Elias Steinhilper


Elias Steinhilper



Short biography:

Elias Steinhilper studied Political Science and Sociology in Berlin (FU Berlin), Colchester (University of Essex) and Freiburg. His main research interests are Social Movement Studies, Migration and Asylum, Transnationalism and Critical Theory. He has interned as a Human Rights observer in Chiapas, with the United Nations (OHCHR), volunteered in various refugee and urban garden initiatives and worked as a radio journalist.


PhD project

Transnational social spaces of contention around refugee rights in Europe

(Working title)

My research project builds upon the existing canon of transnational migration research in its specific strand of contentious politics. During the last decades, both the erosion of migrant rights and an increasing self-empowerment of migrants could be observed. This is puzzling, as, according to sociological theories, vulnerable residents such as ‘non-citizens’ are unlikely subjects of mobilization due to limited resources and a constant risk of sanction.

Whereas national ‘non-citizen’ movements have been studied in a comparative perspective, the transnational dimension of ‘non-citizen’ mobilization in Europe has so far been rarely addressed despite a trend of Europeanization of both asylum politicies and migrant activism. My research intends to close this gap by assessing the transnational social spaces around refugee rights in Europe.