I hold a chair in Transnational Studies since 2007 at the Center for the Understanding of Social Processes (www.unine.ch/maps-chaire), University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland. My research approach represents a contemporary strand of social anthropology that places the understanding of processes of mobility, transnationalism and social and symbolic boundary making in the realm of ethnicity, religion and gender. I have conducted empirical research in Kosovo, Albania and Switzerland using qualitative methodologies, social network analysis and quantitative comparative surveys. I was member of the board of directors of the Swiss Forum for Migration and Population studies between 2005-2006. I have taught at different Universities and published in German, English and French, mainly on issues of mobility, migration, transnationality, ethnicity, social networks and culture.
More concretely, a first strand of my research deals with questions of transnationality, whereby I did a variety of studies as with Albanian speaking migrants, with the inhabitants of a small Swiss City, or with cabaret-dancers. My aim is to understand the (non)development of transnational networks and subjectivities by linking them to questions of social inequalities and varying degrees of mobilites. Clearly, my research focuses not only migrants but also non-migrants, thus overcoming the common asymmetry present in transnational studies, which consists of only focusing on migrant populations.
A second strand of my research aims at understanding the social organization of ethnic and/or religious differences as it is conducted by a range of different actors (migrants and non-migrants, nation-states, schools and so forth) and their articulations with questions of power and dominance. I argue that in order to understand the actual place of ethnicity and religion in diversified societies it is necessary to conduct not only so called 'community-studies', but also to address the ethnic and religious boundary work that various actors undertake or to investigate social networks in terms of 'cross-cutting-ties-studies. Such approaches allow us to understand how diversity is (re)produced, relationally and in interaction, in different social fields, and with varying outcomes.
Finally, I am also engaged in commissioned research. I am convinced about the important role that social scientists are to play by getting involved in political debates, such as for example migration issues. I have, for instance, been commissioned by state authorities in Switzerland to study the role of migrant networks for integration programs, the position of the Muslim population in the canton of Zurich, the remittance behavior of Serbian migrants, the working conditions of cabaret-dancers, and more recently the dynamics of the so called 'forced marriage'.
For more details see my research projects (same page) and publications or the data base of UNINE