Last week Vice-Rector Sabine Schindler awarded me with a PhD scholarship by the University of Innsbruck. I am looking forward to this new academic challenge at the University of Innsbruck’s Institute of Political Science.
From a systemic perspective of elicitive conflict transformation, my dissertation project “Reframing Forced Migration through transforming Refuge Conflicts: Systemic Interrelations between Austria and Egypt” inquires into societal conflicts in relation to the phenomenon of forced migration in Austria and Egypt. In societal conflicts, refugees experience a high degree of objectification and exclusion. Attempts of conflict resolution and conflict management often disregard the expertise, which refugees bring with them from within their cultural contexts. My central research interest is in how an elicitive approach to conflict transformation that inquires into the potentials of creativity can facilitate the recognition of new courses of action in dysfunctional conflicts, as well as the needs of different parties in refuge conflicts in the light of dominant security discourses. Particular attention will be given to using a methodology that is inclusive in a context where language often creates a communication barrier. Also the systemic interrelations between refuge conflicts in the societal contexts of Austria and Egypt will be researched. This societally relevant dissertation project, which is divided into a theoretical and an empirical component, focuses on refuge conflicts as they unfold on various levels and layers, in certain aspects follows a creative methodology that facilitates means of expression that allow inquiring into experienced realities beyond written and spoken words and aims to make an important contribution to current debates in the fields of Conflict Research and Forced Migration Studies. Working with Elicitive Conflict Mapping as a central tool of analysis, this thesis will fill an academic gap by further introducing an elicitive approach to Peace and Conflict Studies into the debate on Forced Migration Studies. This ultimately shall facilitate the development of a systemic approach to a topic dominated by conceptualizations that frame conflicts as negative and threatening to societal peace.
My thesis project is supervised by Adj. Prof. DDr. Wolfgang Dietrich, UNESCO Chair for Peace Studies, Univ. Prof. Dr Nikita Dhawan, Institute of Political Science and Ass.-Prof. Mag. Dr. Andreas Oberprantacher, MA, Institute of Philosophy.