Reaching Out to Close the Border: The Transnationalization of Anti-Immigration Movements in Europe (MAM)

Reaching Out to Close the Border: The Transnationalization of Anti-Immigration Movements in Europe (MAM)
Photo: yourrs @ Flickr
Led by Kristian Berg Harpviken
Jan 2020 - Dec 2023

​Immigration is seen as a major concern by many Europeans. Simultaneously, opposition to immigration - across the political spectrum - is the issue which most forcefully mobilizes politically. It is this Mobilization Against Migration (MAM) that gives our project its name.

It is a paradox that anti-immigration movements, whose key concern is opposing mobility across borders and who advocate isolationism, nationalism and cultural traditionalism, often work transnationally, with joint events, strategies and campaigns across borders and in multilateral forums. 

MAM studies contemporary European anti-immigration movements, by focusing on

  1. interaction (forms and consequences), 
  2. framing (political-ideological underpinnings), and 
  3. outcomes (on migration policies). 

A comprehensive analytical state-of-the-art framing will be followed by a pilot study to trace transnational outcomes in Europe, five comprehensive studies of most different cases (Germany, Italy, Norway, Poland, Portugal and the UK), and a major synthesizing comparison. 

A Methodology Lab, including leading scholars with various specialties, will be engaged to inform the ambitious multi-methods design, with process-tracing as the key methodology aiming for theory development. 

The main sources of data are surveys, internet (both to map interaction and gather documents), and interviews. The multidisciplinary team of five draws from globally leading research environments on social movements, radicalization, conflict and migration. 

MAM will engage with users in a Practitioners Exchange, from the initial design phase to the ultimate dissemination of findings. Through its platforms for engaging both scholars and users, research communication is an integral part of the project from day one, including an integrated outreach strategy on multiple platforms to reach all relevant audiences. 

A core ambition of the project is to inspire new projects on transnational anti-immigration mobilization, while also drawing up and generating interest in a new agenda on the contentious governance of migration.

Funder: This project is funded by the Research Council of Norway under the VAM Programme.

Research Groups


Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Bedock, Camille; Simon Otjes; Volker Best & Manes Weisskircher (2023) A policy like no other? The populist radical right challenge in the field of democracy reform, Party Politics. DOI: 10.1177 /13540688221089126.
Lewicki, Aleksandra (2023) East–west inequalities and the ambiguous racialisation of ‘Eastern Europeans’, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. DOI: 10.1080/1369183X. 2022.2154910.
Bazurli, Raffaele & Francesca Campomori (2022) Further to the bottom of the hierarchy: the stratification of forced migrants’ welfare rights amid the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy, Citizenship Studies 26(8): 1091–1116.
Kyriazi, Anna; Mariana S. Mendes; Julia Rone & Manes Weisskircher (2022) The Politics of Emigration in Europe: A Research Agenda, Journal of Common Market Studies. DOI: 10.1111/jcms.13392.
Otteni, Cyrill & Manes Weisskircher (2022) AfD gegen die Grünen? Rechtspopulismus und klimapolitische Polarisierung in Deutschland, Forschungsjournal Soziale Bewegungen 35(2).
Bazurli, Raffaele & David Kaufmann (2022) Insurgent Asylum Policies in European Cities: A Multi-Level Governance Perspective, Urban Affairs Review. DOI: 10.1177 /10780874221091594.
Hutter, Swen & Manes Weisskircher (2022) New Contentious Politics. Civil Society, Social Movements, and the Polarisation of German Politics, German Politics. DOI: 10.1080/09644008. 2022.2044474.
Weisskircher, Manes; Swen Hutter & Endre Borbáth (2022) Protest and Electoral Breakthrough: Challenger Party-Movement Interactions in Germany, German Politics. DOI: 10.1080/09644008. 2022.2044473.
Bazurli, Raffaele; Tiziana Caponio & Els de Graauw (2022) Between a rock and a hard place: mayors, migration challenges and multilevel political dynamics, Territory, Politics, Governance 10(3).
Heinze, Anna-Sophie & Manes Weisskircher (2022) How Political Parties Respond to Pariah Street Protest: The Case of Anti-Corona Mobilisation in Germany, German Politics. DOI: 10.1080/09644008.2022.2042518.
Otteni, Cyrill & Manes Weisskircher (2021) Global warming and polarization. Wind turbines and the electoral success of the greens and the populist radical right, European Journal of Political Research. DOI: 10.1111/1475-6765.12487.
Heinze, Anna-Sophie & Manes Weisskircher (2021) No Strong Leaders Needed? AfD Party Organisation Between Collective Leadership, Internal Democracy, and “Movement‐Party” Strategy, Politics and Governance 9(4): 263–274.
Erdal, Marta Bivand & Katrine Fangen (2021) A state-centred conception of nationhood? Norwegian bureaucrats on the nation, Ethnicities. DOI: 10.1177/14687968211012567.
Fangen, Katrine & Lisanne Lichtenberg (2021) Gender and family rhetoric on the German far right, Patterns of Prejudice. DOI: 10.1080/0031322X.2021.1898815: 1–23.
Fangen, Katrine & Maria Reite Nilsen (2020) Variations within the Norwegian far right: from neo-Nazism to anti-Islamism, Journal of Political Ideologies. DOI: 10.1080/13569317.2020.1796347: 1–20.
Lewicki, Aleksandra & Yasemin Shooman (2020) Building a New Nation: Anti-Muslim Racism in Post-Unification Germany, Journal of Contemporary European Studies 28(1): 30–42.
Zamponi, Lorenzo & Pietro Castelli Gattinara (2020) Uneven ground: the asymmetric competition between anti-refugee and solidarity movements in Italy, Politiche Sociali/Social policies 2: 267–259.
Bazurli, Raffaele; Mattia Casula & Francesca Campomori (2020) Shelter from the Storm: «Virtuous» Systems of Urban Asylum Governance Coping with Italy’s Immigration Crackdown, Politiche Sociali / Social Policies 7(2): 201–224.
Gattinara, Pietro Castelli (2020) The study of the far right and its three E’s: why scholarship must go beyond Eurocentrism, Electoralism and Externalism, French Politics. DOI: 10.1057/s41253-020- 00124-8.
Fangen, Katrine & Inger Skjelsbæk (2020) Editorial: special issue on gender and the far right, Politics, Religion & Ideology 21(4): 411–415.
Fangen, Katrine (2020) Gendered Images of us and Them in Anti-Islamic Facebook Groups, Politics, Religion & Ideology 21(4): 451–468.
Fangen, Katrine & Carina Riborg Holter (2019) The battle for truth: How online newspaper commenters defend their censored expressions, Poetics 80(101423): 1–11.
Fangen, Katrine & Mari Vaage (2018) “The Immigration Problem” and Norwegian Right- Wing Politicians, New Political Science 40(3): 459–476.
Fangen, Katrine & Mari Vaage (2014) FrP-politikeres innvandringsretorikk i posisjon og opposisjon, Agora: Journal for metafysisk spekulasjon 3(4): 30–63.


(2022) Gains and Losses. How Protestors Win and Lose. New York: Oxford University Press.
Fangen, Katrine (2022) En bok om nynazister [A book on neo-Nazis]. Oslo: Universitetforlaget. 224.

Book Chapter

Bazurli, Raffaele (2023) Sanctuary Movements, in Snow, David A.; Donatella ​della Porta; & Bert Klandermans, eds, The Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Social and Political Movements. London: Wiley-Blackwell.
Fangen, Katrine (2022) Rasisme som renhetsideologi, in Cora Alexa Døving, ed., Rasisme : Fenomenet, forskningen, erfaringene. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget (287–306).
Císař, Ondřej & Manes Weisskircher (2022) Left-wing social movements between strong European identities and the challenges of transnational activism. The case of DiEM25, in Imagining Europe. Transnational Contestation and Civic Populism. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan.
Gattinara, Pietro Castelli & Caterina Froio (2021) The Mainstream Right and its Allie, in Riding the Populist Wave: Europe s Mainstream Right in Crisis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (170–192).
Gattinara, Pietro Castelli & Lorenzo Zamponi (2021) Politicizing support and opposition to migration in France: the EU asylum policy crisis and direct social activism, in Voltolin, Benedetta; Michal Natorski; & Colin Hay, eds, Crisis & Politicisation: the Framing and Re- framing of Europe s Permanent Crisis. New York: Routledge.

Popular Article

Fangen, Katrine & Christopher R. Fardan (2022) En forsvarlig mediedekning av ekstreme gruppers demonstrasjoner, M24, 6 November.
Fangen, Katrine (2021) Democracy’s Scars: Adorno’s Lecture on Right-Wing Radicalism, PRIO Blogs, 14 July.
Fangen, Katrine (2021) Why did Muslims become the new enemy in Europe?, Right Now!, 9 July.

Conference Paper

França, Thais (2022) A European exception? Anti- immigration activism in Portugal, presented at International Migration, Integration and Social Cohesion (IMISCOE) Annual Conference, Oslo, Norway, 29.06–01.07.
Bazurli, Raffaele & Els de Graauw (2021) Explaining Variation in City Sanctuary Policies: Lessons from U.S. and European Cities, presented at European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) General Conference, 30 August – 3 September 2021, Virtual event.

Report - Other

Report - External Series

Weisskircher, Manes (2021) The Importance of Being Eastern German. The Multiple Heartlands of Germany’s Far Right, CBEES State of the region report. .

Book Review

Harpviken, Kristian Berg (2022) Review of David S. Meyer, ed., How Social Movements (Sometimes) Matter, in Journal of Peace Research .
Fangen, Katrine (2022) Review of Cynthia Miller-Idriss, ed., Hate in the Homeland, in Young - Nordic Journal of Youth Research .
Fangen, Katrine (2021) Review of Cynthia Miller-Idriss: Hate in the Homeland: The New Global Far Right, book review, in Norsk sosiologisk tidsskrift 5(3): 63–66.
Fangen, Katrine (2021) Review of Theodor W. Adorno, ed., Aspekter ved den nye høyreradikalismen, in Sosiologen .
Fangen, Katrine (2021) Review of Cynthia Miller-Idriss, ed., Hate in the Homeland, in Norsk sosiologisk tidsskrift .
Gattinara, Pietro Castelli (2021) Review of Maneri, Marcello; & Fabio Quassoli, eds, Un attentato "quasi terroristico". Macerata 2018, il razzismo e la sfera pubblica al tempo dei social media, in Partecipazione e Conflitto 14: 507–510.



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