Focus on Migration

The HSE LooK welcomes aboard Mahama Tawat, Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Social Sciences
  • What are your research interests?
  • I have two major research interests. On the one hand, I focus on migration policy. The issues I study relate to border control, the political, socioeconomic and cultural processes that immigrants undergo once they are admitted in a country, and so on. On the other hand, I deal with public management reform, particularly the concepts of good governance and New Public Management, a business-like model of management of public services.
  • What do you plan to do during your first year at HSE?
  • During my first year at HSE, I aim to publish more articles out of my PhD thesis on Danish and Swedish immigrant integration policies in peer-reviewed journals of note. I will also supervise students and start working on an article related to either migration or public management reform in Russia.  Concerning migration, I would say that Russia is at the stage where France and Britain were in the 1970s, or Spain and Italy in the 1980s. Migration is becoming an important issue for the public. Then, Russia's transformation in the 1990s is a textbook case for those who study public management reforms and policy change. The country is again restructuring. These are interesting topics and interesting times to be here.
  • Why did you choose HSE?
  • This was on par with the jobs I had applied for and for which I had made the short-list, for example at the University of Copenhagen and the University of Southern Denmark. I was re-assured by the liberal ethos of HSE. You want to feel safe in expressing your ideas and letting your students think by themselves. Finally, a former PhD supervisor of mine at the University of Otago in New Zealand and a specialist in Russia's foreign policy towards the Balkans, Dr. Jim Headley described HSE to me as a "strong institution".

Mahama Tawat comes from Cameroon, where he studied political science at a bachelor’s program. After that he studied at universities in Stockholm, Malmö, Uppsala, and Dalarna in Sweden. Tawat received his PhD from the University of Otago, New Zealand in 2012. He also worked as a teacher and researcher in Sweden, New Zealand and Poland. In his free time Tawat likes dancing salsa, visiting cultural events and reading. Travelling is on the list as well, doing the Trans-Siberian is a dream Tawat has held since his geography lessons in high-school.

The full text of the issue including interviews with international faculty can be found in The HSE LooK 8 (15), October 2014.