Maria Hernandez Carretero

Image of Maria Hernandez Carretero
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Phone +47 22856866
Visiting address Moltke Moes vei 31 Eilert Sundts hus blokk A 0851 OSLO
Postal address Postboks 1091 Blindern 0317 OSLO

Postdoc project

My Postdoc project is an ethnographic study of refugee reception in Norway and Sweden in the aftermath of the peak in refugee arrivals in 2015. I am concerned, on the one hand, with how ordinary citizens view and relate to the arrival of newcomers to their communities and how they engage with the phenomenon at large and with persons of refugee background in particular. I am also interested in how refugees themselves experience being received in their new towns and neighbourhoods. Meeting points and encounters therefore constitute a central point of my research project: what motivates individuals to seek these interactions, and how are encounters experienced by the different parties?

This postdoc project is part of the larger project NORDHOST: "Nordic Hospitalities in a Context of Migration and Refugee Crisis".

Academic interests

I am currently interested in issues of identity and belonging, inclusion, citizen participation and community-formation.

Besides my current postdoctoral work, I am also interested in, and have previously worked on, different migration-related topics: How is international migration imagined by those who have not (yet) experienced it? How do these imaginations shape migration aspirations? What transnational dynamics develop from the emigration of some, and the ties they keep to others who have stayed put? How do these transnational dynamics affect individuals and communities on both "sides" of this relationship? How do receiving countries seek to manage immigration, including through border control? How do aspiring migrants view and experience the risks of dangerous, unauthorized migration journeys? My main regional focus in approaching these questions has been on Senegal as a country of origin and Spain/Europe as places of destination.

I have also conducted research on recently-arrived young refugees' experiences of settling in Norway, specifically students attending upper-secondary education.


    Academic work experience

    • 2015 - 2017: Senior researcher, Norwegian Centre for Violence and Traumatic Stress Studies (NKVTS), Oslo, Norway.
    • 2009 - 2014: Researcher / PhD candidate, Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), Oslo, Norway.
    • 2008 - 2009: Research assistant, Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), Oslo, Norway.
    • 2005, 2006: Research assistant / internship, International Center for Migration, Health and Development (ICMHD), Geneva, Switzerland.


    • PhD, Sociology (2016), University of Oslo, Norway. Dissertation title: "Leaving to belong: migration, transnational connectedness and social becoming"
    • MPhil in Peace and Conflict Transformation Studies (2008), University of Tromsø, Norway. Thesis title: "Risk-taking in unauthorised migration"
    • BA (joint honours) in Sociocultural Anthropology and International Development Studies (2006), McGill University, Montreal, Canada.


    I have previously been engaged in the following research projects:

    • Coming of Age in Exile (CAGE), 2015–2017.
    • Theorizing Risk, Money and Moralities in Migration (TRiMM), 2009–2014.
    • Imagining Europe from the Outside (EUMAGINE), 2010–2013.
    • Diasporas for Peace (DIASPEACE), 2009.
    • Converging and Conflicting Ethical Values in the Internal/External Security Continuum in Europe (INEX), 2009.
    • Global Border Environment (GLOBE), 2008-2009.
    • Peace Research course, PRIO/UiO Summer School, 2008, 2009.
    • Europe Under Threat, 2007-2008.

    Regional focus

    Norway, Sweden, Senegal, Spain.


    Spanish, English, French, Norwegian, Wolof.


    Tags: migration, refugees, asylum, hospitality, belonging, citizenship, solidarity, reciprocity, morality, obligations, transnationalism, hope, uncertainty, risk


    • Hernández-Carretero, María (2017). Hope and uncertainty in Senegalese migration to Spain: Taking chances on emigration but not upon return, In Nauja Kleist & Dorte Thorsen (ed.),  Hope and uncertainty in contemporary African migration.  Routledge.  ISBN 978-1-13-896121-0.  7.  s 113 - 133
    • Hernández-Carretero, María (2015). Renegotiating Obligations through Migration: Senegalese Transnationalism and the Quest for the Right Distance. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies.  ISSN 1369-183X.  41(12), s 2021- 2040 . doi: 10.1080/1369183X.2015.1045462 Show summary
    • Carretero, Maria Hernández & Carling, Jørgen (2012). Beyond "Kamikaze Migrants": Risk Taking in West African Boat Migration to Europe. Human Organization.  ISSN 0018-7259.  71(4), s 407- 416 . doi: 10.17730/humo.71.4.n52709742v2637t1 Show summary
    • Carling, Jørgen & Carretero, Maria Hernández (2011). Protecting Europe and Protecting Migrants? Strategies for Managing Unauthorised Migration from Africa. British Journal of Politics & International Relations.  ISSN 1369-1481.  13(1), s 42- 58 . doi: 10.1111/j.1467-856X.2010.00438.x

    View all works in Cristin

    • Hernández-Carretero, María (2016). Commonalities, continuity and contrast in internal and transnational Senegalese mobilities.
    • Hernández-Carretero, María (2016). Leaving to belong: migration, transnational connectedness and social becoming. Series of Dissertations submitted to the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Oslo. 568.
    • Fall, Papa Demba; Sarr, Mame Yassine; Carling, Jørgen; Carretero, Maria Hernández & Wu, Jennifer (2012). Within-country analysis: Senegal.
    • Hernández-Carretero, María (2009). Reconciling Border Control with the Human Aspects of Unauthorized Migration. PRIO Policy Brief. 1/2009.
    • Hernández-Carretero, María (2008). Risk-taking in Unauthorised Migration.

    View all works in Cristin

    Published Feb. 7, 2018 4:48 PM - Last modified Jan. 21, 2020 10:43 AM