PhD 'Migration, seasonal labour and (r)urban arrival infrastructures in the Netherlands and Belgium' (1.0 FTE)

Updated: about 1 month ago
Deadline: 15 Mar 2021

You will develop your own PhD project within the framework of the H2020 project ‘ReROOT: Arrival infrastructures as sites of integration for recent newcomers’, which focuses on processes of recent migrants’ settlement, interconnections and belonging through the concept of arrival infrastructures. Arrival infrastructures are produced by various actors and shape migrants’ pathways into employment, housing, education and training, public services, religious, cultural or leisure activities, neighbourhood organisations etc. In a number of settings in Europe, ReRoot documents processes of arrival, investigates diverse strategies for intervening in the arrival infrastructure and translates these insights into workbooks, tools and educative material for civil society organisations, professionals, and policy makers.


The project is a collaboration between Utrecht University (Netherlands), KU Leuven (PI) (Belgium), Coventry University (UK), Ghent University (Belgium), CNRS (Centre National de Recherche Scientifique) in Paris (France), University of Thessaly (Greece), Sabanci University (Turkey), Malmö University (Sweden) and Institut für Landes -und Stadtentwicklungsforschung in Dortmund (Germany) and societal partners Menedek (Hungary), Planerladen (Germany) and Molengeek (Belgium).


This PhD project focuses on (seasonal) agricultural workers in two rural areas with string urban connections: Westland (the Netherlands) which is connected to the surrounding cities The Hague and Rotterdam, and Haspengouw (Belgium) with connections to Sint-Truiden, Brussels and Liège. Most of the agricultural worker arrival infrastructures are related to (temporary) work and facilitated through private labour agencies or social networks of migrants themselves. Also housing is an important part of the job related infrastructures. Comparing arrival infrastructures along the two sites will shed light on differences in broader migration regimes, political economies, local settings but also on internal differences and intersectionalities among groups of workers.


Your tasks include:

  • mapping and ethnographically researching and describing the arrival infrastructures of agricultural workers on both sites (Westland and Haspengouw);
  • designing research instruments such as observation protocols, interview guidelines, and ethnographic strategies and techniques;
  • analysing interactions and conversations with various stakeholders, ranging from employers, landlords, travel and employment agencies to migrants and community leaders. Engaging in reflections with them;
  • identifying and interpreting relevant secondary data and policy documents;
  • sharing your emerging data and insights with the other ReROOT research teams across Europe;
  • writing articles for academic (English) and practical (Dutch) purposes;
  • giving presentations at Dutch, Belgian and international conferences;
  • limited teaching duties at the Department of Human Geography (UU) (max. 0.1 FTE/year);
  • completing a PhD dissertation within 4 years, under the supervision of Ilse van Liempt, Gideon Bolt (UU) and Karel Arnaut (KU Leuven).

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