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About the program

Many countries and regions face a wide variety of challenges resulting from migration and mobility. Solutions that have been formulated range from policies and regulations for immigration, to education and stimulating social participation, to restructuring the welfare state. These challenges and policies ultimately all refer to what we call social citizenship, which is not about nationalities recorded in a passport, but about feelings of identity, responsibilities, rights, and entitlements.

The overall aim of this pillar is to inform theory and practice by analysing how migration and social citizenship relate to each other and provide challenges and opportunities for the governance of societies. The research in this pillar is focused on five themes each of them following a particular scientific perspective:

1) History and governance perspectives are combined to explain the outcomes and (side)effects of previous policies. This theme uses statistical policy analysis and comparative historical analysis (making use of “big data”) to address questions such as: how do and did social rights and eligibility to welfare systems for ethnic groups affect social cohesion?

2) A sociocultural perspective highlights the challenges, stereotypical imaginaries, moral discourses, and ideal pictures that institutions (schools, administrations, NGOs, government) and economic agents (insurances, banks, property developers) act upon to convey messages about social citizenship and what is expected in terms of civic engagement.

3) A socialization perspective is necessary to understand how beliefs and values about different migrant groups originate and are transmitted across generations. It highlights the influences of parenting and education and media, commerce, and policies on how individuals develop their perceptions of social citizenship and their own and others’ roles in society from early childhood onwards.

4) By using a combination of legal, historical and social research methods, the (socio)legal perspective provides necessary insights into both the law in the books and the law in action, and hence in the hegemonic nature of the law and its role in understanding the challenges posed by migration and mobility.

5) Changes in the ways in which people shape social citizenship affect political preferences that in turn may affect social institutions such as the welfare state. To understand how social rights are seen as at risk because of immigration, a governance and economic perspective is necessary. It examines if, how, when and why immigration affects the support for socio-economic policies.

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