Joint Research Seminar on the themes of “Undocumented Migration and Public Discourses” and “Refugees and Security in the EU”

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  • DATE / TIME:
    2015•05•28    16:00 - 18:30


is pleased to invite you to a joint research seminar to be held on Thursday, May 28th at 16:00. The research presented will include:

    Public framing of obligation: interpretations of irregular migrant rights in public discourse, David Passarelli

    This research seminar draws on a doctoral research project that looks at how obligations to provide education to irregular migrant children are understood and instantiated in practice both in Canada and the United Kingdom. The main aim of this seminar will be to highlight differing narratives invoked by public authorities with respect to the rights of irregular migrant children to education. I am specifically interested in exploring the ways public authorities and civil society actors at the city level articulate notions of obligation in public forums.

    There is a growing, but still relatively small amount of research that considers the way norms are used to justify obligations to assist irregular migrant children. This research project aims to contribute to our understanding of the different processes and discourses that shape access by irregular migrant children to many social services at the city level. In doing so, the research project aims to identify arguments that have been most effective in changing the scope of service provision; mapping the perceptions of those policies in the present; and offering insights into how we might influence the trajectory of access to education for irregular migrant children in the future

    David Passarelli is Chief of Staff to Dr. David M. Malone, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Rector of the United Nations University. He has worked with the United Nations University since 2008 in various capacities within the Office of the Rector. He joined UNU-GCM as an Honorary Associate Research Fellow in August 2014.

    Prior to joining the UNU, Mr. Passarelli was a research assistant at the Global Institute for Asian Regional Integration at Waseda University, where he completed an MA in International Relations. He is concurrently pursuing a doctoral degree at the Oxford Department of International Development (ODID, Oxford University), where his research focuses on the rights of irregular migrant children in Canada and the United Kingdom.


    Refugees, Security and the European Union,  Prof. Christian Kaunert and Dr Sarah Léonard

    The main aim of this work is to analyse the extent and the modalities of the securitization of asylum-seekers and refugees in the European Union (EU). There is a commonly held view in the existing literature that migrants and asylum-seekers have been securitized in the EU, that is, have been socially constructed as security threats. This research puts forward a more nuanced argument by analytically distinguishing the asylum policy of the EU from its policies on migrants and border controls on the basis of the literature on ‘venue-shopping’ and policy venues. It also makes a distinction between the EU asylum policy and the EU’s policy towards asylum-seekers and refugees. The paper argues that the development of the EU asylum policy, far from ‘securitizing’ asylum-seekers and refugees, has actually led to the strengthening and codification of several rights for these two categories of persons. However, so continues the argument, the securitization of irregular migration had led to a significant strengthening of border controls at the EU external borders, which, in turn, has made it more difficult for asylum-seekers and refugees to access the protection granted by asylum systems in the EU. Thus, security concerns have had mainly an indirect impact.

    Prof. Christian Kaunert is Professor of International Politics, as well as Jean Monnet Chair in EU Justice and Home Affairs (July 2013). He is also the Director of the European Institute for Security and Justice at the University of Dundee, which has recently been awarded the distinction of a Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence. Dundee is the only university in the UK to have received such an accolade in 2014. He was previously Senior Lecturer at the University of Dundee, Marie Curie Senior Research Fellow at the European University Institute Florence, and Senior Lecturer in EU Politics & International Relations, University of Salford.  He has been awarded with a prestigious Jean Monnet Chair in EU Justice and Home Affairs Policy (in July 2013), and received a prestigious Marie Curie Career Integration Grant (from 2012-2016). He has also previously been the Editor of the Journal of Contemporary European Research (JCER), on the Executive Committee member of the University Association for Contemporary European Studies (UACES), and an Expert for the European Parliament. He is also on the editorial board of the journal Perspectives on European Politics and Society (PEPS). Prof. Kaunert holds a PhD in International Politics & an MSc in European Politics from the University of Wales Aberystwyth. Prof  Kaunert has researched and taught in many international departments, such as Aberystwyth (Wales), ULB Brussels (Belgium, 2004, UACES Research Fellow), Maastricht (Netherlands), Salford (England), EUI Florence (Marie Curie Fellowship), as well as a guest professor in Barcelona (Spain), Turin (Italy),Yerevan (Armenia, at the UNDP mission),Cairo (Egypt), Medellin, Bogota and Cali (Colombia), and Jinan (China).

    Dr Sarah Léonard is a Senior Lecturer in Politics. Prior to joining the University of Dundee in October 2012, she was Lecturer in International Security at the University of Salford and Marie Curie Research Fellow at the Centre for European Studies of Sciences Po, Paris (France). She received her PhD in International Politics from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. In 2010, she was a Visiting Research Fellow at the Institut Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals (IBEI, Spain). Together with Professor Christian Kaunert, she was Editor of the Journal of Contemporary European Research, which is an open-access peer-reviewed journal owned by the University Association for Contemporary European Studies (UACES), in 2009-2012.


    Date: Thursday, May 28th 2015, 16:00h- 18:30h

    Language: English

    Location: UNU-GCM, Sant Manuel Pavilion, 1st floor, Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site, C/Sant Antoni Maria Claret, 167, 08025 Barcelona

    To register, please email Anna Franzil ( by 18:00h on Tuesday, May 26th. Kindly provide your full name and ID details so that we can prepare your visitor pass.

  • Joint Seminar

    (95.5 KB PDF)


    Sant Manuel Pavilion,
    Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site,
    c/ Sant Antoni Maria Claret 167,
    Barcelona 08025