Research

The KMI is a platform for research projects dealing with migration and integration.

Dual Citizenship:

Political bone of contention or instrument of social integration? An investigation into a current dilemma of Austrian politics and society

Project leaders: Max Haller and Rainer Bauböck

In cooperation with:

Hermann Atz, apollis Institute of Social Research and Opinion Polling, Bolzano, South Tyrol (Italy)

Günther Pallaver, Department of Political Science, University of Innsbruck, Chairman of the Michael Gaismair Society, Bolzano

Francesco Palermo, Eurac Research, Bolzano, Italy

The proposed project will comprise an investigation and discussion of the matter of dual citizenship from a comparative perspective. It has been occasioned, among other things, by the consideration of the current federal government of Austria to offer Austrian citizenship to German and Ladin-speaking Italian citizens living in South Tyrol. This offer to South Tyroleans however contradicts the restrictive stance Austria normally has towards foreign citizens living within the country and towards Austrian citizens living abroad.

In the course of the proposed project, the question of dual citizenship will be presented and discussed from a constitutional and political, and especially from a sociological perspective. The attitudes, expectations, and actions of four groups of citizens are of particular importance here: Austrian citizens living in Austria, Austrian citizens living abroad (expatriate Austrians), non-Austrian citizens living in Austria, and Italian citizens of all language groups living in South Tyrol. Representative surveys will be conducted among all of these target groups. Legal and political analyses of the Austrian approach to dual citizenship will augment the results of these surveys. A conference providing opportunity for the presentation and discussion of the results of the project is to take place at the Austrian Academy of Sciences in the early autumn of 2019. The project will also result in a number of scholarly publications.

Migration as Morality Politics:

The Contentious Politics of Sanctuary in Europe and the United States

Principal Investigator: Dr. Julia Mourão Permoser

Funding: FWF - Der Wissenschaftsfonds (2019-2023)

The proposed project addresses a research gap concerning the role of values in migration politics. Once a field dominated by bureaucrats and special interests, migration politics has now become a site of intense value-based conflicts. Such conflicts touch upon deeply-held moral principles and generate dynamics of contention that are typical of morality politics. Nevertheless, the moral dimension of migration politics has not been in the focus of either the migration studies or the morality politics literature. In order to fill this gap, the project develops a new analytical approach to the study of migration that is sensitive to the role of values as a source of normative disagreements and as constitutive of political actors’ preferences and motivations. It does so through an empirical study of the contentious politics of sanctuary in Europe and the United States. On the basis of qualitative interviews and primary document analysis, the project investigates three types of sanctuary practices: church asylum, sanctuary cities/firewall policies, and humanitarian rescue operations in the Mediterranean and at the United States-Mexico border. These practices are highly contested, generate contentious political dynamics, implicate religious values and actors, and involve moral controversies and dilemmas. The project uses these three types of sanctuary as empirical case studies that will serve as building blocks for the development of a theory of migration as morality politics.