WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THE CENTRE FOR RESEARCH ON INTERNATIONAL MIGRATION AND ETHNIC RELATIONS AND THE RESEARCH CONDUCTED AT THE CENTRE AT STOCKHOLM UNIVERSITY?
News have reached us that the Faculty of Social Sciences at Stockholm University is about to close CEIFO as an independent academic unit. Our understanding of this very precarious situation is that Stockholm University plans to disperse CEIFO’s staff and resources to other departments within the Faculty. We – Swedish, Nordic and European researchers, academic teachers and practitioners in the field of international migration and ethnic relations inside and outside Sweden – are seriously concerned about this development. We fear that this move is highly detrimental to the continued vitality in Sweden in general and at Stockholm University in particular of a large and important interdisciplinary field of research.
For more than 25 years CEIFO has served as a national knowledge-based resource centre for the interdisciplinary development of research in IMER; International Migration and Ethnic Relations. Swedish research in this field started at CEIFO which is why this research unit could be described as the place where Swedish research on international migration and ethnic relations was born. Researchers at CEIFO have produced a wide range of internationally recognized studies, and contributed to theoretical and methodological development in this area. Many have also been instrumental in various advisory capacities when IMER research has been institutionally established at other Swedish universities. Moreover, researchers previously active at CEIFO have gone on to set up similar research centres in Norway and Finland. CEIFO has been and is also involved in research cooperation across Europe.
Hereby we therefore express our deepest concern for the future of IMER-research in Sweden now that the founding research centre for this stream of social scientific endeavour is being threatened. We are astonished at the lack of recognition shown by the Faculty of Social Sciences of Stockholm University concerning the important role that CEIFO plays nationally and internationally for IMER-research. CEIFO has accumulated considerable institutional capital in terms of knowledge, networks, contacts – that will be dispersed and soon disintegrated if the Faculty of Social Sciences at Stockholm University pursues this plan. It is for all of these reasons that we plead to the Faculty and the University not to dismantle CEIFO but instead strengthen its independent organizational and academic position by reaffirming the importance of continued interdisciplinary research in the field of IMER.
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