Merve Schmitz-Vardar was a Visiting Fellow at AICGS from August to October 2019.
Ms. Schmitz-Vardar is a research and teaching assistant at the Chair of Public Policy and Regional Policy of the Institute of Political Science at the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany. She is a representative of the non-professorial teaching staff at the Institute of Political Science and at the Faculty of Social Sciences. In addition, she is one of the spokeswomen from the junior scientist network of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Integration and Migration Research (InZentIM).
She began her PhD project with a scholarship from the Mercator Foundation and researches political culture in immigration societies. Her puzzle starts with the three following observations: (1) migration has a structuring and transforming impact on societies, (2) the presumed “others” are part of the political collective, (3) the support of democratic value orientations needs a normative benchmark of free and equal citizens so that the support can be considered valid. She addresses the following question: How do attitudes toward regional and national political units affect democratic value orientation in the Ruhr area and in Germany? Her multi-level comparative perspective needs a mixed-methods research design. She collects and analyses focus group data, expert interviews, and survey data.
During her time at AICGS, Merve Schmitz-Vardar will be working on the topic of the sense of belonging from a comparative perspective.