Winner of the Maria Ioannis Baganha Dissertation Award 2019: Dr. Kristina Bakkær Simonsen

05 June 2019

The winner of the 2019 Maria Ioannis Baganha Dissertation Award is Dr. Kristina Bakkær Simonsen. 

Her dissertation entitled: “Do They Belong? Host National Boundary Drawing and Immigrants’ Identificational Integration” was defended at Aarhus University on 8 December 2017.


The award ceremony will take place during the Imiscoe conference in Malmö on Friday, 28 June. 

Do the ways in which nations define ‘us’ and ‘them’ matter for the degree to which immigrants feel part of their new society, and if so, how? The dissertation investigates this question by studying the effects of host national boundary drawing on immigrants’ sense of national belonging. Theoretically, the dissertation contributes to the literature in the field by developing a model that explicates the process through which immigrants should be affected by the host nation’s boundaries, placing particular emphasis on immigrants’ boundary perceptions as the crucial link. The steps in this model are examined in four empirical articles, using quantitative and qualitative data and methods. Empirically, the dissertation sheds light on the types of boundaries that matter for immigrants’ belonging. In particular, it shows that immigrants are affected by the informal boundaries drawn by host populations and in political rhetoric but not by the formal boundaries drawn through citizenship policy. In addition, through inductive analysis of in-depth interviews, the dissertation contributes to nuancing the very concept of belonging, strengthening our understanding of how it is constructed, affected and challenged in boundary processes. In synthesis, the dissertation gives a nuanced account of the links between boundaries and belonging and attests to the dimensions of power involved in constraining and claiming national membership in contemporary Western societies. The dissertation will be of interest to anyone concerned with one of the greatest challenges of our time: how to integrate new citizens into established national communities. 

Kristina Bakkær Simonsen received her PhD in Political Science from Aarhus University in December 2017. She holds an MSc in Political Science from the same department and an MSc in Comparative Politics (specialisation in Nationalism and Ethnicity) from the London School of Economics and Political Science. She is now Assistant Professor at Aarhus University. Kristina’s research targets the intersection of identity, politics, and belonging in relation to immigrant integration issues – from the point of view of minorities and majorities alike. Her work has been published in top political science journals, as well as top field journals.


Latest News

Angeliki Konstantinidou

Fully funded PhD scholarship: Horizon Europe project FAiR at Danube University Krems (AT)

20 March 2023
Deadline: 19 April 2023 The University for Continuing Education Krems specializes in part-time academic continuing education. As a public university for continuing education, it works with its expertise in teaching and research to overcome societal...
The Migration Podcast

Join the IMISCOE Migration Podcast as interviewer

Are you actively involved in migration research and would like to contribute to making migration research more accessible? Then consider joining us as an Interviewer.

read more

Elsa Mescoli

CFP Geographies of Migration and Art: Intersections and Imaginaries, Flows and Controls

Deadline 15/3/2023
Organised by Dr Saskia Warren (The University of Manchester) and Dr Amanda Rogers (Swansea University) Human Geographers have made a sustained, but perhaps under-recognised, contribution to understanding the relationship between migration and art...
IMISCOE Network Office

Doctoral position in Sociology with a focus on Migration and Integration: University of Gothenburg

08 March 2023
Doctoral student in Sociology with focus on migration and integration Deadline for applications: April 5, 2023 Ref PAR 2023/155 The University of Gothenburg tackles society’s challenges with diverse knowledge. 56 000 students and 6 600 employees make...
IMISCOE Network Office

International Women’s Day: Focus on 3 recent IMISCOE Research Series Books in the field of gender and migration

08 March 2023
Migration and Domestic Work Author(s): Sabrina Marchetti This open access short reader offers a systematic overview of the scholarly debate on the experiences of migrant domestic workers at a global level, in the past as well as in present time. It...