Institute for Research on Migration, Ethnicity and Society - REMESO

Man in refugee camp behind the Belgrade Central Station
Abdul Saboor is an Afghan refugee and photographer based in Paris. During 2017 he was stuck in Serbia, due to the new border closure. He lived in an informal camp behind the Belgrade Central Station. There he started to take pictures with his phone and later with a donated digital camera.  Abdul Saboor

The Institute for Research on Migration, Ethnicity and Society is a meeting place for researchers who want to develop a multilevel approach to the understanding of migration, ethnicity and society. REMESO’s research synthesises economic, ecological, technological, social, and cultural dynamics to understand migration and ethnicity.

We seek to explain how migration and displacement are caused by forces such as socioeconomic inequalities, precarious livelihoods, unfair labor conditions, climate change, and armed conflict. We examine how migration processes are met and managed by local, national, international, and geopolitical regimes of inclusion and exclusion.

REMESO’s research entails the study of our contemporary landscape of borders and border practices. Our research examines the precarisation of work and citizenship, the role of race and ethnicity in healthcare, schools, and urban segregation, and the effects of climate change, wars, and eroding state sovereignty on refugee movement and consequent transformations of the asylum system. Equally important, we study how borders are transformed by the strategies and know-how of migrants who seek access to welfare and rights.

REMESO investigates how regulation of migration are intertwined with discourses of difference and structures of discrimination related to nation, race, class, gender, and sexuality. We analyse the rise of right-wing populism and racism, and explore how everyday ideas, media discourses, cultural expressions, and the arts relate to ethnicity and nationalism.

REMESO also emphasises that research should embrace multiple perspectives and experiences, not least those of migrants and racialised groups. In many of our projects, we study the voices, agency and practices of migrant organisations and social movements.

Research since 2008

Animated by the need for adequate knowledge of international migration and ethnic relations, REMESO was founded in 2008.

The institute was funded by the Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare (FORTE), Linköping University and Norrköping Municipality. REMESO is today a university-wide institute and part of the Department of Culture and Society (IKOS).

Situated at Campus Norrköping, REMESO has about 30 faculty members and PhD students and collaborates with some 20 affiliated researchers.

REMESO has become a leading centre for research on migration and ethnicity, with a growing reputation for the quality of its research both in the Nordic context, and more broadly in Europe and internationally.
FORTE Centres of Excellence Evaluation, 2018

Research projects

Human migration and mobility are as old as history, and they affect every society in the world.

They also belong to history’s most changeable phenomena, as they are often linked to political conflicts, economic inequalities, environmental change, ethnic and racial discrimination, and social unrest.

To understand migration and ethnicity, REMESO's research synthesises economic, ecological, technological, social, and cultural dynamics.

Thematic streams

The research projects are organised in five thematic streams:

  • Citizenship and Ethnic Relations
  • Globalisation and the Reconstitution of Normative and Legal Frameworks
  • Migration, Public Service and Health
  • Migration Welfare and the Political Economy of Labour Market Segmentation
  • Post-National Strategies for Development/Growth, Inclusion and Diversity

Research concept

Migration and ethnicity require a transdisciplinary outlook and unorthodox methodological approaches. This recognition underlies our common theoretical platform: a dual critical commitment. This theoretical platform accommodates a broad multiplicity of methods, from quantitative sociology and economics to aesthetic analysis and history.



The latest publications


Seminars and Conferences

Cooperation and outreach

REMESO cooperates with civil society organisations, social movements, cultural institutions, businesses, and authorities on local, national and transnational levels.

These collaborations involve education and knowledge exchange as well as project development and evaluation. By collaborating in research, education, and dissemination, REMESO has built a network of affiliated researchers and experts. These networks connect us to ongoing outreach activities involving think tanks, popular publications, pod casts and public events. Exchanges with visual artists, writers and public intellectuals will continuously be a strong interest and commitment for the Institute.


Our partners include:

The Swedish Migration Agency, Regional Board Östergötland, European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare, Swedish National Agency for Education, Public Health Agency of Sweden, Swedish Employment Agency, Swedish Association for Sexuality Education, Global Challenge, PGA – Peoples’ Global Action for Migration, UN High Level Political Forum on Migration, UNESCO Council's Social Science Program MOST, Ericsson, Tensta Art Center, Norrköping Art Museum and various Swedish Municipalities. 

An exhibition space

On Campus Norrköping REMESO runs since 2017 an exhibition space – LOBBY – in which contemporary artists are invited to address and confront issues linked to our research.


Doctoral studies

REMESO runs a doctoral programme in Ethnic and Migration Studies and an International Graduate School in Migration and Integration.

The PhD programme in Ethnic and Migration Studies gives doctoral students insight into central dimensions of Swedish and international research on ethnicity, migration and society. The courses are interdisciplinary and usually offered in English. Course work and thesis writing are thoroughly integrated throughout the programme. 

The Graduate School in Migration and Integration is jointly run by REMESO and the University of Gothenburg’s Department of Sociology and Centre on Global Migration. The school provides Swedish and international PhD students with the opportunity to participate in advanced teaching and research training in the areas of migration and integration.

PhD dissertations in process – with preliminary titles

Haqqi Bahram: Between Statelessness and Refugeehood: Kurds from Syria and the Question of Citizenship

Nicolina Ewards Öberg: Home making in times of changing migration regimes

Asher Goldstein: Indifference to Extraction

Mavis Hooi: Informal learning. Social media activism. Intersectional antiracism

Lisa Karlsson Blom: Måste vi prata om ras? Samtal om rasism och antirasistisk praktik i Sverige på 2010- och 20-talen

Rudeina Mkdad: Navigating ‘Respectability’: The Relationship to the Family Center in Sweden for ‘Racialized Parents’ from Muslim-Majority Countries
Celina Ortega Soto: Cultures of Rejection: rejection of migrants and authorities in the shadow of the corona pandemic in Sweden
Kenna Sim: Movement is Foundational: Cultures of Resistance in the Context of Climate Mobilities
Julia Willén: Futures Lost of South African Whiteness: the Writings of Nadine Gordimer 1953–1979 



REMESO offers a Bachelor’s programme in Social and Cultural Analysis and an international Master’s programme in Ethnic and Migration Studies.

Social and Cultural Analysis

The Bachelor’s programme in Social and Cultural Analysis (SKA), is an interdisciplinary undergraduate education taught mainly in Swedish with some English courses. Students gain insights into historical conditions, learn to analyse contemporary societal conditions and acquire tools to work with change for the future.

Ethnic and Migration Studies

The Master’s programme in Ethnic and Migration Studies (EMS) is a two-year campus-based programme taught in English. EMS relates ethnicity and migration to global economic and cultural change, as well as to systems of domination and movements of resistance. Students learn to analyse the causes of migration, as well as its consequences for emerging formations of race, gender, labor, citizenship, health care, welfare and culture. 

Board of REMESO

REMESO's 15th anniversary


REMESO celebrated 15 years with panel discussions and seminars together with colleagues, board members, alumni, and affiliates. February 8, 2023. Take part of some of the discussions here!

Introduction by Anders Neergaard, Professor, Director of REMESO and Carl-Ulrik Schierup, Professor emeritus, former Director of REMESO.


A Modern Migration Theory

Book discussion with Peo Hansen, Professor, REMESO, author of A Modern Migration Theory and Lisa Pelling, Chair of REMESO Board and Director of Arena Idé.

The Tidö Agreement

New Challenges for Ethnic and Migration Studies.

Panel discussion with Rudeina Mkdad, PhD student, REMESO; Anders Neergaard, Professor, Director of REMESO; Kitimbwa Sabuni, REMESO board member, County Admin., Board of Stockholm; Per Wirtén, REMESO board member, author and political commentator and  Lisa Pelling (moderator), chair of REMESO board, Director Arena Idé.


Ethnic and Migration Studies: Systems of Knowledge 

Panel discussion with Aleksandra Ålund, Professor emerita, REMESO; Haqqi Bahram, PhD student, REMESO; Branka Likic-Brboric, Senior associate professor; Xolani Tshabalala, Postdoc, REMESO; Claudia Tazreiter (moderator), Professor, REMESO.


REMESO talks

Ambivalent Solidarities: Migrant Labour and Trade Unions in South Africa, USA and Sweden

Seminar 16/2 2021

Speakers: Janet Munakamwe, Els de Graauw, Shannon Gleeson, Anders Neergaard

Commentators: Bridget Anderson and Ronaldo Munck

Moderator: Carl-Ulrik Schierup

Unionizing the precarized, syndicalism and the contemporary working class - panel discussion

Panel discussion 25/11 2020

Speakers: Eli Adekur, Marissa Begonia, Daria Bogdanska, Frank Iyanga Makelo

Moderator: Asher Goldstein

Doors Close! Social Polarization and the Rise of Cultures of Rejection across Europe

Seminar 12/12 2019

Manuela Bojadzijev, Professor of Sociology, Leuphana University/Berlin Institute for Migration and Integration Research, Humboldt University; Benjamin Opratko, Researcher, Department of Political Science, University of Vienna; Gazela Pudar Drasko, Professor, Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, University of Belgrade; Éric Fassin, Department of Sociology, University of Paris 8–Saint-Denis.

Moderator: Stefan Jonsson, professor, Institute for research on migration, ethnicity and society (REMESO)



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