Research Projects

The research program Citizenship, Migration and the City is home to various major research projects:


Monitoring Modernity: A Comparative Analysis of Practices of Social Imagination in the Monitoring of Global Flows of Goods, Capital and Persons

Project leader: Dhr. W. Schinkel

This project aims to study institutions specialized in visualizing society. Such institutions have proliferated in recent decades. From regulatory bodies to auditing institutions and regimes of supervision, from monitoring agencies to evaluation committees and surveillance apparatuses, social life is full of spaces specialized in the reflexive visualization of that social life - social science itself of course being a prominent one. Much of social theory assumes that contemporary societies exist on the basis of a work of imagination, yet very little comparative and cross-sectional work has been done to scrutinize such 'social imagination'. The idea underlying this proposal is that much can be learned about social life when the institutions it brings forth to observe that social life are observed sociologically.

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The Virtualization of Citizenship and the State

VENI-project (2009-2012), funded by NOW.

Project leader: Dhr. W. Schinkel

There is, today, much debate about 'citizenship' but little connection to a sociological theory of the state. This project proposes to research the currently missing link between sociological theories of the state and social scientific and political philosophical approaches to citizenship. In the context of 'globalization' and specifically immigration and integration, two sociological debates have flared up. First, the status of the nation-state has been questioned. What is the position and role of bounded states in a globalizing world? Second, citizenship has become of renewed interest. In a world of migration and multicultural societies where 'nation' and 'society' no longer automatically overlap, what qualifies one as a citizen and what becomes of those lacking this qualification? These debates have not been productively related to one another. This project proposes to do so by researching the relationship between state and society in the context of current politics and policies of migration, integration and citizenship. I propose to trace the shifting semantics of citizenship in relation to issues of immigrant integration in the Netherlands, the UK and France in order to scrutinize the way the state can today be fruitfully theorized.

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