20 February 2017

Vici-grant for research Barbara Oomen on the relationship between cities, international law and the refuguee crisis

The refugee crisis poses large challenges to cities, which respond very differently. There are ‘cities of refuge’ and ‘cities that refuse’. In doing so, they often refer to international law. This new development calls for research on the meaning of human rights for how cities throughout Europe welcome and integrate refugees. Legally, discursively and in practice.


To conduct this research on the relationship between local authorities and international human rights, the Netherlands Science Foundation (NWO) has announced that Prof. Barbara Oomen will receive a Vici-grant.

The grant of 1.5 million euro, will enable Barbara Oomen to form a team of five researchers who will follow local practices and discussions in 24 cities in 6 European countries for the coming 5 years. Additionally, the research team will shed light on the legal status of local authorities.

The Vici grant is one of the largest personal research grants in the Netherlands, destined for high-quality, innovative research with great scientific impact.

Barbara Oomen

Barbara Oomen holds a chair in the Sociology of Human Rights at Utrecht University, and works at University College Roosevelt. Her multi-disciplinary research concerns the interplay between law, culture and society.

I am very grateful to the NWO for this support for a topic that is not only fascinating from a scholarly viewpoint, but also has great societal relevance. The crucial role of local authorities in refugee welcome and integration gets too little attention, and this enables us to change this.