This project seeks to understand how migration features as a foreign policy instrument, with a particular focus on migration into, out of, and across the Middle East. It is led by Professor Gerasimos Tsourapas (School of Social & Political Sciences) between 1 July 2022 and 30 June 2027.

With an interdisciplinary approach bridging international relations and migration studies, MOBSANCT argues against problematic ‘sending,’ ‘transit,’ and ‘host’ state conceptualisations, while repositioning the Global South as central to theory development on the politics of cross-border mobility. MOBSANCT offers the first global dataset on the use of labour and forced migration as an instrument of foreign policy, while building a straightforward theoretical framework for policymakers that enables the design of effective responses to migration and refugee crises.

MOBSANCT was awarded a five-year European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant on the basis of 'scientific excellence' as the sole criterion. It is currently being funded by United Kingdom Research and Innovation (UKRI) as part of the UK's Horizon Europe guarantee funding.



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