MOBILISE asks: When there is discontent, why do some people protest while others cross borders?

Connecting theoretical expectations from the migration and protest literatures, we examine: a) whether similar factors drive the choice to migrate and/or protest at the individual level; b) how context affects this mobilisation; c) whether these choices are independent of each other or mutually reinforcing/ undermining.

MOBILISE employs a multi-method (nationally representative face-to-face panel surveys, online migrant surveys, protest participant surveys, focus groups, life-history interviews, social media analysis) and a multi-sited research design. It covers Ukraine, Poland, Morocco, Argentina and Belarus, which have recently witnessed large-scale emigration and protests. It follows migrants from these countries to Germany, the UK and Spain.

The project offers four key innovations:

  1. it combines protest and migration;
  2. it captures all the relevant groups for a comparative study (protesters, migrants, migrant protesters and people who have not engaged in migration or protest);
  3. it tracks individuals over time by employing a panel survey;
  4. it includes the use of social media data providing real time information on the role of networks and political remittances.

These features allow the project to make a major contribution to theory development in both migration and protest studies and offer key insights to policy makers on factors influencing political and economic stability.

Our project is collaborative. It is composed of 4 country teams:

  1. Olga Onuch (University of Manchester) is PI in the UK and  David Doyle (Oxford) is Co-I,
  2. Gwendolyn Sasse (ZOIS/Oxford) is PI in Germany,
  3. Sorana Toma (ENSAE) and Ivaylo Petev (ENSAE) are PIs in France,  
  4. Jacquelien Van Stekelenburg (VU) is PI and Evelyn Ersanilli (UVA) is Co-I in the Netherlands.

OUR TEAM is made up of 11 full-time researchers + 4 research assistants + 26 Advisory Board members.

We are based in 4 different countries and study individuals in 7 country cases.

MOBILISE is funded through the Open Research Area (ORA) Scheme with direct support of the ESRC in the UK, the DFG in Germany, the ANR in France and the NWO in the Netherlands.

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