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Sara Silvestri - POLIS Small Grant Award July 2014

Understanding faith in migrants’ lives: challenges and opportunities for social cohesion in an increasingly diverse Europe

Dr Sara Silvestri and Dr Elif Cetin, Department of Politics and International Studies, CAMMIGRES Small Grant Award, July 2014

Project Summary

Following the CAMMIGRES Small Grant award, Dr Sara Silvestri at the Von Hugel Institute, along with early career researcher Dr Elif Cetin have won a grant from the Plater Trust, a charitable organisation dedicated to the advance of social justice through education, to investigate the relevance of Catholic social thought and practice to the field of migration and asylum policy in the UK.

This academic year has also seen the establishment at the Von Hugel Institute of a reading group on religion, politics and migration, led by Elif Cetlin and Vlado Kmec and a postgraduate symposium supported by the CAMMIGRES Forum which included papers by ten graduate scholars.

Summary of the research activities

  •  Dr Elif Cetin compiled a bibliography on religion and migration in the fields of sociology, politics, ethics, and religious studies.
  • Dr Silvestri coordinated several meetings with Dr Cetin, Prof. Loughlin (Von Hugel Institute Director), Dr Ripamonti (VHI research administrator) and other VHI members to identify the most suitable research funding avenues and to brainstorm about research questions, methodologies, budgets.
  • Dr Cetin contributed to the preparation of a research project proposal led by Dr Silvestri and submitted to the Plater Trust and entitled “The relevance of Catholic social thought and practice in the field of migration and asylum policy in the UK”. In January 2015 Dr Silvestri was notified that the application had been successful. This new project has a value of £24k and will start in the spring 2015.
  • Dr Cetin, under the guidance of Dr Silvestri, drafted a second application, with a view to complement the Plater one, with an interfaith perspective. This new application is entitled “Christian and Muslim values inspire the work carried out by the relevant religious NGOs active in the field of migration” and will be finalised and submitted to the Sir Halley Trust in the spring 2015.
  • Dr Cetin selected the literature and organised the logistics for a university-wide reading group on religion, politics and migration that she will be convening in 2015 via the Von Hugel Institute, jointly with a PhD student from POLIS. The first meeting was on 20 January 2015 and the programme is to have three sessions each term.
  • Dr Silvestri and Prof.Loughlin attended the meeting of the Cambridge-Leuven European research network on ethics (in London in Dec 2014) with a view to establishing closer collaborative links with European colleagues interested in the relevance of ethics for European public policy and with a strong interest in the ethical aspects of migration policies; in fact, one of the VHI next research ideas building on this Cammigres grant is to develop a project on the ethics of decision making in the field of migration.

The CAMMIGRES Network

Launched in January 2014, by Co-Founders Professors Madeleine Arnot and Loraine Gelsthorpe, and Research Associate Dr Jessica Wheeler, the Cambridge Migration Research Network, funded by the Vice-Chancellor’s Endowment Fund, brings together a superb tract of migration research, spanning 23 University of Cambridge faculties, departments and centres, including researchers in anthropology, archaeology, history, politics, economics and land economy, geography, sociology, gender studies, psychology, health and education studies, management studies, linguistics, theology, criminology and law.

CAMMIGRES researchers' interests orient around the impacts of past and present migration in relation to human evolution and development, social, legal, and economic policy, governance, professional knowledge, institutional practice and social relations.