Professor Adrian Favell awarded prestigious ERC Advanced Grant

13 Jul 2023
Photo: Professor Adrian Favell, Professor of Social and Political Theory and Director of the Radical Humanities Laboratory. Credit: Provision
  • Expert in international migration studies secures €2.5m ERC Advanced Grant.
  • The grant will support a global study of international migration and mobility.
  • The UCC project highlights the importance of humanities and social sciences research in a rapidly changing world.

University College Cork (UCC) Professor Adrian Favell has been awarded €2.5 million by the European Research Council to lead a major new study on international migration.

The European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grant is awarded to established research leaders to lead cutting-edge research.

Professor Adrian Favell, Founding Director of UCC’s Radical Humanities Laboratory and a leading figure in international migration studies, has received funding for a five-year project entitled MIGMOBS - The Orders and Borders of Global Inequality: Migration and Mobilities in Late Capitalism.

The MIGMOBS project is a global study of international migration and mobility categories and how these have changed over the fifty-year period of neoliberalism 1970-2020. It will explore how these changes in the governance of international population movements during a period of globalisation have affected the comings and goings of people across borders.

MIGMOBS will explore how selectivity and categorisation in migration and mobilities relates to shifting global inequalities and hierarchies of power, measured by the different access enabled by passports internationally. It will also consider how the COVID-19 pandemic may have affected this.

The project will establish a partnership with four institutions: the European University Institute, in Florence, which will host the Global Mobilities Project database at the heart of the project; the University of Leeds; Waseda University in Tokyo; and the Universidad de Buenos Aires.

Professor Adrian Favell, Professor of Social and Political Theory and Director of the Radical Humanities Laboratory, said: "It is a huge and ambitious project on the root of global inequalities: on the neo-colonial relations implied in a world of hyper-selective borders which dictate who can be mobile, who is excluded, and who gets left behind. As the first major project to be brought into the Radical Humanities Laboratory, I hope MIGMOBS will help us establish the Lab as a dynamic space for critical and transformative research on key interdisciplinary topics in the humanities and social sciences."

Dr James Kapaló, Vice Head of College for Research and Innovation in the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences at UCC, said: "Professor Adrian Favell and the MIGMOBS project are at the forefront of interdisciplinary thinking on how to meet one of the most pressing of global challenges. This project places UCC’s Radical Humanities Laboratory at the heart of international research on migration and inequalities that are all too visible in the contemporary world. The project, which combines comparative, historical and ethnographic methodologies, is a perfect illustration of the vital contribution that humanities and social sciences are making in our rapidly changing world."

Professor John Cryan, UCC Vice President for Research and Innovation said: "Congratulations to Adrian on securing a highly competitive and prestigious ERC Award. The Radical Humanities Laboratory is an important component of UCC Futures – Future Humanities and it is fitting that this project will be the first large scale study hosted at this research facility. UCC has an established research focus on migration and integration studies through ISS21, and I look forward to hearing about the impactful outcomes from this research study in international migration and mobility."

MIGMOBS will be the first large scale project to be hosted by the Radical Humanities Laboratory, located at the CACSSS Wandesford Quay Research Facility in Cork City centre. The Laboratory was set up as a flagship initiative of the UCC Futures programme, bringing together twelve new interdisciplinary researchers to work in the fields of interdisciplinary humanities at UCC.

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