Hakan G. Sicakkan. Photo: Eivind Senneset.

Dear followers of PROTECT!

As most of you have realized by now, PROTECT is a data-intensive project which collects, processes, and analyzes enormous amounts of qualitative and quantitative data. We spent two years for intensive data work, and our first results are finally coming in as planned. Starting from 31 January, you will be reading about the following PROTECT-findings:

First, in our work package 2, we have been studying how the current international refugee protection and human rights legal norms have been performing within the current context of economic crisis, democratic backsliding, mass migration flows, and the Covid-19 pandemic, and whether the Global Compact on Migration and the Global Compact on Refugees can be new windows of opportunity to tackle the global protection deficit. The first results about these questions were produced in our expert forums in Canada, the European Union, and South Africa, which you will find in a report on our homepage on 31 January.

Second, in PROTECT’s work package 3, we have collected and finished coding data about the refugee determination procedures of 17 key countries. These data are now being used to identify the details of the asylum governance modes that best perform towards the goal of developing a human rights-based protection system. Although the final results about the best performing procedures will not be ready before the end of 2022, you will find a pre-print of an article on our homepage on 31 January, where we assess how much and when administrative procedures matter for maintaining a human rights-based protection system. Further, on 1 April, we will publish our historical-comparative analyses of how different institutional architectures of refugee protection have historically developed and affected protection quality in Belgium, France, Germany, and the Netherlands (later, we will add Greece, Italy, Canada, and South Africa to these).

Third, in our work package 4, we have been doing fieldwork in Catania, Cadíz, Lesvos, Thessaloniki, Marseille, Musina, and Toronto with a particular focus on how the existing international refugee protection system is handling vulnerable people. On 1 April 2022, we will publish six case studies on our homepage to summarize the results from these fieldworks.

Fourth, in work package 5, we have finished data collection about the non-state organizations contribution to international refugee protection. While the extensive report will be published in the second half of 2022, case studies of some organizations will be made available already on 31 January 2022.

Fifth, in work packages 6 and 7, we have been studying, respectively, citizen attitudes, media discourses and communicative networks. The studies of citizen attitudes and media will help us to assess the potential discursive and citizen pressure on policymakers when they attempt to implement new international protection policies. Already at this stage, I can reveal that we have documented the presence of a global cleavage system among citizens and among the users of social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and YouTube. The first three preprints about our social media studies can be accessed on PROTECT’s homepage from 31 January 2022. These preprints are about the ideological groups and discourses in social media pertaining to international refugee protection. Regarding citizen attitudes, we have documented the extent to which the national conflict structures have increasingly become standard across state borders and how these affect citizen attitudes to international refugee protection and international solidarity around the obligation to protect the refugees. The first article on citizen attitudes relies on a survey experiment, and its preprint will be published on our homepage on July 2022, followed by another article on cleavage structures and citizen attitudes.

I have been promising you groundbreaking results for almost two years. Now the time has come! We look forward to hearing your comments and remarks about our results after 31 January 2022. Thank you for your patience and interest, and please do spread the news about our new promotion video where we summarize PROTECT’s objectives!

Hakan G. Sicakkan