Summer School

Re-Ordering Diversity: Humanitarian Assistance in the Context of Forced Migration and Displacement


4 - 8 July 2016

Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen (Germany)

Application Deadline: 30 April 2016

Forced migration and displacement are controversially debated issues in current public and political discourse. A rhetoric of threatened order manifests itself alongside attempts to frame the situation as manageable, or even as a chance.

Considering the resulting challenges that politics and practitioners are facing, the need for a more thorough academic engagement becomes apparent. On the one hand, it is paramount to collect a corpus of data which will enable a better theorization of the issues at hand; on the other hand, academics have to take responsibility as the ‘informed consultants’ politicians and practitioners are in need of.

The Summer School will take place from 4th until 8th July 2016 at the University of Tuebingen, as a cooperation between the Collaborative Research Center (CRC) 923 “Threatened Order – Societies under Stress”, the Center for Gender and Diversity Research, and the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity (Göttingen).

We welcome applications from PhD students and early career researchers from social and cultural anthropology, sociology, political science, and related fields of cultural studies and social sciences. The aim of the Summer School is to learn about and discuss relevant topics and academic approaches through a dialogue between different agents from the field: academics, practitioners, and refugees.


Both those people categorized as ‘refugees’ and the societies receiving them are extremely diverse. Due to a lack of academic expertise and theorization, this aspect has so far been only marginally acknowledged in the German-speaking context. In the field, this often results in irritations and complex conflicts between agents, in which a perceived threat against one’s own group dominates the discourse.

In collaboration with researchers from diversity studies, and taking into account the CRC’s model of ‘threatened order’, the summer school will deal with these issues and work towards finding answers to the following questions:

Which forms of diversity are articulated in the context of forced migration and displacement?

What new forms of diversity emerge?

Which mechanisms of order do involved agents and institutions apply (‘re-ordering’)?

The Summer School provides a platform for dialogue between different agents from the field (researchers, practitioners, refugees), who, together, will develop hypotheses and further questions. The goal is to find ways to theorize and frame forced migration and displacement in terms of questions of diversity, humanitarian assistance and ‘threatened order’, and especially to integrate and specify topics from ongoing and emerging research projects.

Aside from a close cooperation between the research institutes, involving practitioners and refugees has a high priority within our concept. The idea is to pursue research not about them, but collectively as a joint effort.