Aarhus Universitets segl

Mikkel Rytter


Mikkel Rytter
Se relationer på Aarhus Universitet

Min seneste bog er redigeret med gode kollegaer og udspringer af projektet TemPro (Det norske forskningsråd, 2020-2024).  

Rytter, M., Mortensen, S-L, Bregnbæk, S. og Z. Whyte (red.) (2023). Paradigmeskiftets konsekvenser: Flygtninge, stat og civilsamfund. Aarhus: Aarhus Universitetsforlag.

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I'm currently working on three research projects:

Reorienting integration: Family-to-family as a model in UN quota refugees’ settlement and orientation towards a new life in Denmark (2022–2026). The project is funded by the VELUX HumPraxis programme, and is a collaboration between researchers from the Department of Anthropology, AU, The Danish Center for Social Science Research (VIVE), The Danish Refugee Council (DRC) and several municipalities. 

For the first time since 2015, the Danish government has decided to accept UN quota refugees. In 2021 and 2022 a total of 400 Congolese families will arrive in Denmark. The families consist of single women with children, which were allocated to 33 different municipalities across the country. The refugees have lived under harsh conditions in camps in Rwanda since the 1990s and thus constitute an extremely vulnerable group. Furthermore, as UN quota refugees, they will be handed over to their new municipalities immediately after their arrival in Denmark, and thus, from day one, they will be the recipients and targets of various interventions by state institutions, municipal frontline workers, and NGOs, intended to help them settle and start a new life in a Danish community.

This research project explores the experiences, difficulties, and potentials of re-settlement. We follow the refugee families’ ongoing encounters with various representatives of the state, the municipality, and civil society organisations, each of which promotes various “integration” projects.

As part of the project, researchers and DRC will develop a “family-to-family” model, where Congolese families are matched with volunteer Danish families. Our hypothesis is that the deliberate orientation and direction involved in their help, support, network, and caring relationships may ease the chaotic disorientation and bewilderment that the refugee families will probably experience as they arrive, settle, and start building a new life in Denmark.


Temporary protection as a durable solution? The ‘return turn’ in asylum policies in Europe (TemPro, 2020–2024) is funded by the Norwegian Research Council and headed by Associate Professor Jessica Schultz, Bergen University. The project is a collaboration between anthropologists and legal scholars from Bergen University, Coventry University, and Aarhus University.

In response to the large numbers of refugee arrivals in 2015, European countries have introduced a range of new and enhanced temporary protection policies. These include special categories of group-based protection, downgrading existing status to reduce entitlements, and introducing protection reviews that require refugees to prove their right to remain on a regular basis. Temporary protection policies present unique challenges for including refugees in receiving communities, and for the welfare system, more broadly. The TemPro-project explores the effects of temporary protection policies on refugee law and refugee lives in Denmark, Norway, and the United Kingdom. By investigating how (primarily) post-2015 policies changed the parameters of protection for Afghans, Somalis, and Syrians, the project will produce evidence related to (1) the ways in which temporality is produced through changes to national refugee policies, (2) how these policies interact with facets of the welfare state that are designed to promote integration, and (3) how refugees’ temporary status affects the way in which they manage the competing demands of settling in Europe and planning for an eventual return.


Migrants and solidarities: Negotiating deservingness in welfare micropublics (Solidarities, 2020–2024) is funded by NordForsk. It headed by Professor Mette Louise Berg, UCL and is a collaboration between University College London, Linköping University, and Aarhus University.

This project explores how solidarities are imagined and practised in the negotiation of migrant deservingness. It explores the fundamental question of who is, and who is not, considered deserving of welfare services, how deservingness is negotiated, and with what implications, in the context of increasing diversity driven by migration, welfare restructuring, and austerity. Such negotiations draw boundaries between those migrants who have access to the support and services of the welfare state, and those who are excluded, for example, because they are deemed ‘not belonging’, or are seen as responsible for their own neediness.

The project’s six case studies strive for a nuanced comparative understanding of how deservingness is negotiated, and how various forms of solidarity emerge through encounters among migrants, frontline workers, and advocates who offer and provide support for migrants.

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