2023 – ERC Consolidator Grant

Gerasimos Tsourapas is a co-PI in a 2023–28 ERC Consolidator Grant led by Dr. Iosif Kovras, Associate Researcher in the Department of Social and Political Sciences of the University of Cyprus. The project is entitled “Disappearing Act: Reconstructing the Crime of Disappearances in Times of Political Violence” (DISACT). Around 1,000 people now disappear daily, with high levels of public attention to the phenomenon. Yet, we know surprisingly little about the historical origins of the crime, the motives driving violent (state and non-state) actors to deploy it. For example, what explains the historical emergence of the crime of disappearances and how did the crime diffuse internationally? Why do certain armed groups deploy disappearances in their repertoire of violence in times of conflict, while others refrain? In answering these questions, the DISACT project will blend ethnographic, forensic, legal, and archival evidence to enrich our understanding of one of the most complex human rights violations of our time. 

2023 – Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme

Gerasimos Tsourapas is co-PI in a 2023–26 Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme entitled “De-centering the Study of Migrant Returns & Readmission Policies in Europe and Beyond.” Immigration is a critical component of the makeup of European societies, and it is likely to dominate policy and political agendas for many years to come. It also requires coordinated responses across EU Member States. With this in mind, the EU-funded GAPs project will focus on the EU’s return policies and barriers/enablers in international cooperation on returns. It will explore the disconnects between expectations of return policies and their actual outcomes by decentering the dominant, one-sided understanding of "return policy making." Specifically, GAPs will conduct a multidisciplinary comparative research in 13 countries in Europe, Africa and the broader Middle East. It will shed light on the perspectives of migrants themselves to understand their knowledge of return policies as well as their aspirations and experiences. 

2022 – Independent Research Social Foundation

Gerasimos Tsourapas is the PI in a 2022–23 Independent Research Social Foundation Small Group Project entitled “Refugees and Diplomacy in Power Politics.” Despite scholarly investigation of states’ involvement with migratory processes, we still do not know the full gamut of states’ use of migrant and refugee communities in their foreign policymaking or the factors that affect the success of such practices. In fact, a comprehensive theoretical framework has yet to emerge on the foreign-policy dimension of cross-border mobility management. This project will contribute to the development of the first comprehensive dataset of how the manipulation of cross-border migration features in states’ diplomatic strategies. The project examines, firstly, how sender states manipulate migration stock and flows in order to force target states’ compliance; secondly, the conditions that affect these processes’ success or failure; and, finally, the relationship between these processes and broader patterns of interstate aggression. Overall, It constitutes an innovative, timely, and ambitious theory-building research project that informs responses to states’ use of migrant and refugees as instruments of refugee diplomacy that speaks to interdisciplinary debates on the topic.