We sat with Angeliki Konstantinidou to get to know her better. Angeliki is a Political Scientist specializing in citizenship, migrants’ political participation and representation, diaspora politics, and migrants’ social protection. She is about to finish a joint PhD and has been a key player in IMISCOE as a Junior Network Officer.
Good morning, Angeliki! You’ve been one of the key players in making IMISCOE work since CEDEM (ULiège) took over the coordination of the Network. What can you tell us about yourself? What are your research interests?
I am a political scientist, about to finish a joint PhD at the Centre of Ethnic and Migration Studies (CEDEM) of the University of Liège and at the Centre for European Studies and Comparative Politics (CEE) of Sciences Po Paris. During my BA and MA studies in Greece and Portugal, I was particularly interested in electoral studies and political elites. However, almost ten years ago, I had the chance to join an international research project on migration at the University of Leicester and hence started to learn more about this fascinating field of migration studies. Ever since, I have been working on different topics in this area, including citizenship, migrants’ political participation and representation, diaspora politics, and migrants’ social protection. These topics actually came in handy also in my personal life, as I have used that knowledge on a practical level when moving in different countries.
What sparked your interest in IMISCOE? Do you remember how you first got in touch with IMISCOE? How did you learn about it and how did you first get involved?
I started learning more about IMISCOE during the 2018 Annual Conference hosted by GRITIM-UPF, where I also attended the Annual Meeting of the Standing Committee MIGCITPOL as I was very interested in the SC’s research lines. That meeting proved very useful for me, as a young scholar. I got to learn more about the events and activities that MIGCITPOL was organizing, and from that, I also started discovering more and more how IMISCOE connects migration scholars who work on different topics all over the world. Since then, I participated in several Annual and Spring Conferences. For instance, CEDEM hosted the 2019 Spring Conference and the preparations for that event brought me closer to the work that takes place behind the scenes, which further triggered my interest in IMISCOE. At that time, and before getting involved at the Network Office, I was also part of the Steering Committee of the ECPR Standing Group Migration and Ethnicity where community engagement, management of activities and events were part of the role. Hence, the opportunity to work at the IMISCOE Network Office was an unmissable one, as I feel that I can combine research and community engagement.
What were some of the best memories you have made since you’ve been part of the office?
Many things happened in this short time, and I don’t really know where to start, honestly… Maybe one important moment for me would be the memory of a feeling I had last year. As you know, CEDEM started its IMISCOE mandate in April 2022, which was right in the middle of the preparations for the 2022 Annual Conference in Oslo. It was an intense period for all of us in Liege, but the best memory I have of this period is the strong feeling of solidarity, close cooperation, and mutual support between us in the Network Office. We were there for each other all the time, we were constantly helping, guiding, and encouraging each other… and I guess this really made us “click” to get on quickly with our new roles and responsibilities. And then… I cannot forget the moment in which we landed back in Brussels after the Oslo conference. Before the conference I used to say that “I will believe we made it once we return to Belgium” and I clearly remember disembarking the plane with Jean-Michel and Daniela and feeling so happy and proud of what we achieved in such short time. Having so many participants coming to us during the conference days to say how much they enjoy the event was truly rewarding for all of us!
What have you learned about the field of migration studies while working in the IMISCOE Office?
One of the most important benefits of working at the Network Office is the continuous stream of knowledge. Not only because we get to know first-hand the excellent work of all the colleagues participating in our activities as we read all paper, panel and workshop proposals that we receive, but also for having the opportunity to later on meet and exchange with them through the Network’s events. Over the past year, there is not a week that I haven’t learnt a new thing on topics that are beyond my specific research area, so I feel this also helps me to expand my knowledge in migration studies.
Is there something in particular that you are looking up to during the 2023 Annual Conference?
YES! Several things, actually. We have such a great line-up of speakers, sessions, workshops, and panels that it is hard to select only one or two. I also very much look forward to the diverse range of side events and recreational activities that our colleagues from CMR are offering. And, of course, I am so keen to seeing my friends and colleagues soon!
You can follow Angeliki in Twitter @AngelikiKonsta4