Research Mentor(s): Leila Kawar, Associate Professor
Research Mentor School/College/Department: American Culture / Residential College, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
Presentation Date: Thursday, April 22, 2021
Session: Session 6 (4pm-4:50pm)
Breakout Room: Room 6
The Global Compact for Migration (GCM) Certificate Programme, a course jointly organized by the Global Research Forum on Diaspora and Transnationalism and other civil society organizations, is one of several virtual legal training programs aimed at building global capacity to implement the recently-enacted UN Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration. In order to study how understandings of the GCM’s new international norms on migration management are being produced interactively through these training programs, we conducted a digital ethnography which approached this online training program as our point of entry. Team-based ethnographic research included participant observation in weekly webinars, in online assignments, and in other learning activities administered through the Certificate Programme’s Google Classroom platform. As part of this research, we also examined the course organization and structure, the profiles of participants and speakers, and the substantive curricular content of the course, including theories and techniques for understanding, supporting, and protecting migrant diasporas. Themes and concepts that have emerged from our research are the variety and motivations of participants and lecturers (people in high positions of authority in governments and in international organizations, as well as community organizers); the comparison and evaluation of best practices and of stumbling blocks in existing policies and in places without policies; the importance of international engagement and cooperation; the roles and relationships of the migrant diaspora, the home country, and the destination country; and the challenges of virtual learning.