Author: Marta Bivand Erdal

Beyond False Dichotomies in Debates on Migration

Is there really an inherent conflict between pursuing national interests and acting in globally responsible ways on migration? We call for a debate that moves beyond an artificial dichotomy between the “headless heart” and the “heartless head”. A good start would be to acknowledge the salience and value of binding international agreements, regarding refugees and… Read more »

The Lifelong Peace Advocate: A Portrait of Marek Thee (1918–1999) by Marta Bivand Erdal

  Marek Thee (1918–1999), a portrait written by Marta Bivand Erdal The opposite pole of globalisation is fragmentation – the exclusion of a majority of the world’s population from the benefits of human development, generating a frustrated drive to defensive postures in violent and suicidal ideologies of nationalism, ethnicity and political-religious fundamentalism. Fault-lines are erected across the… Read more »

Eid Celebrations and Muslim Generosity

Today is Eid, the Muslim festival that marks the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting. Families and friends will gather today to enjoy good food and each other’s company. Many Norwegian Muslim children look forward to celebrating Eid, and for many people the social aspects are just as important as the festival’s religious significance…. Read more »

Is ‘Sustainable Migration’ a Valuable Concept?

Is ‘sustainability’ a good guiding principle for migration policy? Or does using this word muddle well-informed debate on international migration? The notion of ‘sustainable migration’ has been floated as a guiding principle for migration policy. Is it a concept we should embrace? On the one hand, it neatly captures the idea that migration should be… Read more »

Eid, Islamic finance and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals

Muslims all over the world are celebrating Eid-ul-Adha, the ‘festival of sacrifice’ or the Greater Eid. The other Eid, Eid-ul-Fitr is the festival which marks the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting. This is when many Muslims pay their annual zakat – a religious tax equivalent to 2.5 percent of a person’s wealth each… Read more »

What Shapes Which Migration Flows We Study?

How might decolonising the academy intersect with academic everyday practice, for instance in the context of migration studies? As efforts to decolonise the academy are gaining force, not least in universities in the United Kingdom, such as at the School of Oriental and African Studies, questions about how this timely intellectual scrutiny can or ought… Read more »

A Plural Conception of the Nation

Nationalism and the political salience of national identities are on the rise in contemporary Europe and beyond. This rise is often associated with populist movements. These include populist political parties, several in position across Europe today, whose politics are characterized by isolationism and anti-immigration stances, and right-wing populist groups, characterized by xenophobia, sometimes overt racism… Read more »

A Post-Brexit We?

Who is the ‘we’ in the context of the Brexit vote? Whilst the protection of British borders was a key ingredient in Brexit debates, the answer to what kind of a community we are talking about within those borders, remains in desperate need of addressing. Lingering notions of cultural purity cannot stand unchallenged. Which community,… Read more »

Pakistan’s Crippling Energy Crisis and Increasing Remittances

  Deadly heat exposes Pakistan’s power problems. This summer CNBC run a report titled Deadly heat exposes Pakistan’s power problems after more than a thousand people died during heatwaves during the first days of Ramadan. Insufficient preparedness for the heatwave is largely seen as the cause of deaths, yet the context of the protracted electricity… Read more »