From 1 August I have started a new position as a Professor in Sociology, with a special focus on the study of migration and social cohesion, at the University of Amsterdam. The prospect of this new exciting position at my Alma Mater convinced me that, after almost a decade in Oxford, it is time to move on.
Yet it has not been an easy decision to leave IMI. Ever since I joined alongside Oliver Bakewell in January 2006 to build up the institute from scratch under the leadership of Stephen Castles and, later, Robin Cohen, the teamwork and friendship that IMI represents has been an incredible source of joy for me. Before and after we became joint IMI directors in 2011, the intense and seamless collaboration with Oliver has been a key factor in IMI’s success.
It has been an exciting and rewarding adventure, and it is here that I have discovered the true meaning of teamwork: the unique research agenda we have developed and the reputation of IMI as a leading research centre on migration issues has been a real group effort where the whole was so much bigger than the sum of its parts.
In many ways, my new position not only fits within my personal trajectory, but also offers exciting opportunities to further elaborate the approach we have developed at IMI in looking at migration as an intrinsic part of broader social change and development, thereby trying to shift the research focus away from sedentary, ‘receiving country’ and Eurocentric biases. I am therefore confident that we will be able to build many collaborative bridges between Oxford and Amsterdam. I wish Oliver Bakewell and the entire IMI team every success in the future.