SECUREU Summer School

The Securitization of “Undocumented Migrants” and Empowerment Activities of Civil Organisations

Summer School, July 3-9, 2022 | Amsterdam, The Netherlands



Summer School is organized as part of the SECUREU (The Securitization of Migrants and Ethnic Minorities and the Rise of Xenophobia in the EU) activities. SECUREU is a Jean Monnet Network funded by the Erasmus + Programme.

This summer school is organized by the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIAS-KNAW), the Herder-Institute for Historical Research on East Central Europe, Marburg, in cooperation with the Collaborative Research Centre/Transregio 138 “Dynamics of Security. Types of Securitization from a Historical Perspective.”



About the School

The potential social and political problems generated by securitization processes in which migrants and ethnic minorities are targeted as an inherent security threat that demands exceptional measures are currently coming under critical scrutiny. The EU and individual member states are its main target. However, the responses “on the ground,” how they develop, and to what end, remain unaddressed in research as well as policy. Existing studies and literature solve this, to an extent, by focusing on the self-organizations of undocumented migrants.

The Securitization of “Undocumented Migrants” and Empowerment Activities of Civil Society Organizations Summer School contributes to that perspective the role of allies and supporters, such as CSOs acting on behalf of undocumented migrants. It does so in a research-oriented, hands-on manner. Its comparative focus allows analyzing the national versus local political contexts in the Netherlands.

  • What are the motivations of CSOs, stakes, and investments in supporting undocumented migrants? How do they relate to other actors, including municipal and regional, and what networks do they form?
  • What is the share of CSOS in solving the silent security dilemma (Lene Hansen) of some migrants? In what way do they empower migrant individuals in subaltern positions by voicing their specific security problems versus state officials and parts of the society?
  • How are the motives and actions of CSOs represented in Dutch politics and media?

Two CSO organizations, one based in Amsterdam, another in Rotterdam, will closely work with the summer school participants. The training will consist of three elements: (1) lectures and seminars, in which relevant theories and literature will be reviewed; (2) meetings with key actors in the field, activists, and policy-makers; and (3) research practice and fieldwork resulting in data collection.


Topics covered in this summer school will be:

  • The action repertoires (behavior) and the motivations of CSO actors
  • Discursive formations structuring public and policy debates, such as “undocumented migrants,” “illegal migrants,” “irregular migrants,” “illegalized migrants,” etc. (more alternatives available)
  • The historical precedents of mobilizations in support of “undocumented migrants,” as well as the parallels and analogies in other countries
  • The impact of different immigration regimes, national and local, on life chances of “undocumented migrants”
  • The survival strategies of “undocumented migrants” and the role of CSOs in fostering legal as well as societal integration
  • Research strategies and data collection technics

The activities of the Summer School culminate in the production of a shared qualitative data-set.


Confirmed faculty members

Professor Peter Haslinger – History, Herder-Institute for Historical Research on East Central Europe, Marburg

Professor Jan Willem Duyvendak – Sociology, Director of NIAS, University of Amsterdam

Dr. Darshan Vigneswaran – Political Sciences, University of Amsterdam

Dr. Markha Valenta – Former NIAS Urban Citizen Fellow, University College Utrecht

Dr. Floris Vermeulen – Political Sciences, University of Amsterdam


School organizers and program coordinators

Dr. Olga Sezneva – Sociology, University of Amsterdam

Dr. Peter Vrieler – Sociology, University of Amsterdam



Travel (up to €500) and accommodations in Amsterdam are covered for students by the SECUREU network.