Circular migration, wellbeing and citizenship: Central & Eastern European (CEE) family experience in the UK

Project Details


Recent elite, public and media discourses on European Union (EU) migration to the United Kingdom (UK) have been characterised by obscure policies, hostile discourses, and a divisive social and political milieu. Despite the heightened attention EU migration has received, little is known about the actual experiences of people undertaking circular migration – a relatively new and rising trend in which family members and their extended networks move, together or separately, back and forth between the UK and other EU countries, mostly for temporary labour opportunities. These developments raise important questions:

Project Question i. What can empirical research add to our understanding of the ways circular migration affects the wellbeing, citizenship and identities of CEE migrant families?

Project Question ii. How can we best utilise this empirical research to ultimately improve the lives of these migrants who are frequently overlooked in policy, research and practice?

Adopting an interdisciplinary approach to answer these questions, this project will draw on Social Work and Cultural Studies for issues on wellbeing, integration and family life and Political Science for issues on migration and citizenship. It will address two of the University of Portsmouth (UoP) research themes; 1) ’Health and Wellbeing’ and 2) ’Democratic Citizenship’ and potentially be part of an impact case study (Dr Tremlett is in touch with Dee Summers about this).

This project breaks new ground by interrogating how EU circular migration affects family life and citizenship in the UK. Specifically, it will explore the changing wellbeing and perceptions of citizenship of 10 Central and Eastern European (CEE) families via ethnographic techniques, including creative visual and interview methods. Such close-up research is necessary due to the
sensitivity of the issues, wellbeing and citizenship, as well as the potentially vulnerable target group, CEE families in the UK, that this project seeks to address. The research team will consist of the Principal Investigator (PI) Dr Tremlett and Co-Applicant (CA) Dr Siklodi, and a Research Associate (RA) (to be hired for part of the project).

At the same time as collecting new data, the project also allows the co investigators (the CA is an early-career researcher) to develop project management and research teamwork skills that are vital to career development. The RA’s skills will be developed through close mentoring from the co-investigators and access to UoP research training. Furthermore, two international trips (to Hungary and Norway) will provide space for the research team on the whole to learn from leading academics in the field of circular migration and wellbeing, along with the networking opportunities necessary to apply for an external grant. The academic output (one journal article) will provide us with the experience of writing together as well as adding an excellent submission
to the Research Excellence Framework 2021.

In summary, this project will:
 Create a small but solid basis of empirical knowledge;
 Enable us to disseminate initial findings to local stakeholders in politics and wellbeing;
 Contribute to a good quality academic article;
 Produce an informed evidence-base to apply for larger grants to develop and expand on our findings.
Effective start/end date1/08/1831/07/19


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.