Marta Bivand Erdal

Marta Bivand Erdal
Peace Research Institute Oslo · Social Dynamics

PhD Human Geography

About

70
Publications
8,772
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1,384
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Introduction
My research focuses on migrant transnationalism, including remittances and development; on migrant integration, and citizenship practices in diverse contexts; and on return migration and sustained mobilities. Through this I also explore the interactions of migrant transnationalism and integration, questions of dual belonging and ambvialence, and the roles of religion in migrant transnationalism and integration processes. My research is mainly qalitative, based in Norway, Pakistan and Poland.
Additional affiliations
March 2007 - present
Peace Research Institute Oslo
Position
  • Senior Researcher

Publications

Publications (70)
Article
Full-text available
In this article, we explore ways of understanding the interactions between migrant integration and transnationalism, based on a review of quantitative and qualitative literature. Integration is taken as the starting point, and the assumption that integration and transnationalism are at odds with one another is questioned. When considered as constit...
Article
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The political climate on immigration and diversity in various European societies has previously been analysed in relation to media representations, policy regimes and public opinion. This paper focuses more narrowly on how political climates affect migrant and post-migrant generations, as inhabitants of these European societies. We focus on the imp...
Article
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Migrants' houses are a common feature of many regions of emigration globally and are one manifestation of migrants' transnational ties. This paper explores why migrants' build houses in their country of origin, even when migrants are not planning to return. The paper aims to analyze migrants' houses as relational places located in transnational soc...
Chapter
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Migrant remittances are increasingly a well-researched area from the economic perspective, but the social dynamics that remittances are part of remain under-explored. Within the broader field of transnational migration studies social dimensions are often included, yet the economically and the more broadly oriented literatures only to a limited exte...
Article
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Abstract Considerations about return are a persistent dimension of identity work in migrant populations. The question of where and what constitutes ‘home’ for migrants is central to understanding processes of integration, sustained transnational ties, and return considerations, because reflections about ‘home’ are reflective of belonging. Based on...
Article
Migration may affect migrants’ ideas as they become exposed to different contexts over time. But how does such exposure and opportunities for comparative evaluation of origin and settlement contexts, translate into content for potential political remittances? To answer this question, we analyse 80 interviews with Polish and Romanian migrants living...
Technical Report
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Non-resident citizens’ participation in national elections is known as external voting. This report presents the first comparative dataset of external voting, both in parliamentary and presidential elections. We gathered voting results among migrants from nine Central and Eastern European countries, with the main analysis focusing on six where most...
Article
This article starts from the empirical observation that many migrants lead lives characterized by sedentarism, not mobility, within transnational social fields. Migrant belonging is often stretched across multiple locations spatially, resulting in what I call multifocal sedentarism. I draw on qualitative data from the transnational social field spa...
Article
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External voting by nonresident citizens has become an important feature of contemporary democratic politics. However, compared to the average voter in domestic elections, we still know significantly less about migrants' motivations to vote or not. Whereas analyses of external voting patterns offer insights into the results of external voting compar...
Technical Report
Full-text available
In this report, we present insights from interviews with Polish and Romanian migrants living in Barcelona and Oslo. These interviews were conducted as part of the DIASPOlitic project “Understanding the Political Dynamics of Émigré Communities in an Era of European Democratic Backsliding”. The project is funded by the Research Council of Norway and...
Article
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When naturalised citizens receive their passport, it is material and symbolic proof of membership in the nation-state, tying the individual to the nation and providing mobility resources. For naturalised Norwegian citizens, their birthplace appears in the passport. What might be the implications of removing this information? In 2016, the Norwegian...
Article
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After three decades of scholarship, transnationalism remains understood as connections between people who have migrated and people who remain in the country of origin. Such ties are important and prevalent. But perhaps a radical extension of transnationalism is also warranted: There are people who are neither ‘migrants’ nor ‘non‐migrants’ but lead...
Article
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This article engages critically with the idea of state-centred nationhood, including its promises and limitations, as a foundation for state strategies of forging unity in (migration-related) diversity within nations. As states across Europe grapple with the management of migration-related diversity, in contexts of increasing polarization of public...
Chapter
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Religious processions in secular urban spaces are a growing phenomenon that has received limited public attention in Norway. In this country, the Roman Catholic Church is a large and culturally diverse religious minority. Built on observations of processions on the major feast of Corpus Christi in six different Catholic parishes, the article discus...
Article
Migrant houses in countries of origin, referred to as ‘remittance houses’, are a visible marker of emigration. Case studies from diverse geographic contexts have explored their functions. Unlike the surrounding built environment, these houses span the local and transnational realities of migrant lives, while being grounded in specific places. We ar...
Article
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The literature on citizenship policies is flourishing, yet we know little of which naturalisation requirements majorities and minorities find reasonable, and how they view existing citizenship regimes. Drawing on original survey data with young adults in Norway (N = 3535), comprising immigrants and descendants with origins from Iraq, Pakistan, Pola...
Article
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Following the record number of asylum seekers to Europe in 2015, Norway intensified its practice of revoking migrants’ residence permits and citizenships, which primarily affected refugees and their families, and reflects a broader international trend of increased use of temporary protection. This article explores the effects of revocation on indiv...
Article
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This article offers empirically based analytical scrutiny of what deskilling looks like and means for migrant nurses. We draw on 30 interviews with Filipino and Polish nurse migrants in Oslo, Norway, which we analyze comparatively. Through empirical attention to nurse migrants’ professional experiences, we address the analytically oriented question...
Article
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The question of what constitutes the “good citizen” has received renewed interest in Western Europe in connection with increasing pressure on the welfare state, concerns over migration-related diversity, and growing anxiety about a crisis of democracy. We draw on data from fifty in-depth interviews and six focus group discussions with residents of...
Article
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This article contributes to analyses of diversity in the nation through analytical attention to negotiation dynamics in young people's exchanges about ‘who’ and ‘what’ the nation is (understood to be) using data from 33 focus groups with 289 upper secondary students in schools across Norway. The negotiation dynamics present in the discussion are ex...
Article
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This article interrogates boundaries of the everyday nation, based on how young people in Norway experience and reflect upon first impressions. The data consists of 289 texts written by pupils and 33 focus groups with the same youth. First impressions are conceptualized as boundaries of the everyday nation, characterized by heteronomy and multiplic...
Article
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This article sheds light on what citizenship means for individuals’ experiences of belonging. Through 41 interviews conducted in Oslo, Norway, we trace understandings of how, when and why citizenship matters (or not) for belonging. Our interviewees fall into one of four categories: born citizens; naturalized citizens; dual citizens and non-Norwegia...
Article
This article contributes to the debate on human rights education in diverse societies. It is concerned with the relationship between participation and the co-construction of national belonging. Our data consists of 289 pupil texts and 33 focus group discussions in 6 upper secondary schools in Norway. The role of the school in nation-building is wel...
Article
This themed section brings together five articles focusing on distinct urban sites: Berlin/Munich, Oslo/Bergen, Belfast, Bologna and Barcelona. While there has been extensive research on Polish migrants in cities such as London, this themed issue presents a unique opportunity to explore the experiences of Polish women and men across a range of diff...
Article
This article examines voluntariness in migration decisions by promoting the acknowledgement of forced and voluntary migration as a continuum of experience, not a dichotomy. Studies on conflict-related migration and migration, in general, remain poorly connected, despite calls for interaction. This reflects the forced–voluntary dichotomy's stickines...
Article
This article contributes to conceptual debates on gender transformations in the context of migration and transnationalism. We do so by discussing developments in gender relations and identities among Polish post-accession migrants in Norway; analysing the intersections of continuities and changes, relationally, as these are produced spatially and t...
Article
The article presents a theoretical argument for aligning principles of citizenship with realities of migrant transnationalism and dual citizenship. Migrant transnationalism and dual citizenship challenge zero-sum understandings of belonging and residence as rooted in one place only. Through the lens of residence, the authors connect insights from m...
Article
This article examines the different roles religion can play when migrants organize for development. We focus on organizing for development, through transnational Islamic charity, formally and informally, and where religion takes on explicit or implicit roles. By taking Muslim religious practices as starting points, different forms of development en...
Article
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Fostering unity in diversity while ensuring spaces for disagreement is a key challenge for all liberal democracies with ethnic and religious diversity. Increasing polarization, not least due to the threat of terror attacks, exacerbates this challenge. Drawing on the case of Norway in the aftermath of the 2011 terror attacks motivated by ‘Eurabia’ s...
Book
This book is the first to analyze the impacts of migration and transnationalism on global Catholicism. It explores how migration and transnationalism are producing diverse spaces and encounters that are moulding the Roman Catholic Church as institution and parish, pilgrimage and network, community and people. Bringing together established and emerg...
Article
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Through a juxtaposition of diaspora policy with migrants’ transnational citizenship practices, this article explores how peoplehood, nationhood and citizenship are articulated, justified and enacted. The article draws on the politico-spatial context of Norwegian-Pakistani transnational social space, analyzing the Pakistani Origin Card (POC), remitt...
Article
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The 2004 EU extension and the 2008 financial crisis triggered new migration flows within Europe, and subsequent debates about what the novelty of these migration flows consists of. We draw on adult Polish and Spanish migrants’ in Norway’s considerations about future mobility and settlement, and explore how these situate themselves in relation to co...
Article
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In this article, through a case study of transnational Islamic charity, we explore the intersection between migrant development engagements and religious practices. While migrant engagement in development is well known, the intersections of these with everyday religious practices are less so. We use the prism of ‘everyday rituals’, understood as hu...
Article
Following post-EU-accession migration, Poles currently form the largest group of foreign nationals in Norway and the second largest group of foreign born residents in the United Kingdom. Given the considerable volume of new arrivals, there is a growing literature on Polish migration to both countries; however, there is little comparative research o...
Chapter
Full-text available
In this paper, the authors unpack ‘social remittances’ in the context of religiously motivated transnational Islamic charity, focusing on education and gender equality. They approach social transformation by seeing migration as enmeshed in social change, with both intended and unintended outcomes. Their study adopts a multi-sited approach, tracing...
Chapter
Migration and transnationalism are moulding the Roman Catholic Church, producing diverse spaces and encounters. Through the prism of Catholicism as institution and faith, pilgrimage and network, community and people, this collection explores the impacts of migration and transnationalism on global Catholicism.
Chapter
This chapter explores how Polish migration is shaping the Catholic Church in Norway. It foregrounds both Polish migrants’ everyday narratives, and the Church’s responses, at a time of demographic reconstitution, within a highly diverse, minority, Catholic context. Poland is the main country of birth among Catholics in Norway, thus turning the diver...
Article
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This paper explores the transnational family life of Polish migrants in Norway, through the analysis of the nature and extent of transnational practices and transnational identifications. We draw on debates in migration studies on the limits of transnationalism and on transnational parenting, both arguing for greater attention to the actual extent...
Article
Remittances to Pakistan have increased annually for the past decade, reaching 18 billion USD in 2014. This paper draws on interviews with Pakistani taxi-drivers in Barcelona and Oslo to analyze the implications of their differing migration-trajectories for remittance sending. The findings underscore the significance of length of emigration and loca...
Article
This paper explores the ways in which experiences with return migration are intertwined with considerations about education. How is education a part of returnees' stories about return to Pakistan, and what are the implications that can be drawn to better understand return mobilities and transnational living? While the academic discussion of educati...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter explores and interrogates the meanings of ‘development’ that shape how diaspora-development engagements are analyzed and understood in the Pakistani context. Globally migrants’ remittances are seen to be of key importance within the migration-development nexus, largely based on the volume of remittances. For Pakistan, in 2009, the remi...
Article
Return migration and migrant transnationalism are key phenomena in research on international migration. Here we examine how the two are connected. The article introduces a special section and draws partly upon this selection of papers and partly upon the broader literature. First, we argue that there is often a blurred boundary between mobility as...
Article
In this article we explore the added value of foregrounding temporal dimensions in migration research. Age at the time of migration, length of stay in the country of settlement and individual life-cycle stages matter for migrants' settlement and return considerations. However, these factors are rarely put centre stage in analyses. We draw on data f...
Article
Migrant remittances have received unprecedented attention over the past decade and scholars have interpreted remittance flows from a range of vantage points. In this article, we explore the meaning of remittances from three perspectives – (1) as an ingredient of terrorism and crime; (2) as a contribution to development; and (3) as an obstacle to in...
Article
Full-text available
Post-accession emigration from Central Europe and Poland in particular, is an important feature of contemporary migration flows in Europe. While there is now a substantial body of research on Polish migration to the UK, exploring one of the largest post-accession flows, there has been less focus on other destination countries. This paper is based o...
Article
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This article explores the interaction between migrant transnationalism and integration by interrogating the concept of integration from a transnational perspective. Integration is shown to be a multi-layered phenomenon, encompassing both descriptive and prescriptive elements—what is and what ought to be. The policies of individual nation-states def...
Article
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This article engages critically with the insider–outsider divide in research with migrants and advocates a more nuanced and dynamic approach to positionality. In migration research, the insider–outsider divide typically assumes a specific form: an insider researcher is a member of the migrant group under study, whereas an outsider researcher is a m...
Chapter
Full-text available
Hva det vil si å være norsk er ikke lenger like enkelt som før. Stadig flere nordmenn har bånd til flere land på samme tid, og vårt syn på verdier som likestilling, frihet og solidaritet, som unikt norske, blir utfordret. Dette får også konsekvenser for utenrikspolitikken, men hvordan og hvorfor? Og hva bør vi gjøre med det? https://www.cappelenda...
Article
Full-text available
The household is usually the unit of analysis in the literature on migrant remittances, reflecting assumptions that remittances represent flows between family members and are pooled within households. By importing ideas from development studies and using the individual as the unit of analysis, this article challenges these assumptions and interroga...
Article
This article examines how conflict in the country of origin interacts with other factors in shaping migrants' remittance-sending practices. Our data come from a survey of 10 immigrant groups in Norway and semi-structured interviews with Somali and Pakistani remittance-senders and receivers. First, we conduct an in-depth comparison to explore the di...
Article
Full-text available
The theme of this article is the transnational activities of members of the Tamil diaspora in Norway and their significance for development in the North-East of Sri Lanka. Our analysis acknowledges the complexity of Tamil transnational activities, particularly in regard to issues which may be seen as political. A key observation regards the pragmat...

Network

Cited By

Projects

Projects (4)
Project
• To develop a coherent international academic narrative and foster networking on return migration in the context of contemporary geopolitical and social shifts • To theorise the recent state and non-state practices and transformations of return migration and the implications for the involved stakeholders • To advance research on the most innovative and unexplored aspects of return migration in order to promote cross-national dialogue between research, policy making and professional practice
Project
After the European Union’s (EU) Eastern Enlargement in 2004-2007, most Western and Northern European countries’ labour markets became open for migrants from the new member states in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). The scale of this intra-European migration, though smaller than migration from outside the EU, is nevertheless very significant: for example in 2016, out of the 3.3 million people who migrated to an EU country 1.3 where citizens of another member state. Despite this, relatively little attention is given to study the political dynamics of these émigré communities. At the time of the Enlargement, many policymakers and pundits believed, as did numerous migration researchers that CEE migrants would “socialize” to the values and standards of consolidated liberal democracies, and “remit democracy home”. The rise of populism and democratic backsliding across Europe, especially CEE, question this notion. Some existing evidence shows that émigré communities are actually supporting far right and populist politicians more than voters in their home countries are. The DIASPOlitic project asks if, how, and to what extent EU-diasporas contribute to democratic backsliding and the political fragmentation of Europe. We will gather data on EU-diasporas political views, as expressed through voting in national elections in origin states, and conduct ethnographic research among select groups (i.e. most radical or most liberal). We also want to know what explains the right-wing/populist shift in some migration groups – and how host countries can improve their integration policies to mitigate it. Combining quantitative and qualitative research, DIASPOlitic will contribute to the understanding of EU-diasporas as transnational actors and social collectives, positioned in between host and sending societies and states, and other migrant communities, within a European transnational political space; affecting core understandings of European values, democracy and Europe itself.
Archived project
This research project investigated the role of ethnic and religious diversity in contemporary European nation building. National identity is not a fixed entity, and through the parallel processes of globalization, immigration and secularization, traditional notions of national identity are under pressure. NATION sought to understand these issues by exploring how nationhood is negotiated in three European countries: Norway, France, and the United Kingdom.