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TransHI-Rom - Risk and Migration. A Transnational History of Romanian Migration (2002-2013)

The project “TransHI-Rom” has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 660281


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Ambito disciplinare Macroarea 3

Area scientifica Area 16 - Scienze politiche e sociali

Tipologia finanziamento PROGETTI HORIZON 2020 (Finanziamenti dell'Unione Europea)

Stato progetto Concluso (archiviato)

Data avvio: 1 October 2015

Data termine: 30 September 2017

Importo: 168.277,20 Euro

Estremi del contratto:

Grant Agreement number: 660281

Call: H2020-MSCA-IF-2014


The liberalization of border controls following the breakdown of the Europe's communist regimes led to important flows of East-West migration. Western Europeans, fearing a literal invasion of Central and Eastern European immigrants, increasingly interpreted this new-found mobility as being fraught with risk. This research project will examine the history of Romanian migration to France and Italy from 2002 until the end of 2013 from the perspective of risk. It will analyse how evaluations of and responses to risk shape the migration process. The first step of this project will be to understand how fear of migration influences political responses and regulatory measures. The second step will investigate how this sense of fear developed and evolved within French, Italian and Romanian societies. It will also analyse how risk perception impacts migrants' relationships with the host society. Focussing on the migrants' own perceptions of their mobility, the third step of the project will examine how they respond to risk. An emphasis will be placed on young adults. The inter-disciplinary perspective adopted in this study will provide a more complete history of Romanian migration during the last decade. Drawing on empirical research, this study will focus on the connections that could be established between European citizens. The final objective is to demonstrate the relevance of 'risk' in understanding the migration process.


The main objective of this project is to examine the extent to which the notion of ‘risk’ can be a useful analytical tool in explaining the process of migration, using the example of Romanian migration to Western Europe since 2002. In this project, ‘risk’ is understood as a series of potentially undesirable outcomes, mediated by social interpretation . In order to understand how evaluations of and responses to risk shape the migration process, this study will address ‘risk’ as both an analytical and a normative concept. The applicant will conduct a thorough historical study of Romanian migration before and after 2007, in order to illustrate continuity and change in both the source (Romania) and receiving countries (France and Italy). This study will help establish points of reference in the rapidly growing field of the transnational history of Romanian migration. The first objective of this research project is to understand how the goal of managing the risks of migration influences the policy-making process. A multi-level analysis of policy-makers (EU-bodies, states, institutions, civil society, NGOs, migrants, etc.) will illustrate the complexity of decision-making and will take into account conflict and cooperation between levels. The applicant will also examine how the (geo)political situation surrounding Romania’s entry into the EU shaped the power dynamics between different stakeholders. As decision-making is influenced by risk perception, the second objective is to thoroughly analyse the public and political discourses on migration and its risks. Drawing on cultural theory, according to which ‘risk’ is a socially-constructed phenomenon , this project will focus on the logic underlying perceptions of risk in the French, Italian and Romanian societies. As a third objective, the research will explore the effect of the heightened perception of migration's risks on the social integration of Romanian migrants, with special reference to the local and spatial dimensions. The study will focus on the relations between immigrants and the society of settlement, as well as on the mechanisms that underpin such relations. The applicant will also examine the associational and political participation of migrants and their relations with host institutions, in light of Romanian migrants' access to EU citizenship and as a consequence of local voting rights.

The fourth objective is to analyse how migrants understand and evaluate the notion of ‘risk’ and how they respond to potentially undesirable events (risk aversion, risk-seeking, risk-taking). The applicant will show that migrants’ perceptions of and responses to risk are crucial in shaping the migration process. The fifth objective is to focus on young adults, defined as people between 18 and 35 years of age, who are often perceived by society as being either vulnerable or dangerous or a treasured resource. Using the concept of 'risk culture', this research project will consider young adults’ perceptions of risk-taking, on its dynamics, as well as on the relationships and resources surrounding it. The applicant will also examine the threat that youth migration poses to Romania’s development, i.e. the risk of loosing valuable human capital, and the ways in which stakeholders deal with this situation.

The project approaches the history of Romanian migration from a perspective, that of 'risk', which has not yet been applied to this subject. The latest research shows that analysing migration from a risk perspective that deals with more than just the economic aspects is quite a novel approach. The use of ‘risk’ when looking at migration is relevant when considering both the policy-making process and the migrants’ own experiences. As a part of the recent research using ‘risk’ as a key explanatory notion and focusing primarily on one immigrant group or dealing with policy-making, this project seeks to fill a gap, test a hypothesis and open a new field of research. This study will help to determine the relevance of ‘risk’ in understanding the migration process.



Any dissemination of results related to the project “TransHI-Rom” reflects only the author's view and that the European Commission - Research Executive Agency (REA) is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.

Supervisor: Antonio Varsori


Eventi legati al progetto:

Veneto Night 2016, la Notte dei Ricercatori - 30 settembre 2016

Beatrice Scutaru: “Faccio ricerca sulle migrazioni” - Intervista a RadioBue - 24 ottobre 2016