively, contributions can also be empirical studies documenting the range of (im)mobility practices people engage in authoritarian settings. Multidisciplinary in nature, the workshop welcomes participations from a wide range of disciplinary and methodological approaches. Junior scholars are particularly encouraged to apply.

Please send a 300-word abstract and short resume to authmob22@gmail.com by May 15, 2022. Notifications of acceptance will be sent out by June 10, 2022. We expect to receive full papers by October 10, 2022. Selected papers will be included in an edited volume or a journal issue.