Janina Stürner

Janina Stürner

Research fellow

Project "When Mayors Make Migration Policy - The Impact of Transnational Cities' Networks on EU Migration Policies"

Janina Stürner is a project staff member at “When Mayors Make Migration Policy – The Impact of Transnational Cities’ Networks on EU Migration Policies”.



Janina Stürner is a research fellow at the Institute of Political Science of the Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg. She analyses migration governance in complex multi-level systems. Taking a bottom-up perspective, she focuses on the interaction between cities, states and regional/international actors in the realization of the Global Compacts for Migration and Refugees as well as in EU migration policy-making. Furthermore, Janina Stürner explores multi-level partnerships in urban displacement contexts on the African continent. As a policy-oriented researcher she has developed studies, evaluations and policy papers on behalf of organizations such as the European Commission, the Mediterranean City-to-City Migration Project (MC2CM) and the Robert Bosch Stiftung. Janina Stürner is a peer reviewer for the Knowledge Platform of the UN Network on Migration and a member of the UNHCR Global Academic Interdisciplinary Network (GAIN), the Centre for Human Rights Erlangen-Nürnberg (CHREN) and the Cities and Human Mobility Research Collaborative of the Zolberg Institute. As a Visiting Fellow of the German Marshall Fund of the United States, she develops impact-oriented research in the Cities Managing Migration program.

Prior to joining the Centre for Area Studies, Janina Stürner worked as a refugee officer for the City of Stuttgart, where she conducted a qualitative study to improve the city’s integration strategies and initiated a new refugee empowerment concept in cooperation with migrant and refugee organizations. Combining her local experience with her transnational research allows her to analyze migration challenges and opportunities through a glocal lens. Her current work is furthermore supported by her earlier experience in international policy development and consultation gained during internships at the International Organization for Migration, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Bertelsmann Stiftung, and the German Mission to the United Nations in Geneva.

Janina Stürner is currently completing her PhD in Political Sciences at the Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg. She holds a Franco-German master’s degree in International Relations with a special focus on migration policies and movements and a Franco-German bachelor’s degree in Political Sciences from Sciences Po Aix and the University of Freiburg.

  • City diplomacy in regional and global migration governance (Europe, Africa, UN-System)
  • Global Compacts on Migration and Refugees
  • Multi-stakeholder partnerships for African urban migration governance
  • AU-EU relations focusing on migration and development
  • Empowerment and human rights in protracted displacement situations

Journal Articles

Policy Papers and Discussion Papers

Blog Posts

05.05.2021: „City Diplomacy in the Governance of Migration and Displacement”, Training for International Diplomats, Foreign Service Academy, Federal Foreign Office of Germany.

26.03.2021: “What next for cities in European migration governance? How Covid-19 influences city diplomacy and bottom-up governance in the European Union”, FAU Erlangen-Nuremberg and University of Hildesheim.

29.10.2019: “When Mayors make Migration Policy – From field research to policy-oriented recommendations for multi-level migration and integration governance”, European Policy Centre (EPC), Brussels.

10.04.2019: “From lost refugee agency in displacement to ownership for social and economic development? Workshop on (urban) displacement in host and transit countries”, Center for Area Studies, FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg.

22.11.2018: “Empowerment in der Zusammenarbeit mit Geflüchteten“, Conference Empowerment für Geflüchtete, FAU Integra, Forum für Integration und interkulturelle Kommunikation, FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg.

31.03.2021: “Going the (social) distance: How migrant and refugee-sensitive urban COVID-19 responses contribute to the realization of the Global Compacts for Migration and Refugees”, Study Presentation, MC2CM Workshop, UCLG, ICMPD, UN-Habitat, Online Event.

17.12.2021: “Local Authorities as Allies in Promoting Protection Frameworks for Mobile Urban Populations”, Policy Paper Presentation, Protection in Mixed Movements:Policy Workshop on Protection Challenges on the Central (CMR) & Western Mediterranean Routes (WMR), Mixed Migration Centre and UNHCR, Online Event.

04.12.2020: “Talking the Talk. How Cities Shape Narratives on Migration and Displacement”, Sciences Po Paris, Online Guest Lecture.

17. – 18.10.2019: “Suddenly, all politics is municipal? An analysis of municipal bottom-up strategies in European and international migration governance“, Research Paper Presentation, Workshop Cities and the Global Governance of Migration. An Under-Explored Link, European University Institute (EUI), Florence.

15.10.2019: “Potential von Kommunen bei der Aufnahme von Geflüchteten“, Symposium of the Heinrich Böll Stiftung RLP e.V. and the AK Asyl Flüchtlingsratn RLP e.V., Mainz.

4. – 07.09.2019: “Cities in European Integration Governance. An Analysis of Multi-level Governance in the EU Urban Partnership on Inclusion of Migrants and Refugees”, ECPR General Conference, University of Wrocław.

4. – 14.05.2019: “Your UNHCR issued tent does not come with canaries included”, Policy Paper Presentation, Workshop Lost and gained on the way. Placing ‚transit‘ migration in Europe, Africa and Asia, Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient, Berlin.

10.04.2019: “Ownership statt Perspektivlosigkeit. Eine Diskussion unterschiedlicher Alternativen zu Camps”, Conference Städte statt Camps: Migration als Entwicklungschance? Center for Area Studies and Centre for Human Rights Erlangen-Nürnberg (CHREN), FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg.

18.-19.03.2019: “Tailored to whom? Rethinking resettlement as participatory strategy to empower refugees and host communities”, Policy Paper Presentation, Conference Democratizing Displacement, Refugee Studies Center, University of Oxford.

14.03.2019: “Think global – act local! The Impact of Municipalities on EU-Migration Governance”, Meeting of the EU Urban Partnership on Inclusion of Migrants and Refugees, Paris.

12.03.2019: “Wie werden Städte zu Akteuren in europäischer und internationaler Migrationspolitik?“ Conference Integrationspolitik im Fokus, Global Initiative on Health, Migration and Development, Freiburg.

13.02.2019: “Kommunen können das! EU-Migrationsgovernance durch kommunale Mitsprache voranbringen“, Policy Paper Launch, Heinrich Böll Stiftung, Berlin.

11.12.2018: “Neue Akteure im Mehrebenensystem der europäischen und internationalen Migrationspolitik“, Studium Generale, Nuremberg.

26.11. – 28.11.2018: “The two-way ‘glocalisation’ of human rights or: How cities become international agents in migration governance“, Conference Cities, Territories and the Struggle for Human Rights: a 2030 perspective, University of Padova.

05.10. – 08.10.2018: “City Diplomacy against the Nation State? The rise of transnational city networks in EU migration politics“, Panel If Mayors Made Migration Policy: Der Nexus Kommune-Europäische Union in der Fluchtforschung, 2. Conference Netzwerk Fluchtforschung, Eichstätt.

12.07.2018: “The Project ‚When Mayors Make Migration Policy‘“, Conference Cities, Refugees and Human Rights, Center for Area Studies and Centre for Human Rights Erlangen-Nürnberg (CHREN), FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg.

01.2021 – 12.2021: Visiting Research Fellow of the German Marshall Fund of the United States. Cities Managing Migration Program.

06.2020 – 10.2020: Policy Paper “Going the (social) distance. How migration and refugee-sensitive urban COVID-19 responses contribute to the realization of the Global Compacts for Migration and Refugees”. Study commissioned by UCLG and ICMPD in the framework of the Mediterranean City-to-City Migration Project (MC2CM).

12.2019 – 04.2020: Academic expertise for the internal reorientation process of the Bosch Stiftung as well as public policy paper on the topic “A new role for cities in global and regional migration governance?” Commissioned by Robert Bosch Stiftung.

5. – 09.2019: Evaluation of the EU Urban Partnership on the Inclusion of Migrants and Refugees 2016 – 2018. Commissioned by the European Commission and the City of Amsterdam.

5. – 12.2018: Policy Paper “A Local Turn for European Refugee Politics. Recommendations for Strengthening Municipalities and Local Communities in refugee and asylum policy of the EU”. Commissioned by Heinrich Böll Stiftung.

2018 – 2021: “When Mayors make Migration Policy”. Research project funded by Stiftung Mercator.