About the project
An increasing number of 'irregular migrants' poses major challenges for welfare states. While they are defined as outside of society, human rights ideologies still require that certain measures be taken by authorities to secure a minimum standard of livin g. The project will investigate the Norwegian welfare system's assessment of irregular migrant's rights and their actual social and health situation from a combined legal and social science approach, examining the complex relationship between law, institu tional practice, and migrants' lived experience. Senior researchers and research recruits from law, sociology, social anthropology and political science, will collaborate in this interdisciplinary project. Methods include law analysis, ethnographic fieldw ork and qualitative interviews (Oslo and Bergen). The theoretical framework is defined by traditional and critical legal perspectives and by anthropological theories of law and of the body.The project consists of two separate, yet interwoven parts: 1) A legal study of national and international rules applying to welfare provisions to irregular migrants 2) A social scientific study of irregular migrant's access to, use and trust of social welfare institutions and how they experience being in an irregular situation. Focus will be on welfare provisions in the areas of health and school/education and on how irregularity affects the lives of children. The component projects relate to the overarching research questions as stated in the primary and secondary o bjectives, working on a) international and national legal norms b) institutional practices and attitudes c) informal social networks d) migrants' experiences, agency and embodiment e) children's particular situation. Overall, the project's investigation o f how 'irregularity' is legally, institutionally, socially, and culturally constructed and experienced will offer much needed research-based knowledge of the consequences of present welfare policies and practices.
Funding source: The Norwegian Research Council