News & Updates

Steven Vertovec: Global Migration and the “Great Reshaping”

The future of societies worldwide is currently being reshaped at a fundamental level by concurrent crises: the coronavirus pandemic, the resulting economic recession and climate change. Steven Vertovec considers how these three crises are seriously affecting global migration. He describes the complex factors that relate to global migration and outlines the challenges that loom ahead.

Max Planck Research · 3 | 2020

“Migration is a normal condition”

Social scientist Miriam Schader and legal expert Constantin Hruschka talk about their involvement with the Science Initiative Migration.


Irfan Ahmad on Islam today

Los Angeles Review of Books publishes review essay by Mustafa Akyol on Irfan Ahmad's book Religion as Critique.

Wir haben das geschafft – und uns verändert

In this research report, the researchers of the Max Planck Society's science initiative "Challenges of Migration, Integration and Exclusion" (WiMi) take stock of the "long summer of migration 2015" and derive eight recommendations from the findings, which they have summarized in a position paper. [in German]

Muslim-Jewish encounter, diversity & distance in urban Europe: Religion, culture and social model (ENCOUNTERS)

ORA Joint Research Project

Funded by the Open Research Area (ORA) for the Social Sciences, this joint research project studies intercultural, interethnic and interreligious encounters as exemplified by Jews and Muslims in urban Europe.

ERC Consolidator Grant 2020

Congratulations to Jeremy F. Walton, who received one of the ERC Consolidator Grants 2020.

How and why do historical figures become key to our memories of the past? How do specific places become sites of post-imperial memory? And how are former empires personified through objects and material culture? Analysing the Habsburg, Ottoman and Romanov Empires, Jeremy Walton will look at how collective memories are created through persons, places and things.

Migration schafft Vielfalt. MENSCHEN IN BEWEGUNG

The newly designed GEOMAX shows reasons for migration and effects of the coronavirus pandemic, climate change and economic recession on global migration patterns. Max Planck researcher Steven Vertovec explains the "superdiversity" research field. [in German]

In this sixth conversation in the Global Religious and Secular Dynamics Discussion Series, Peter van der Veer joined Berkley Center Senior Fellow José Casanova to talk about his comparative work linking India, China, and the West, as well as his training of the next generation of anthropologists, social scientists, historians, and religious studies scholars working on religion in Asian global cities. Van der Veer also discussed his forthcoming co-edited volume, Refugees and Religion: Ethnographic Studies of Global Trajectories (2021), and the COVID-19 pandemic and its current geopolitical dynamics and trends.

Urban Diversity, Diversification and Complexity

Keynote Lecture by Steven Vervovec at the Twentieth International Conference on "Diversity in Organizations, Communities & Nations", University of Milan, Italy, 10-12 June 2020.

Scapegoating in times of Corona

Institute Director Steven Vertovec gave a live television interview on Deutsche Welle and PBS America to comment on the coronavirus pandemic, xenophobia and group stigmas.

DWnews TV Interview Thursday, 7th May 2020 with Steven Vertovec, conducted by Anchor Brent Goff


Forthcoming Events

“Plagued Legacies: Rethinking Black Death Narratives”

Nükhet Varlık (University of South Carolina & Rutgers University-Newark)
Jan 28, 2021 16:00 - 17:30
Zoom Meeting


Job Offers

No Vacancies

Call for Papers

Heritage out of Control: Inheriting Waste, Spirits and Energies

Online Workshop organized by the Empires of Memory Research Group

MAY 17-19, 2021

read more

Recent MMG Publications

Books and Edited Volumes


Schönwälder, K. (ed). (2020). Special Issue: Diversity in local political practice. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 43(11)Link

Dorman, B., & Korom, F.J. (eds). (2020). "Intangible Cultural Heritage in Asia", in Asian Ethnology, 79(1).  Link

Hänsch, V., Stasik, M., & Bekele Debele, S. (eds). (2020). "Temporalities of Waiting in Africa", in Critical African Studies, 12(1). Link

Journal Articles

Riedel, M. (2021). The difference a wire makes: Planning law, public Orthodox Judaism and urban space in Australia. International Journal of Law in Context, 1-19. doi:10.1017/S1744552320000415 Link

Mandakathingal, A. (2020). Gender Roles in Martial Art: A Comparative Analysis of Kalaripayattu Practices in India. Women's Studies. DOI: 10.1080/00497878.2020.1843039

Schiller, M., Lang, C., Schönwälder, K., & Moutselos, M. (2020) Vielfalt and diversité: how local actors in France and Germany evaluate immigration and socio-cultural heterogeneity. Comparative Migration Studies 8(48). Link

Punathil, S. (2020). Archival ethnography and ethnography of archiving: Towards an anthropology of riot inquiry commission reports in postcolonial India. History and Anthropology. DOI: 10.1080/02757206.2020.1854750

Boudou, B. (2020). Migration and the duty of hospitality: A genealogical sketch. Transitions: Journal of Transient Migration, 4(2), 257-274. Link

Drouhot, L. G., Petermann, S., Schönwälder, K., & Vertovec, S. (2020). Has the Covid-19 pandemic undermined public support for a diverse society? Evidence from a natural experiment in Germany, Ethnic and Racial Studies. doi:10.1080/01419870.2020.1832698

Sampaio, D. (2020). Languages of othering and cultural hybridity. Transnational cultures of ageing in the context of return to the Azores. Ageing & Society.  Link


Contributions to a collected Edition

Kang, J. (2021). Chinese Christian community in Germany: Home-making and Chineseness. In N. Cao, G. Giordan, & F. Yang (Eds.), Chinese religions going global (pp. 97-114). Leiden: Brill. Link

Sakti, V. K. (2020). The politics of loss and restoration: Massive bad death in the Oecussi Highlands. In L. Kent, & R. G. Feijo (Eds.), The Dead as Ancestors, Martyrs, and Heroes in Timor-Leste (pp. 159-178). Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press. Link

Vertovec, S. (2020). Afterword: The work of integration. In K. McKowen, & J. Borneman (Eds.), Digesting Difference: Migrant Incorporation and Mutual Belonging in Europe (pp. 251-266). Cham: Palgrave Macmillan. Link

MacLochlainn, S. (2020). For Christ and State: Collaboration, EJK, and the Communal Subject. In E. Heffernan, F. Murphy, & J. Skinner, Collaborations: Anthropology in a Neoliberal Age. London : Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group. Link


Working Papers

WP 20-04
Steven Vertovec:
Considering the work of ‘integration’
download pdf

WP 20-05
Paul Bramadat (University of Victoria):
Religion and Bioregionalism in Cascadia: The Trouble with Categories
download pdf


Online Media

Online Lectures

Here you will find videos from lectures given by distinguished researchers at the MPI MMG.


Researchers from the institute describe the development of their projects and the challenges, delights and frustrations of conducting social scientific research.

Diversity Interviews

Here you will find transcripts of interviews with distinguished scientists, led by staff members of the MMG.

MPI-MMG linked Journals


New Diversities is an international, peer reviewed, scholarly and professional journal, published by the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity.

Global Networks

Global Networks publishes high quality, peer-reviewed research on global networks, transnational affairs and practices, and their relation to wider theories of globalization. The journal provides a forum for discussion, debate and the refinement of key ideas in this emerging field.


CityScapes is a 144 page biannual print publication. It is a hybrid of forms, simultaneously invested in scholarly discourse around contemporary urbanism in Africa and the global south, as much as individual everyday experiences and activities of the multitude of actors that are actively involved in shaping cities across the continent and the rest of the developing world.

MAX, the Max Planck Network

All social scientific research at the Institute, particularly concerning informed consent and involving visual materials, is designed to follow the ethical guidelines formulated by the American Anthropological Association (see ).

All material on the Institute’s website is protected by copyright. If you wish to use material from the website, please contact our Research Coordinator, Dr. Norbert Winnige ().


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