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Transnationalism from above and below

Migration management and how migrants manage (MIGMA)

Returned Nigerian migrant in Benin City planning to re-migrate explains her route to Europe. Photo: S. Plambech

About the project

Transnationalism from above and below: Migration management and how migrants manage (MIGMA) examines European attempts to return Nigerian migrants, enacting a project of exclusion and excision in the pursuit of governance.


MIGMA will offer a theoretically informed empirical exploration of legal instruments central to the sustainability of current migration management, and explore their effects and efficiency. The aim of the research is to contribute with knowledge relevant to European policy development, by linking migration management to wider circuits of migration and understanding it in a broader comparative framework.


The phrase ‘migration management’ has come to replace ‘immigration control’ and puts a more positive spin on it. Borrowed from the corporate world, the term ‘management’ suggests control and efficiency, and glosses over the multiple conflicts that are often involved, within states, between states, and between states and migrants. Is it possible to manage migrants who prefer to manage their own lives?

Managing rejected Nigerian asylum seekers is particularly challenging, due to a combination of factors including a high prevalence of criminal activity, transnational human trafficking networks, vulnerable victims of human trafficking, high rates of disappearances from reception centres, escalating violent conflict in Nigeria and the refusal of Nigeria to enter into a readmission agreement. Some of these factors are also conducive to the re-migration of returned asylum seekers following their return to Nigeria, undoing Norway’s efforts and increasing costs.



MIGMA is financed by the Research Council of Norway.




UiO’s partners in the project are the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS) and the Faculty of Law at the University of Bergen (UiB).


  • Paasche, Erlend (2022). Corruption and Return Migration. In King, Russell & Kuschminder, Katie (Ed.), Handbook of Return Migration. Edward Elgar Publishing. ISSN 978 1 83910 004 8.
  • Guia, Maria João & Skilbrei, May-Len (2021). Justice Gaps for Female Migrants. In Fouskas, Theodoros (Eds.), Immigrants, Asylum Seekers and Refugees in Times of Crises: A. An International Handbook on Migration and Refugee Studies, Management Policies and Governance. European Public Law Organization. ISSN 978-618-5417-11-6.
  • Skilbrei, May-Len (2020). Taking on the categories, terms and worldviews of the powerful: the pitfalls of trying to be relevant. Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power. ISSN 1070-289X. doi: 10.1080/1070289X.2020.1805884. Full text in Research Archive
  • Janmyr, Maja & Gürakar-Skribeland, Zehra Özlem (2020). Human Rights References in Norway’s Readmission Agreements: (How) Do They Protect? Nordic Journal of Human Rights. ISSN 1891-8131. 38(1), p. 18–39. doi: 10.1080/18918131.2020.1776955. Full text in Research Archive
  • Paasche, Erlend (2020). TK at 70: An interview with Túndé Kèlání. Journal of African Cultural Studies. ISSN 1369-6815. 32(4), p. 429–441. doi: 10.1080/13696815.2019.1700782.
  • Paasche, Erlend; Skilbrei, May-Len & Plambech, Sine (2018). Vulnerable Here or There? Examining the vulnerability of victims of human trafficking before and after return. Anti-Trafficking Review. ISSN 2287-0113. p. 34–51. doi: 10.14197/atr.201218103. Full text in Research Archive
  • Paasche, Erlend (2018). Elites and Emulators: The Evolution of Iraqi Kurdish Asylum Migration to Europe. Migration Studies. ISSN 2049-5838. doi: 10.1093/migration/mny036. Full text in Research Archive
  • Skilbrei, May-Len (2018). Manoeuvring in tricky waters: Challenges in being a useful and critical migration scholar. In Jahnsen, Synnøve Økland; Powel, Rebecca & Fili, Andriani (Ed.), Criminal justice research in an era of mass mobility. Routledge. ISSN 978-1138284128. doi: 10.4324/9781315269771-3. Full text in Research Archive
  • Paasche, Erlend & Skilbrei, May-Len (2017). Gendered Vulnerability And Return Migration. Temida. ISSN 1450-6637. 20(2), p. 149–166. doi: 10.2298/TEM1702149P. Full text in Research Archive

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  • Skilbrei, May-Len (2021). Balancing impact with integrity as a migration scholar. Identities blog.
  • Paasche, Erlend (2021). DELMI Expert Roundtable Seminar on Return and Reintegration, invitee.
  • Gürakar-Skribeland, Özlem (2021). Holder Europa som «gissel» i flyktningkrisen. Hva skjer når pandemien er over? [Newspaper]. Transit Magasin.
  • Gürakar-Skribeland, Özlem (2021). Analysing Turkey as a Non-party State.
  • Gürakar-Skribeland, Özlem (2021). Turkey: Party or Non-party State? Forced Migration Review (FMR). ISSN 1460-9819. 67, p. 46–48. Full text in Research Archive
  • Janmyr, Maja & Gürakar-Skribeland, Zehra Özlem (2020). Tenk nytt om returavtalene. Klassekampen. ISSN 0805-3839.
  • Paasche, Erlend (2020). Grensene for migrasjonskontroll, foredrag for politiet.
  • Paasche, Erlend & Brekke, Jan-Paul (2020). PROTECT symposium 1 Norge og FNs flyktningeplattform, keynote speech on selection criteria in refugee resettlement.
  • Paasche, Erlend (2020). Expert roundtable on Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration, invited speaker.
  • Paasche, Erlend (2020). Keynote speech: On monitoring the effectiveness of reintegration activities.
  • Paasche, Erlend (2020). DELMI expert roundtable on return policy, invitee.
  • Gürakar-Skribeland, Özlem (2020). UN 75th Anniversary: Reflections and key challenges ahead.
  • Gürakar-Skribeland, Zehra Özlem (2019). Migration, Return and Human Rights: The Curious Case of Turkey.
  • Gürakar-Skribeland, Zehra Özlem (2019). The Return Directive: Migration, Asylum and Illegality.
  • Paasche, Erlend; Skilbrei, May-Len & Plambech, Sine (2019). What happens after victims of trafficking return to Nigeria?
  • Paasche, Erlend & Skilbrei, May-Len (2019). Human Trafficking, Migration and Borders Under Pressure.
  • Paasche, Erlend (2019). Return and reintegration in Iraqi Kurdistan.
  • Gürakar-Skribeland, Zehra Özlem (2019). Seeking Asylum in Turkey: 2018 Update.
  • Skilbrei, May-Len (2019). Norwegian immigration policy.
  • Skilbrei, May-Len (2019). Det tosidige målet i arbeidet mot menneskehandel – dilemmaer.
  • Gürakar-Skribeland, Özlem (2019). Migration and Return: Current Trends in Europe.
  • Paasche, Erlend (2018). Class, risk and ‘going with a purpose’: Nigerian postgraduates reflect on irregular migration.
  • Søderholm, Tara Matilde (2018). MIGMA researchers participate in Oslo Migration Conference 2018.
  • Paasche, Erlend & Carling, Jørgen (2018). Representations of return migration in Nigerian cultural production.
  • Gürakar-Skribeland, Zehra Özlem (2018). Discussion on the Model International Mobility Convention.
  • Paasche, Erlend (2018). Class, risk and going with a purpose.
  • Carling, Jørgen (2018). Unity and Diversity in Contemporary International Migration .
  • Janmyr, Maja (2018). Protection, Agency and Vulnerability in the Syrian Refugee Response.
  • Gürakar-Skribeland, Özlem (2018). Presenting findings on the legislative process relating to the Return Directive.
  • Søderholm, Tara Matilde (2017). Bringer Nollywood til Norge.
  • Søderholm, Tara Matilde & Ystehede, Per Jørgen (2017). Filmfestival som forskning og formidling.
  • Gürakar-Skribeland, Zehra Özlem (2017). Application of the Return Directive in light of the proposed amendments to the Common European Asylum System.
  • Skilbrei, May-Len (2017). Displacing Sex for Sale.
  • Fransson, Line & Gürakar-Skribeland, Zehra Özlem (2017). Syrere i Tyrkia skjelles ut. [Newspaper]. Dagbladet.
  • Gürakar-Skribeland, Zehra Özlem (2017). The situation for refugees in Turkey one year after the EU-Turkey deal.
  • Gürakar-Skribeland, Zehra Özlem (2017). Asylum Seekers and Refugees in Turkey.
  • Skilbrei, May-Len (2017). Utlendingslov og straffelov i tandem.
  • Skilbrei, May-Len (2017). Hva er menneskesmugling?
  • Villman, Emma Åsa Irene & Paasche, Erlend (2017). Making sense of migration through popular culture. [Internet].
  • Villman, Emma Åsa Irene (2017). Push factors for Nigerian migration. [Internet].
  • Villman, Emma Åsa Irene & Gürakar-Skribeland, Zehra Özlem (2017). Syriske flyktninger fanget i limbo. [Internet]. UiO.
  • Ystehede, Per Jørgen; Villman, Emma & Plambech, Sine (2017). Migration from the cradle to the grave. [Internet]. Universitetet i Oslo.
  • Søderholm, Tara Matilde & Paasche, Erlend (2017). From Nollywood to Norway. [Internet]. Universitetet i Oslo.
  • Paasche, Erlend (2017). Om migrasjon og Film fra Sør. [Radio]. NRK P2.
  • Paasche, Erlend (2017). Crime goes to the movies: The case of Nollywood.
  • Paasche, Erlend (2017). NRKs Dagsrevyen. [TV]. NRK.
  • Paasche, Erlend & Skilbrei, May-Len (2017). Forskningsformidling 2.0. ISSN 1894-8995.
  • Villman, Emma & Søderholm, Tara Matilde (2017). Migrasjon fra vugge til grav.
  • Guia, Maria João & Skilbrei, May-Len Østbye (2016). How the current ‘migration crisis’ challenges European criminologists. Newsletter European Society of Criminology. ISSN 1729-8164.
  • Skilbrei, May-Len Østbye (2016). Nigerianske migranter risikerer livet for drømmen om Europa. [Internet]. UiO.
  • Skilbrei, May-Len Østbye (2016). Nigerianske migranter risikerer livet for drømmen om Europa. [Internet].
  • Skilbrei, May-Len Østbye (2016). Reinforcing the already “known”. [Internet]. UiO.
  • Skilbrei, May-Len Østbye (2016). Kvikklunsj UiT – Kjønnsperspektiver i migrasjonsforskning.
  • Skilbrei, May-Len Østbye (2016). Panel: Den gode samtalen om migrasjon - hva gjør tilstrømningen med oss?
  • Skilbrei, May-Len Østbye (2016). På flukt: Grensekontroll på bekostning av rettigheter?
  • Skilbrei, May-Len Østbye (2016). Debatt om norsk asylpolitikk på Menneskerettighetsuka.
  • Skilbrei, May-Len Østbye (2016). The impact of an image: Alan Kurdi and the civil society’s response to the refugee crisis.
  • Skilbrei, May-Len Østbye (2016). Migrations: la traite d’êtres humains et la prostitution.
  • Skilbrei, May-Len Østbye (2016). Chair of session: How the current ‘migration crisis’ challenges European criminologists.
  • Skilbrei, May-Len Østbye (2016). Future returns.
  • Skilbrei, May-Len Østbye (2016). Nigerian migrants risk their lives for the European dream. [Internet]. UiO.
  • Skilbrei, May-Len Østbye (2016). “Apart or together? Debates on the relationship between prostitution and human trafficking”.
  • Skilbrei, May-Len Østbye (2016). Immigration, Immigration control, penal policy and crime – European diversities and convergences.
  • Skilbrei, May-Len Østbye (2016). Nigerian migrants risk their lives for the European dream. [Internet].
  • Skilbrei, May-Len Østbye (2016). The role of research in migration management.
  • Skilbrei, May-Len Østbye (2016). «’Rapists are not welcome here!’ The sexual turn in contemporary immigration debates».
  • Skilbrei, May-Len Østbye (2016). Presentasjon av MIGMA.
  • Skilbrei, May-Len Østbye (2016). Immigration, Crime and Citizenship Working Group.
  • Skilbrei, May-Len Østbye (2016). Lansering av MIGMA på Litteraturhuset.
  • Skilbrei, May-Len Østbye (2016). Working for a more effective and humane return. [Internet]. UiO.
  • Skilbrei, May-Len Østbye (2016). Unequal returns.
  • Skilbrei, May-Len Østbye (2016). Ledet panel: L'Europe face aux migrations globales : les politiques de crimmigration.
  • Skilbrei, May-Len Østbye (2016). The Politics of Migration Research: How do and how should researchers permform in the public Space?
  • Skilbrei, May-Len (2016). Pulling the brake.
  • Dzenovska, Dace & Skilbrei, May-Len (2016). Coherent Selves, Viable States: Eastern Europe, Statehood and Migration - comments by M.L. Skilbrei.
  • Skilbrei, May-Len & Kielland, Anne (2016). Om å skyte seg selv i foten. Dagbladet. ISSN 0805-3766.
  • Skilbrei, May-Len (2016). Holder elendigheten nede. [Newspaper]. Dagsavisen.
  • Skilbrei, May-Len & Johansen, Nicolay Borchgrevink (2016). The increase in the Us-Them divide in penal policy.
  • Skilbrei, May-Len & Plambech, Sine (2016). Sexarbeid & menneskerettigheter.
  • Gürakar-Skribeland, Özlem (2016). Presentation of PhD Project on Return from Europe.
  • Skilbrei, May-Len Østbye (2015). Being Nice, But not Naive. Border Criminologies Blog.
  • Skilbrei, May-Len Østbye (2015). Politiet ville ikke ha stoppet meg. [Internet]. NRK Østlandssendingen.
  • Gürakar-Skribeland, Özlem (2022). Forced Return of Migrants to Transit Countries - A Case of Competing Sovereigns. Reprosentralen, University of Oslo.

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Published Sep. 11, 2015 12:40 PM - Last modified June 26, 2019 1:32 PM