Post-doctoral researcher

Carolin is a post-doctoral researcher at the ‘Laboratory of Transnational Studies and Social Processes’. She currently works on a project titled [En]countering everyday otherness: Gendered responses to boundaries among second-generation migrants within the National Center of Competence in Research ‘The Migration-Mobility Nexus’ (http://nccr-onthemove.ch/home/). Using qualitative research approaches and gender perspectives, the study examines how experiences of otherness are interpreted, appropriated and modified by second-generation migrants in their everyday lives. Carolin also teaches in the Masters programme in Social Sciences.

Since November 2017, Carolin leads an international research project entitled Engendering migration, development and belonging: The experiences of recently arrived Afghans in Europe. Funded by the Swiss Network of International Studies (SNIS), this project examines how gender shapes understandings of home, belonging and the self among recently arrived Afghan migrants in Europe (https://snis.ch/project/engendering-migration-development-and-belonging-the-experiences-of-recently-arrived-afghans-in-europe/).

Prior to joining the University of Neuchâtel Carolin completed a DPhil (PhD) in Development Studies at the University of Oxford. Her doctoral thesis is about the lives and civic engagements of Afghans in Germany and the UK. Drawing on a qualitative case study it shows how Afghans living in these two countries relate to Afghanistan, and to what extent they engage in transnational action aimed at promoting change there. In particular, it explores the emergence of diasporic communities and how their members exercise agency when taking different forms of (transnational) civic action.

Carolin’s areas of interest are identity formation, inter- and intra-group dynamics and forms of civic and political engagement in the context of migration and mobility. She has also worked extensively on diaspora formation, diaspora - home country relations and transnational engagements. She approaches these topics from a sociological perspective focusing on relationality, intra- and inter-group boundaries and structure/agency theories. During her time at Oxford Carolin worked as a research and teaching assistant at the Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS), the International Migration Institute (IMI) and the Refugee Studies Centre (RSC). Carolin holds a diploma degree in Sociology from Bielefeld University, Germany.



Cohen, Robin and Carolin Fischer (eds.). The Routledge Handbook of Diaspora Studies. In progress, publication expected in early 2018

Fischer, Carolin and Janine Dahinden. ‘Using pragmatism to approach ‘diaspora’, its meanings and political implications’. Forthcoming in Cohen, Robin and Carolin Fischer (eds.) The Routledge Handbook of Diaspora Studies

Peer-reviewed journal articles

Fischer, Carolin. (2018.) ‘Reframing transnational engagement: a relational analysis of Afghan diasporic groups’, Global Networks, [Online]. DOI: 10.1111/glob.12186.

Fischer, Carolin (2017). ‘Imagined communities? Relations of social identities and social organisation among Afghans in Britain and Germany’. Journal of Intercultural Studies, 38 (1), 18 - 35

Fischer, Carolin and Janine Dahinden (2017). ‘Gender representations in politics of belonging: An analysis of Swiss immigration regulation from the 19th century until today’. Ethnicities, 17 (4), 445 - 468

Book chapters

Fischer, Carolin (2015). ‘Disaggregating Diasporas as Actors’. In Nando Sigona, Alan Gamlen, Giulia Liberatore and Hélène Neveu Kringelbach (eds.) Oxford Diasporas Programme Collection. Oxford Diasporas Programme: Oxford

Fischer, Carolin (2015). ‘Exploring the Dynamics of Diaspora Formation among Afghans in Germany’. In Anastasia Christou and Elizabeth Mavroudi (eds.) Dismantling diasporas: rethinking the geographies of diasporic identity, connection and development. Farnham: Ashgate

Fischer, Carolin (2013). ʻAfghan Diasporas in Britain and Germany: Dynamics, Engagements and Agencyʼ. In Tan Tai Yong and Md Mizanur Rahman (eds.) Diaspora Engagement and Development in South Asia. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Working papers

Fischer, Carolin and Janine Dahinden (2016). 'Changing Gender Representations in Politics of Belonging: A Critical Analysis of Developments in Switzerland', NCCR - on the move Working Paper #6


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