SPS academic awarded €1.49 million ERC Starting Grant

Published: 11 January 2022

Congratulations to Gerasimos Tsourapas, Senior Lecturer in International Relations, who will carry out a five-year ERC project

Congratulations to our Senior Lecturer in international Relations, Dr Gerasimos Tsourapas, who has been awarded a prestigious €1.49 million Starting Grant from the European Research Council (ERC). The ERC's mission is to encourage the highest quality research in Europe through competitive funding and to support investigator-driven frontier research across all fields, on the basis of scientific excellence.

Gerasimos will carry out a five-year project, 'The International Politics of Mobility Sanctions (MOBSANCT)', which takes migration research in a new direction. It proposes a comprehensive framework that examines the use of labour and forced migration as an instrument of foreign policy by Western and non-Western countries alike. The project focuses on the seven countries involved in largest waves of migration into, out of, and across the Middle East, namely France, Germany, India, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates.

Gerasimos said: 'I am delighted to have been successful in securing an ERC Starting Grant. The use of migration in international diplomacy is increasingly common across the world, and MOBSANCT develops the first-ever global dataset on the use of labour and forced migration as an instrument of foreign policy. The project explains the rationale behind a range of processes, including Turkey’s use of Syrian refugees to elicit European financial and political concessions, and determines the likelihood of their success. Ultimately, MOBSANCT will enable the design of more effective responses to migrant and refugee crises.'

Of the award Professor Anne Kerr, Head of the School of Social & Political Sciences, said: ‘Congratulations to Gerasimos on securing ERC funding for this important new research project. We urgently need to interrogate international policy and political responses to migration and this project will play a leading role in this work.’

First published: 11 January 2022

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