Governance of Migration and Diversity - Sociology
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Dr. Arjen Leerkes

Arjen Leerkes is a Professor of Migration, Securitization and Social Cohesion at the Maastricht Graduate School of Governance, an Associate Professor of Sociology at Erasmus University Rotterdam, and a research fellow at the Research and Documentation Centre (WODC) of the Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security. He conducts interdisciplinary social science research (sociology, political science, law, criminology) on the governance of international migration, with a focus on the social construction and operation of immigration control.  

Furthermore, he conducts research on how multi-ethnic societies create and solve problems of social cohesion, focusing on issues of crime and crime control.

He is the coordinator of the sociology track of the interdisciplinary master Governance of Migration and Diversity, where he also teaches the Sociology of Migration and Diversity course. Additionally, he teaches in the sociology Bachelor 3 programme, and supervises students’ thesis projects at the PhD, Master, and Bachelor levels. 

Dr. Asya Pisarevskaya

Dr. Asya Pisarevskaya

Dr. Asya Pisarevskaya is a postdoctoral researcher in the group 'Dynamics of Migration and Diversity Policies’ lead by Prof. dr. Peter Scholten. She holds a PhD in Sociology and Methodology of Social Science, obtained in 2018 from the University of Milan. In her PhD dissertation she did a comparative analysis of policies relevant for labour market integration of refuges in seven European countries in the period 1990-2008.

Her current research is focused on urban migration-related diversity, labour market integration of refugees and the histories of paradigmatic and thematic developments of the field migration studies.

She is specialised in quantitative methods, survey design and bibliometrics, and applies Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) and the related set-methods to the study of policies.

In the Master Programme Governance of Migration and Diversity she is a lecturer and a coordinator of the course 'Governance of Migration and Diversity'. Within the IMISCOE network she is involved in a Standing Committee 'Reflexivities in migration studies' as a member of the board, as well as she is responsible for establishing connections between academia, policy-makers and practice as part of the IMISCOE External Affairs Committee.

Dr. Maria Schiller

Maria Schiller is an Assistant Professor of Public policy, Migration and Diversity at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. Before joining EUR in 2019, she was a Senior Research Fellow at the MPI for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity in Göttingen, a Substitute Assistant Professor at the University of Tübingen, a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Kent and a Marie Skłodowska Curie Fellow at the University of Vienna. She holds a PhD in Migration Studies from the University of Kent. 

Maria is the Managing Coordinator of the Master Governance of Migration and Diversity and the Coordinator of the Public Administration track.

She teaches joint and track-specific courses in the Master and supervises MA theses on a broad range of topics. In the academic year 2021-2022 she will be involved in teaching the courses Politics of Migration and Diversity, Comparative Public Policy, and supervise MA theses. 

In her research, Maria has done extensive work on local policy making and policy implementation on migration-related diversity in the Netherlands, Belgium, the UK, Germany and France. She has investigated the ideas underlying local diversity policies, the profiles of officials in immigrant affairs offices, and the practices of implementing diversity policies in municipal organizations. Furthermore, Maria has been part of large comparative studies, examining networks of local actors involved in the local governance of diversity and dynamics of cooperation and conflict, as well as the role of national and regional state frames and policies for local immigrant policy making. 

Currently, she is involved in several research projects, including the Horizon 2020 project “Whole-COMM”. She is Theme leader on “Inclusive cities and diversity” in the EUR Vital Cities and Citizens initiative and Chair of the IMISCOE Standing Committee “Migration Politics and Governance”.

Dr. Mark van Ostaijen

Mark van Ostaijen is as Assistant Professor affiliated to the Department of Public Administration and Sociology (DPAS/ ESSB) at Erasmus University Rotterdam. He works as Managing Director of the LDE Centre Governance of Migration and Diversity

His current teaching is related to the GMD Master, where he is a lecturer of the course ‘Politics of Migration and Diversity’, and to the program of the European University of Post-Industrial Cities (UNIC) (see:

In his research he is interested in social-political issues of inequality, articulated in domains of (class) migration, populism, mobility, urban development and gender. 

Prof. dr. Peter Scholten 

Peter Scholten is full professor of Migration and Diversity Policy at the Department of Public Administration and Sociology. His research focuses on amongst others on the governance of migration and migration-related diversity, multi-level governance, comparative public policy, and the relationship between science and politics in the field of migration. Peter is director of IMISCOE, Europe’s largest academic research network on migration, integration and social cohesion.

As of January 2020, Peter is also scientific coordinator of the LDE Research Center on the Governance of Migration and Diversity (a collaboration a cooperation of Leiden University, Delft University, and Erasmus University Rotterdam).

Furthermore, he is editor-in-chief of the journal Comparative Migration Studies (CMS) and associated editor of the Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis. As of 2020, Peter Scholten is alliance coordinator of the European University of Post-Industrial Cities (UNIC). Also, he is external collaborator at the Migration Policy Centre in EUI Florence.

At the Erasmus University, Peter Scholten teaches a number of courses for students from the Masters Public Policy & Politics (Beleid & Politiek), International Management and Public Policy (IMP), and for the bachelor programme Public Administration. He also supervises master students for the Research Master Public Administration. Peter Scholten is one of the co-founders and director of the MSc programme Governance of Migration and Diversity where he is also a lecturer in the course ‘Politics of Migration and Diversity’.

Thomas Swerts

Dr. Thomas Swerts

Thomas Swerts is an Assistant Professor in Urban Sociology at the Department of Public Administration and Sociology of the Faculty of Social Sciences of the Erasmus University Rotterdam. Before joining EUR in 2018, he was a post-doctoral researcher and visiting professor at the Universiteit Antwerpen, the Université de Liège and the KU Leuven. He holds a PhD in Sociology from the University of Chicago.

Thomas is the Co-coordinator of the Master Grootstedelijke Vraagstukken en Beleid (GVB) and coordinator of the Sociology Bachelor Thesis. 

He teaches the course ‘Stad, Economie en Samenleving’ for the GVB Master track, is involved in the BA course ‘International Migration’ and supervises theses on urban and migration-related themes.

In the academic year 2020-2021, he will teach the course ‘Migration in a Globalized World’ for the Master in Governance of Migration and Diversity.

His research focuses on the nexus between irregular migration, political sociology and urban studies. His book manuscript, Citizen X: Undocumented migrants as activists (under contract at the University of Chicago Press), is a comparative ethnographic study of undocumented immigrant struggles in Chicago and Brussels. As a researcher, he is primarily specialized in ethnographic methods, participatory action research and in-depth interviewing. His most current research focuses on the dynamic of civil society in deprived neighbourhoods.

His research has been funded by the SSRC, NSF and the Mellon Foundation. He has published in academic journals like Global Networks, Mobilization, the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Antipode and the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. He has also contributed to edited volumes on citizenship studies, immigrant rights mobilization, research ethics and relational poverty politics.

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