María Hernández-Carretero

Doctoral Researcher

María Hernández-Carretero
María Hernández-Carretero left PRIO in 2014. The information on this page is kept for historical reasons.

Research Interests

Image copyright: Eremi (Flickr) 

I am currently working on my doctoral dissertation, which is part of the larger project Theorising Risk, Money and Moralities in Migration (TRiMM). My case study focuses on Senegalese migration to Spain, involving fieldwork in Spain and Senegal.


​​Other research areas (past and present) include:

  • Unauthorized maritime migration from Senegal, West Africa, to the Canary Islands, Spain.
  • Migrant decision-making. Focus on the concept of risk-taking as part of the decision to migrate through dangerous, unauthorised routes.
  • European approaches to migration control. 



2008: MPhil in Peace and Conflict Transformation Studies.
University of Tromsø, Norway.

2006: Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Sociocultural Anthropology and International Development Studies (Joint Honours).
McGill University, Montreal, Canada.

2002: International Baccalaureate (IB).
Lester B. Pearson United World College of the Pacific, Victoria, BC, Canada.


Working experience:

2009 - present: Researcher, PRIO

2008 - 2009: Research Assistant, PRIO.

2008 and 2009: Assistant Coordinator for the Peace Research course at the International Summer School (ISS) of the University of Oslo.

June-December 2006: Research Assistant at the International Center for Migration and Health (ICMH), Geneva, Switzerland. 



Spanish (mother tongue), English, French, Norwegian, Wolof (conversational).


PRIO started tracking events online in 2007. This listing is not complete. Past events may be mentioned in our news archive.

All Publications

Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Hernández Carretero, María (2015) Renegotiating Obligations through Migration: Senegalese Transnationalism and the Quest for the Right Distance, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 41(12): 2021–2040.
Hernández-Carretero, María & Jørgen Carling (2012) Beyond "Kamikaze Migrants": Risk Taking in West African Boat Migration to Europe, Human Organization 71(4): 407–416.
Carling, Jørgen & María Hernández-Carretero (2011) Protecting Europe and Protecting Migrants? Strategies for Managing Unauthorised Migration from Africa, British Journal of Politics and International Relations 13(1): 42–58.

PhD Thesis

Hernández Carretero, María (2016) Leaving to belong: migration, transnational connectedness and social becoming. PhD thesis, Department of Sociology and Human Geography, Faculty of Social Sciences , University of Oslo, Oslo.

Book Chapter

Hernández-Carretero, María (2017) Hope and Uncertainty in Senegalese Migration to Spain: Taking Chances on Emigration but not Upon Return, in Kleist, Nauja; & Dorte Thorsen, eds, Hope and Uncertainty in Contemporary African Migration. Abingdon: Routledge (113–133).

Master Thesis

Hernández-Carretero, María (2008) Risk-taking in Unauthorised Migration. MA thesis, Centre for Peace Studies, University of Tromsø.

Conference Paper

Hernández Carretero, María 2011 Morals, Reciprocity and Belonging: Transnational Engagements and Migrant Trajectories, presented at Moralities of Migration workshop, , .
Hernández Carretero, María 2009 The Inclusion of the Analytical Concept of Risk in Migration Theory and the Implications for Migration Control Policies, presented at VI Conference on Migrations in Spain, , 17–19 September.
Carling, Jørgen & María Hernández-Carretero (2008) Kamikaze Migrants? Understanding and Tackling High-risk Migration from Africa, presented at Narratives of Migration Management and Cooperation with Countries of Origin and Transit, Sussex Centre for Migration Research, University of Sussex, 18–19 September.

PRIO Policy Brief

Hernández Carretero, María (2009) Reconciling Border Control with the Human Aspects of Unauthorized Migration, PRIO Policy Brief, 1. Oslo: PRIO.

Report - External Series

Carling, Jørgen; Papa Demba Fall; María Hernández-Carretero; Mame Yassine Sarr; & Jennifer Wu (2013) Migration aspirations in Senegal: Who wants to leave and why does it matter?, European Policy Brief. Brussels: European Commission.

Blog Posts

Why Don’t All Migrants Return in Times of Crisis?

Posted by María Hernández-Carretero on Thursday, 22 June 2017

In the early 2000s, numerous migrants arrived in Spain, attracted by the prospects of finding a job in the country’s booming economy. They quickly grew to represent 11% of the total population in 2008, from 2% in 2000. But when the financial crisis hit and Spain topped Europe’s unemployment rates, ... Read more »