Announcement of the Annual Report 2023

Moving forward in making IMISCOE more open, inclusive, and diverse

Reflections from Jean-Michel Lafleur and Daniela Vintila, IMISCOE Coordinators at the Centre for Ethnic and Migration Studies (CEDEM) of the University of Liège
24 June 2024

The IMISCOE Network Office is happy to inform you that the 2023 Annual Report is now available. You can read it in full here. In this Report, you will find a full description of our governance and research infrastructure as well as a detailed account of the incredibly rich and diverse activities that were conducted by our Research Network in the past year. Below you can find the reflections of IMISCOE Coordinators Jean-Michel Lafleur and Daniela Vintila (CEDEM/ULiège) on this second year of activity.

This Annual Report is the second one that we publish since the Centre for Ethnic and Migration Studies (CEDEM) of the University of Liège assumed the coordination of IMISCOE in April 2022. After two years in this role, we believe it is now a good moment to reflect on what has been achieved so far, the lessons learned in the process, and the aspects that we could prioritize for our Network in the years to come. 

The transition of the IMISCOE coordination from Rotterdam to Liège has gone smoothly, despite being a lengthy process given the size, growth and complexity of our Network. The transfer of all IMISCOE activities, contracts, and finances to Liège was finalized during the first half of the year 2023, which allowed us to shift our focus towards the priorities that we set for ourselves at the beginning of this coordination mandate: to make IMISCOE more inclusive, open, and diverse. 

We are very proud of the progress made over the past two years towards achieving this overarching objective that requires a long-term commitment and several steps within the broader plan of action that we set up with the Board of Directors, the Executive Board, the IMISCOE Standing and Executive Committees, our community of PhD students, and the individual members of our Network who constantly dedicate their time and ideas to the activities and events taking place in IMISCOE.  

One of our main goals during this IMISCOE coordination mandate has been to further diversify our community and fostering truly global scholarly debates on migration. Such debates are constantly enriched by an  increasingly diverse groups of migration researchers and institutes from different parts of the world. As such, several new initiatives were recently implement in seeking to reflect this diversity also in our scholarly network. 

At the institutional level, important steps forward have been taken to ensure the presence of institutes from different parts of the world within the organizational structure of IMISCOE. This materialized in five research centers joining IMISCOE in 2023, including our first institutional members in Slovenia (Institute for Ethnic Studies) and Latin America (Casa Grande University, Ecuador). Other IMISCOE governance bodies have also further diversified their composition during 2023, as we welcomed new members to our Executive Board and to the Elections Committee, which was created in 2022.  

Secondly, we further strengthened our policy of providing support for the participation of colleagues from all over the world in our activities and events. In this process, we have also counted with the strong support of the IMISCOE Committee on Diversity, Equality and Inclusion, another IMISCOE body that was recently created. In addition to the set-up of a hybrid conference model for almost all our major yearly events (to allow for the participation of colleagues who cannot attend on-site due to financial reasons, health and family circumstances, or visa restrictions), our Board of Directors also decided on reduced individual membership fees for students from all over the world, for all researchers based outside of the EU/OECD, and for all those joining our annual conference online. Additionally, the budget allocated to the IMISCOE Solidarity Fund was increased for 2023, to allows us to provide additional support for participation in our events to colleagues in need. These recent measures towards more inclusive IMISCOE events led to an increased participation of both junior and senior colleagues from different countries around the world during our 2023 Annual Conference, which gathered a record number of both online and on-site attendees contributing to four days of enriching exchanges on the topic of migration and inequalities from a global perspective. Similarly, the 2023 IMISCOE Spring Conference organized in Nice on the topic of postcolonial migrations and the 2023 IMISCOE PhD School focused on critical reflections on migration studies, racism and discrimination were praised by participants for the important efforts made in the field of inclusion. Throughout the year 2023, our incredibly active IMISCOE Standing and Executive Committees have also organized numerous events for colleagues from all world regions, events which also tackled important topics related to migration, inclusion and diversity for our research community. 

Thirdly, this Annual Report also shows how the year 2023 was marked by the expansion of our IMISCOE research infrastructure, in several aspects. One of them is related to the creation in 2023 of a new Standing Committee on Race, Racism and Discrimination (RACED), which now allows us to give a more prominent place to research on these topics within our network. The second one is reflected in the diversification of the composition and activities of the IMISCOE PhD Network and the PhD Academy. During 2023, both group have continued to grow and strengthen the research and networking opportunities provided to doctoral students from all over the world. 

Last but not least, ensuring an open and inclusive research environment has been also reflected in our policy to support Open Access publishing. As such, our IMISCOE research series with Springer has become a leading collection in migration studies. An impressive number of books were published in Open Access during the year 2023, thanks to the agreement that IMISCOE concluded with Springer. In addition, IMISCOE also continued to sponsor in 2023 the journal Comparative Migration Studies and support Open Access articles published not only by scholars affiliated to IMISCOE Member Institutes, but also authors based outside of the EU/OECD, regardless of their affiliation to our network.       

In conclusion, we hope that this report, while unavoidably reflecting only parts of the incredibly rich activities we developed in 2023, will provide an indication of how active our community was in the past year and the significant progress made in our Network to achieve the goal of making our IMISCOE community more inclusive, open and diverse. 

We are extremely thankful to all IMISCOE members and friends for their support in this journey and look forward to continuing working with all of you to further strengthen our Network in the years to come. 

We are also particularly grateful to all our colleagues at the Centre for Ethnic and Migration Studies (CEDEM) and, more generally, the University of Liège, for the help and support we received during these first two years of the IMISCOE coordination mandate.

We hope you enjoy reading the report and we very much look forward to seeing all of you soon.



*This article was first published as introduction to the 2023 Annual Report of IMISCOE.

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