Institute for Migration Research and Intercultural Studies

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Laura Stielike

Dr. Laura Stielike

University of Osnabrück
Seminarstraße 19 a/b
room 03/E15
49069 Osnabrück
phone +49 541 969 4895

Laura Stielike

Political and Social Science

Migration and development, big data and migration, postcolonialism, intersectionality, politics of memory, institutional racism, discourse and apparatus analysis, governmentality, gender and migration, labour and student migration, Cameroon

I am currently member of th research group "The Production of Knowledge on Migration" with a project on big data, migration governance and the production of knowledge. The project explores the recent trend to use big data for the analysis and governance of international migration. Focusing on the emerging transnational network of international organisations‘ data hubs and university based data researchers, it examines how the use of big data transforms the production of knowledge about migration.

I joined the Institute for Migration Research and Intercultural Studies (IMIS) as postdoctoral researcher in 2016 after completing my doctorate in political science at Freie Universität Berlin. My doctoral dissertation explores the apparatus of migration and development with a focus on Cameroonian migrants in Germany. During my doctoral research I was Visiting Fellow at the International Migration Institute (IMI) at the University of Oxford. As teaching assistant for the Chair of Gender and Diversity Studies at the Otto Suhr Institute of Political Science at Freie Universität Berlin, I have taught courses on migration theory, postcolonial studies and discourse analysis. I studied political science at Freie Universität Berlin and at Sciences Po Paris. In my master‘s thesis I researched the colonial continuities of German development cooperation in the era of good governance. I have also worked in development organisations in Cameroon, China and Germany.


Forthcoming: Big Data. In: Berlinghoff, Marcel/Glorius, Birgit/Kleist, J. Olaf/Scharrer, Tabea (Hrsg.) Handbuch Flucht- und Flüchtlingsforschung. Baden-Baden: Nomos.

2023: Diaspora. In: Bartels, Inken/Löhr, Isabella/Reinecke, Christiane/Schäfer, Philipp/Stielike, Laura (Hrsg.): Inventar der Migrationsbegriffe, 15.02.2023. Online:, DOI:

2022 mit Inken Bartels, Isabella Löhr, Christiane Reinecke und Philipp Schäfer (Hrsg): Inventar der Migrationsbegriffe.

2022: Producing Migration Knowledge: From Big Data to Evidence-Based Policy? In: Ehlers, Sarah/Esselborn, Stefan (Hrsg.): Evidence in Action between Science and Society. Constructing, Validating, and Contesting Knowledge. London: Routledge, 113-138. doi: 10.4324/9781003188612-13

2022: Politiken der Wissensproduktion: Das Beispiel der Migrationsforschung. In: Weingart, Peter/Schuppert, Gunnar Folke/Römhildt, Roland (Hrsg.): Herrschaft und Wissen. Baden-Baden: Nomos, 219-240. doi: 10.5771/9783748910602-219. Avialable online here

2022: "Das Dispositiv als Analyseperspektive für die Migrationsforschung."Zeitschrift für Diskursforschung, Ausgabe 2, Jahr 2020, S. 226-249.

2022: “Migration Multiple? Big Data, Knowledge Practices and the Governability of Migration.” In Research Methodologies and Ethical Challenges in Digital Migration Studies. Caring for (Big) Data, edited by Marie Sandberg, Luca Rossi, Vasilis Galis, and Martin Bak Jørgensen, 113–38. Cham: Springer International Publishing. doi:10.1007/978-3-030-81226-3_5.

2021: Dispositive der (Im)mobilisierung. Fluchtursachenbekämpfung in genealogischer Perspektive. Global Migration Studies, No. 1. Göttingen: Centre for Global Migration Studies. DOI: 10.3249/2702-7872-gms-1.

2018: Vertrautheit durch Vergangenheit? (Post-)Koloniale Migration zwischen Kamerun und Deutschland. In: Dimbath, Oliver, Anja Kinzler und Katinka Meyer (Hrsg.): Vergangene Vertrautheit. Soziale Gedächtnisse des Ankommens, Aufnehmens und Abweisens. Reihe: Soziales Gedächtnis, Erinnern und Vergessen – Memory Studies. Wiesbaden: Springer VS, S.

2017: Entwicklung durch Migration? Eine postkoloniale Dispositivanalyse am Beispiel Kamerun-Deutschland. Bielefeld: Transcript.

2017: The Migration&Development Apparatus. Contradictions between international discourse, institutional practices, and migrants’ perspectives. In: International Migration Institute Working Papers
Series, No. 136, May 2017.

2013: Wo die wilden Tiere wohnen. Die neue Plakatkampagne „The Big Five!“ reproduziert kolonial-rassistische Bilder. In: Analyse & Kritik, Nr. 583, 17.5.2013.

2010: „Wie regieren in Afrika?“ Über koloniale Kontinuitäten deutscher Entwicklungspolitik. In: Hinterland. Magazin vom Bayerischen Flüchtlingsrat, Heft 15, S. 36-39.

2009: Plaidoyer pour la femme en Afrique. Expérience de la Campagne Semaines Pascales comme modèle de transformation oecuménique et interreligieuse de la société. In: Kenmogne, Jean-Blaise, Kä Mana (Hrsg.): Pour la voie africaine de la non-violence. Religion, politique, développement et éducation à la paix dans la société africaine. Yaoundé: Editions CLÉ, S. 259-283.

Selected Presentations

10/2022: (with Inken Bartels and Philipp Schäfer) Workshop "Between care and harm. How can we (self)reflexively study the production of knowledge on migration?", junior scholars' meeting, DeZIM conference 2022, Berlin.

09/2022: (with Inken Bartels and Philipp Schäfter) "Practicing Double Reflexivity. Producing Knowledge on the Production of Knowledge on Migration", Panel of the section "Migration and ethnic minorities" on " "Reflexivity as a Methogological Challenge for Migration Research", 41st Congress of the German Society of Sociology "Polarized Worlds", University of Bielefeld.

01/2021: "Migration Multiple. Big Data, Knowledge Practices and the Governability of Migration", STS-MIGTEC Workshop (online).

01/2021: (with Inken Bartels) "What Difference Does the Digital Make? A Comparative Perspective on Statistical and Big Data Based Knowledge Production on Migration", Panel "Doing Reflexive Migration Studies in Digital Times", ESA RN 35 "Sociology of Migration" Midterm Conference "Towards Reflexivity in Migration Studies. Knowledge Production in Times of Contested Politics and Post Colonial Dynamics", Technical University Berlin (online).

09/2020 "Data, Power, Knowledge. An Intersectional Analysis of Big Data based Research on (Forced) Migration", Panel "Forced Migration Research Meets Intersectionality", 3rd Conference of the German Network of Forced Migration Research, University of Cologne (online)

07/2020: "Practicing Double Reflexivity. Big Data and the Production of Knowledge about the Productin of Knowledge about Migration", Panel "Reflexivity in Migration Studies", 17th Annual IMISCOE Conference (online).

04/2020: "Big Data, Migration Governance and the Production of Knowledge", German Center for Integration and Migration Research (DeZIM) (online).

02/2020: "Producing Migration Knowledge. From Big Data to Evidence-Based Policy", Pre-Conference Workshop "Practicing Evidence - Evidencing Practice", Munich.

11/2019: "Big Data, Migration Governance and the Production of Knowledge", Kick-off workshop of the Research Group "The Production of Knowledge on Migration", IMIS, University of Osnabrueck.

10/2019: "The Crisis of European Migration Governance and the Promises of Big Data", Conference "Digital Fortress Europe: Exploring Boundaries between Media, Migration and Technology", Brussels.

09/2019: "Counting Insecurities. Data and the Governability of Migration", Conference "Data Power: global in/securities", University of Bremen.

12/2018: "The Contested Relationship between Migration and Development. From Brain Drain to Triple Win to Fighting Root Causes of Forced Migration", Conference "Migration Governance in Africa. Management or Control? Weingartener Afrikagespräche 2018, Akademie Weingarten.

11/2018: "Producing Migration Knowledge. From Big Data to Evidence-Based Policy", Workshop "A Cultural Technique? (Big) Data and the Making of Migration, University of Osnabrueck.

06/2018: "The Migration&Development Apparatus. Doing Diaspora in Contradictory Connections", „African Connections“ Conference of the African Studies Association Germany, University of Leipzig.

03/2017: "Familiarity created by a common past? Postcolonial discourses on migration and development. The case of Cameroon and Germany", Conference on social memory, remembrance and forgetting, University of Augsburg.

01/2017: "Apparatus as a research perspective", Institute for Migration Research and Intercultural Studies, University of Osnabrueck.

11/2014: "The Ambivalence of Migration & Development: Agency or Instrumentalisation?", Mid-Term Conference of the Research Network 35 "Sociology of Migration" of the European Sociological Association, Frankfurt am Main.

09/2014: "Migrants as Agents of Change? The Discourse on Migration and Development", fifth International Conference on Critical Approaches to Discourse Analysis across Disciplines, ELTE University, Budapest.

06/2014: "Migrants‘ Responsibility to Develop. Agency, Discourse and Power", London Conference in Critical Thought, Goldsmiths College, London.

06/2014: "The Governmentalities of the Migration and Development Discourse", International Migration Institute Seminar Series, University of Oxford.

06/2013: "How to Govern in Africa? Genealogy, Archeology, Governmentality", Department of Political Science, Free University Berlin.

01/2012: "Migration – between Transnationalism, Citizenship and Exclusion", Lecture Series Diversity, Complexity, Intersectionality – Transdisciplinary Perspectives on Gender and Diversity, Free University Berlin.

05/2010: "Colonial Continuities in German Development Policies", German Development Institute, Bonn.


"Migration and Development: Theories, Discourses, Actors", MA seminar, Institute for Migration Research and Intercultural Studies, University of Osnabrueck, summer semester 2019, two hours per week.

"Postcolonial Theory", MA seminar, Department of Political Science, Free University Berlin, winter semester 2012/2013, two hours per week.

"Migration: Transnationalism, Citizenship and Exclusion", MA seminar, Department of Political Science, Free University Berlin, summer semester 2012, two hours per week.

"Global Migration Management and the European Border Regime", MA workshop, Summer School of the German Turkish Masters Programme in Social Sciences, Humboldt University Berlin, 18.9.2013.

"Postcolonial Perspectives in Theory and Practice", MA seminar, Department of Political Science, Free University Berlin, winter semester 2011/2012, two hours per week.

"Gender and Development", PhD workshop, Bayreuth International Graduate School of African Studies, 30.11.-1.12.2011.

"Discourse Theory and Analysis in various policy areas", MA seminar, co-taught with Prof. Dr. Brigitte Kerchner, Department of Political Science, Free University Berlin, summer semester 2011, two hours per week.

"Class, Race, Gender – Feminisms and the Intersectionality of Power Relations", BA seminar, co-taught with Dipl.-Pol. Inga Nüthen, Department of Political Science, Free University Berlin, winter semester 2007/2008, two hours per week.

"Liberalism – An Introduction into the History of Political Ideas", BA seminar, co-taught with Prof. Dr. Brigitte Kerchner, Department of Political Science, Free University Berlin, winter semester 2007/2008, two hours per week.