ISRF Independent Scholar Fellow 2020-21
ISRF Independent Scholar Fellow 2020-21
Veysi´s research interests include studies of migration and diaspora; social movements and transnationalism; comparative politics with a focus on refugee and migration policies in Europe; peace-building and conflict transformation; and regional policy analysis with a focus on Middle Eastern politics and Kurdish-Turkish conflict.
Veysi has an unconventional academic trajectory. His education was interrupted when he was imprisoned in Turkey because of his engagement as a human right activist and work for a Kurdish newspaper. When he was released from prison, he escaped to Germany, where he sought asylum and subsequently resumed his education. In 2017, he completed his PhD at the Free University of Berlin. His PhD examined the transnational activism of stateless Kurdish diasporas in Berlin, London and Stockholm.
In February 2019, Veysi began work part-time as a member of the EU-funded project Migration Governance and Asylum Crises (MAGYC). His current research grows out of this project, and focuses on refugee governance from below. His project will investigate the functions and politics of diverse Kurdish diaspora associations in European cities, and the process of integration of Kurdish refugees after the “European refugee crisis” in 2015. The project hypothesizes that diaspora associations can play a decisive role in refugees’ adaptation to new environments if refugee incorporation regimes adopt inclusive policies toward those associations and offer them adequate incentives for cooperation. The aim of the project is to understand and explore the extent to which Kurdish diaspora associations function as part of a multi-scale regime of integration governance.
Based on comparative and interpretive analysis, his project seeks to yield fresh insights into the complex relationship between diaspora associations, refugees and state authorities. By investigating this triple relationship, his study aims to shed light on the ways in which diaspora associations may contribute to a balanced mode of refugee governance from below. Veysi will hold an affiliation with SOAS, University of London during his fellowship.
Diasporas establish a wide range of associations to promote the adaptation of their members to new societies, but they also promote their own culture, provide members with practical assistance, defend their interests, overcome their isolation and maintain links with the homeland. The role of diaspora associations is crucial in incorporating newly-arrived refugees into new environments too. They might contribute to the incorporation process by acting in areas to which local authorities have limited access. On the other hand, they might lead to segregation and parallel societies that deter the newly-arrived refugees from social, cultural and institutional participation in new countries. What drives pre-established diaspora associations to pursue particular strategies of adaptation or those of segregation? This research proposal sets out to examine the ways in which pre-established Kurdish diaspora organisations shape the reception and incorporation processes of newly-arrived Kurdish refugees in new societies. It hypothesizes that diaspora associations play a decisive role in the refugees’ adaptation to new environments if incorporation regimes adopt inclusive policies toward these associations and offer them adequate incentives for cooperation. To test the hypothesis and answer these research questions, I have collected empirical data through ethnographic fieldwork and participant observation, and have conducted 230 in-depth interviews with leaders of diaspora associations and recent refugees in capital and border cities of Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Austria, France and Italy. Based on the comparative and interpretive analysis of the collected data, this project will yield fresh insights into complex relationships between diaspora associations, refugees and state authorities. By investigating this triple relationship, this study sheds light on the way in which diasporas produce a balanced mode of refugee governance from below that contributes to the refugees’ incorporation process and the reformation of incorporation regimes.