Research Projects

SEESOX Diaspora: The Greek Diaspora Project

Our project explores the relationship between Greece and its diaspora in the current context of economic crisis and beyond. It investigates how the Greek diaspora can affect Greece’s political and economic transformation and explores ways for the Greek state, economy and society to interact with its diaspora. This project is purposely designed to reach a wide audience beyond academia.

Programme Goals

The programme seeks to:

Core Team

Othon Anastasakis Principal Investigator
Marilena Anastasopoulou Research Associate
Kira Gartzou-Katsouyanni Research Assistant
Renee Hirschon Project Associate
Anastasia Kafe Research Associate
Foteini Kalantzi A. G. Leventis Research Officer
Antonis Kamaras Research Coordinator, Greece
Iryna Lapshyna Research Associate
Kalypso Nicolaïdis Senior Advisor
Manolis Pratsinakis Onassis Research Fellow
Lamprini Rori Research Associate
Paulo Serôdio Social Network Researcher
Nikolaos Stampoulopoulos Dissemination strategy
Harry Field-Theotokatos Research Associate in Australia
Vasiliki Poula Resesarch Assistant

Migration Diplomacy and Turkish-EU relations

SEESOX has announced that its application for seed funding from the Oxford-Berlin Research Partnership to support its project entitled “Migration Diplomacy and Turkish-EU relations” has been approved. The amount awarded will be divided between SEESOX in Oxford and Humboldt University in Berlin. The project will be coordinated by Othon Anastasakis and will involve SEESOX researchers, Foteini Kalantzi, Mehmet Karli and Manolis Pratsinakis. The seed funding will support a series of brainstorming meetings in Oxford, Berlin and Brussels during the calendar year of 2020 to discuss and identify the issues related to Turkey’s foreign policy and the country’s relations with the EU in the shadow of the migration crisis; it also aims at preparing an application for a larger research grant.

In December 2017, the University of Oxford announced the formation of a new research partnership with four institutions in Berlin: the Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Technische Universität Berlin and the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin. In its initial stages, the partnership will build on existing research links and also create an environment for taking forward new projects across the five institutions, including all areas of academic research and also within the museums and libraries of both Berlin and Oxford. Its ambition is to allow Oxford academics and researchers to spend time in Berlin, collaborating with colleagues in the Charité teaching hospital and the three Berlin universities, and also enable academics and researchers from Berlin to spend time in departments and colleges in Oxford.

In time, the intention is that the University will establish a physical centre in Berlin, the Oxford–Berlin Research Centre. The partnership has the strong support of the Mayor of Berlin, who has indicated that he will seek to provide a building for the new centre. In the short term, Oxford will establish an office and legal presence in Berlin, which should enable Oxford and Berlin academics jointly to continue to put forward research applications to EU funding programmes as well as to German and British research funders and foundations.

Migration Diplomacy and Turkish-EU Relations is a research project developed by South East European Studies at Oxford (SEESOX), University of Oxford, Berlin Institute for Empirical Integration and Migration Research of Humboldt University (BIM), and the Berlin-based German Centre for Integration and Migration Research (DeZIM).

The Principal Investigators of the project are:
Dr Othon Anastasakis, Director of SEESOX
Dr Mehmet Karli, Co-Ordinator of Programme on Contemporary Turkey at SEESOX
Dr Franck Düvell, Head of Migration Department, DeZIM
Dr Serhat Karakayalı from BIM

In addition to the principal investigators, the SEESOX team includes

Ms Ezgi Basaran, researcher at SEESOX
Dr Foteini Kalantzi, A.G. Leventis Research Officer at SEESOX
Dr Manolis Pratsinakis, SEESOX/Onassis Research Fellow at the DPIR
Ms Asli Tore, Research Assistant

This one-year project is seed-funded by the Oxford-Berlin Research Partnership. In line with the objectives of this partnership, and its purpose is to prepare a broader and more comprehensive research proposal that will be submitted to main research funding institutions at a second stage.

Scope of Research

Europe, Turkey and the Middle East are at the heart of a migration emergency which generates distress for the refugees and migrants, social grievances as well as inflammatory inter-state relations. With no end in sight to the Syrian Civil War, the situation may worsen in the near future. Turkey is the most important non-EU country which bears the impact of the Syrian migration and whose co-operation is essential for the management of this crisis for the EU.

In this context, the crisis of 2015 triggered intense negotiations between Turkey and the EU, leading eventually to the Joint Action Plan and EU financial assistance in the region of €6 billion to help Turkey care for Syrian refugees, in return for the latter to agree to the readmission of Syrians arriving in Greece and tighter border controls. At present, the EU is considering whether more financial aid is required in dealing with an increasingly difficult refugee problem. Germany is a key partner in all of this, while Brexit makes future financial aid from the part of the EU more difficult to commit.

Despite the deal, relations between Turkey and the EU have deteriorated especially after the EU’s General Affairs Council’s decision to, effectively, freeze the accession negotiations in June 2018 and the European Parliament’s decision to request the EU to suspend the accession negotiations in March 2019, both in response to increasing authoritarianism in Turkey.

It is in this context that this project has a great significance and promise in that it


The Migration Diplomacy and Turkish-EU Relations Project organized its kick off meeting on the 17-18 of January 2020 at DeZIM, Berlin which set the parameters of the debate.

After this initial meeting, the Project held two online brainstorming meetings. The first one took place on 30 June 2020 and focused on the domestic drivers of Turkey’s migration diplomacy. The speakers and participants were prompted with the following questions:

The second online brainstorming meeting of the project was held on 5 November 2020. This time the focus was on the conceptual and historical perspectives on migration diplomacy. The questions presented were:

The next step was the third online brainstorming meeting which was held on 11 February 2021. The topic of this meeting was EU migration policies vis-a-vis Turkey and the discussion focused on these following points:

The Political Economy of South East Europe


The political economy programme at SEESOX integrates the analysis of economic and political developments in South East Europe, and seeks to place the interaction of these influences in a policy-relevant context. To this end the programme commissions research reports on areas of priority interest; hosts lectures and seminars by prominent international figures; and brings together academics, officials and private market participants in policy-oriented workshops. It also co-organises high-level seminars and workshops with central banks in the region, with some of whom it also formal co-operation agreements.

SEESOX would like to thank the donors for their generous support of our Political Economy of South East Europe programme.

Current donors: Bank of Albania, Hellenic Bank Association, Stewart Fleming

Past donors: Alpha Bank, Bank of Greece, Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzagovina, John Howell & Co