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‘Migration society asks for an interdisciplinary approach’

Peter Scholten is one of the four professors that were officially appointed as Leiden-Delft-Erasmus professor last week. Apart from his appointment at the Erasmus University, he has now also been appointed at FGGA. We asked Scholten five questions about his double appointment and the collaboration between the universities in the field of migration and diversity.

Peter Scholten (left) during the official ceremony

What does this double appointment mean for you personally?

Scholten: ‘This is an incredible affirmation that the collaboration between Leiden University and the Erasmus University Rotterdam is useful and is being recognised. As part of the LDE centre Governance of Migration and Diversity, I have been working hard over the past few years - with, for instance, Olaf van Vliet - to extend the collaboration in the field of research and education. I have also been working with a number of people from the Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs in various field already. It feels to me as a natural collaboration that has existed for a long time; it is nice to have it take shape in this double appointment.’

What will it look like in daily practice, what will you be doing at our Faculty?

‘I look forward to working together even more, both in the field of research as well as education. The migration society is faced with all kinds of challenges in terms of governance that require an interdisciplinary approach. Which we, as a broadly oriented centre such as LDE GMD, are able to provide. It enables us to submit joint projects and combine research in, for example, the direction of The Hague Southwest in comparison with Rotterdam South.’

The LDE Centre Governance of Migration and Diversity was founded in 2019 and you have said that this appointment is the logical next step. Where will this lead to next?

‘The LDE Centre GMD is still more a platform of connections and collaborations between Leiden, Delft, and Erasmus in our joint research domain. So far, we, including Olaf van Vliet, have had a few big successes in the field of Horizon 2020 and NWA. However, a lot more is possible and required and with the centre we hope to reach a continuously growing group of researchers and facilitate their research and education. These do not necessarily have to be migration researchers, more and more often it is about broader research where migration and diversity offer a relevant casuistry, think of European policy, housing policy but also the diversity policy within the University.’

What are your goals for the near future?

'To start with, I would like to invest in getting to know the Faculty better, to be able to create common goals for collaborations in research and education, I hope that this will enable the centre to contribute to what various groups within the Faculty are working on, and at the same time, get more people involved with the centre. As public administrator, I obviously have a special interest in how we can further develop public administrative research into these topics. In a research area that has, of old, been dominated by legal experts, anthropologists, geographers, and sociologists, we will be able to provide an important contribution.’

How do the three universities benefit from each other in this collaboration?

‘Migration and diversity ask for a transdisciplinary approach: just as various other complex topics, these cannot be understood from a single perspective or discipline. In the field of migration and diversity there is a very high amount of complementarity. By combining this in a centre, we create all kinds of opportunity, and we also have the largest research centre in the field of migration and diversity in the Netherlands. This also gives us the advantage to be able to collaborate internationally when submitting research applications, which only strengthens the position of all three universities.’

Photo: Barbra Verbij

You can also watch the video on Peter Scholten's work at the centre

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