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Politics and International Relations (PIR): News


Alistair Hunter is the winner of the 2013 IMISCOE Maria Ioannis Baganha Dissertation Award

“This is a genuinely outstanding piece of work”

Alistair Hunter is the winner of the 2013 IMISCOE Maria Ioannis Baganha Dissertation Award. His dissertation entitled “Retirement Home? France’s Migrant Worker Hostels and the Dilemma of Late-in-Life Return”, was defended at the University of Edinburgh in December 2011.


“This is a genuinely outstanding piece of work”.

These words of one of the evaluators convey the overall opinion on this thesis. From the topic – retirement/ageing in migration – to its approach, the methodology and data sources used, then ultimately to the findings, this thesis is highly original.  It deals with a genuinely innovative topic that has hardly been researched before: the lives of ageing male labour migrants who are still living in workers’ hostels in France and their transnational rhythms back in North and West Africa. It is an extraordinarily sensitive multi-sited ethnographic portrait in which the author not only did fieldwork in villages in Morocco and Senegal but also took the imaginative (and possibly unique) step of living in one of the hostels in order to get ‘inside’ the lives of his research participants.


In February of this year, the Award Committee began evaluating the 18 applications that were submitted to the IMISCOE Network Office. After due deliberation, the Committee devised a 5-applicant shortlist (see below), based on which manuscripts best met the criteria of the award. Each full-length shortlisted manuscript was subsequently dispatched to three referees comprising one Committee member and two external experts in the field selected by the Committee and the Network Office. Referees were asked to evaluate the dissertation in five areas: quality of research, originality, theoretical, conceptual, methodological and/or empirical contribution, potential for publication, and impact. For the five areas, referees were asked to give a score from 1 to 10 (10 being the highest) and were given the opportunity to provide additional comments.

After due consideration of all reviews the jury unanimously decided to award the prize to Alistair Hunter´s thesis.

Alistair's supervisors were Dr Christina Boswell & Dr Richard Freeman.

Congratulations Alistair!