Human Mobility, Global Challenges and Resilience in an Age of Social Stress (PHOENIX)

A research project within the research program migration and integration.

Project leader: Andreas Önver Cetrez External link.

Period: 2022-2024

Seat of learning: Uppsala University

Project title: Human Mobility, Global Challenges and Resilience in an Age of Social Stress (PHOENIX)

What is the project about?

PHOENIX is a study on how global changes, including the environment, climate, demography, political development and cultural vulnerability, affect people's ability and willingness for mobility. In order to study global change, mobility, and resilience, the PHOENIX project comprises five research clusters:

Cluster 1: PHOENIX builds up a broad database with relevant aspects of migration and global change, including environmental, governance and economic factors, and which create a solid foundation for an integrated system approach to objectively identify social breakpoints.

Cluster 2: PHOENIX examines governance in different policy areas and identifies links between humanitarian policy, development policy, agriculture, food policy, health policy, as well as environmental and climate policy. The project will study governance from a holistic perspective beyond the boundaries of migration policy with the aim of developing a new framework for integrated governance models.

Cluster 3 and Cluster 4: PHOENIX expands our understanding of vulnerability and resilience by focusing more closely on two case studies related to mobility and global change: food and belonging and survival in society. The case studies make it possible to add an experiential perspective to the analysis of governance linked to gender, race, class, immigrant status, geography, and age.

Cluster 5: PHOENIX draws on the project's scientific data modelling and social science research base to identify potential migration hotspots and propose coordinated interventions that protect vulnerable populations, improve their well-being and build societal resilience to global crises.

The project's research questions

  1. What social breakpoints interact in time and place in the formation of mobility/ immobility?
  2. How are governance frameworks in a range of policy silos responding to the intersection of social tipping points and climate (im)mobilities?
  3. How do individuals experience social tipping points, migration, health and food policies, and other policies that affect them? To what extent do prospective migrants and vulnerable populations have agency within governance frameworks?
  4. How do culturally diverse populations develop their own strategies to ensure survival, adaptation and coping within the (new) societies they inhabit as well as to strengthen belonging and mitigate cultural extinction risks?
  5. How do vulnerable (im-)mobile people reflect upon Global Changes and corresponding threats to cultural survival via their food and (physical and mental) health practices? How can policymakers and civil society organizations support these projects of resilience for the good of newcomers and their societies?

The project is interdisciplinary and includes contributions from natural science, social science and humanities, based on both quantitative and qualitative data. Empirical data is collected from nine countries - Sweden, Turkey, Iraq, Austria, Brazil, Uruguay, Chile, Argentina, South Africa - in a comparative approach. Through academic seminars, expert panels, policy documents, digital art exhibitions, videos and podcasts, the project intends to reach scientific, state, and public dissemination.

Participating institutions/universities

  • Uppsala University (Sweden): Önver Cetrez, psychology of religion; Soner Barthoma, political science.
  • University of Gothenburg (Sweden): Deliang Chen, Earth Sciences.
  • Özyegin University (Turkiye): Susan Beth Rottmann, anthropology.
  • University of Continuing Education Krems (Austria): Sarah Louise Nash, political science.
  • IIASA (Austria): Ali Kharrazi, sustainability researcher.
  • University of Campinas (Brazil): Rafael de Brito Dias, social sciences.
  • EQUIT (Brazil-Rio/Amazon): Graciela Rodriguez, NGO.
  • Fundacion Cuerpo y energia (Chile): Pablo Zuleta, psychology.
  • Asociacion Ciudadana por los Derechos Humanos/Universidad de Buenos Aires (Argentina): María José Lubertino Beltrán, law.
  • Institute for Economic Research on Innovation/Tshwane University of Technology (Aouth Africa): Maharajh Rasigan, history of economics.
  • University of the Republic (Uruguay): Isabel Bortagaray, sociology.

Links to project participants' websites

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