“Migrant entrepreneurship” has attracted growing attention in public discussions and among scholars as well as policy-makers in Western Europe in the last decades. The image of the ethnic entrepreneur” as “ideal” or “good”migrant, or one of the more welcomed and tolerated ethnicized and economized “Others,” has increasingly been promoted. In Austria, in particular. migrants from Turkey are often conceptualized as the predominant ethnicized “Other” and as the “problem migrant group” producing parallel societies, associated with discourses circulating around migration, integration, citizenship, political participation, nationalism, racism, religion/Islamism, gender, “modernity”/Orientalism ,as well as “development/underdevelopment.”
In his talk, Çakır will give an overview of her doctoral research that analyzes the governing of “migrant entrepreneurship,” taking the example of türkiyeli (coming from Turkey) entrepreneurs in Austria, by both policies and “migrant entrepreneurs” themselves. She investigates issues of neoliberal economization and ethnicization of the “migrant subject” by discussing the role of intersectional power relations and the political embeddedness of these processes.
Alev Çakır is a visiting scholar and doctoral student from the University of Vienna in the Department of Asian American Studies under the mentorship of Prof. Robyn Rodriguez. She has a Master’s degree in Political Science from the University of Vienna and and an MA in Peace, Development, Security and International Conflict Transformation from the University of Innsbruck. Cakir has worked as a University Assistant for the Research Platform Mobile Cultures and Societies. Interdisciplinary Studies on Transnational Formations at the University of Vienna and as a Researcher in a project on Migrant Women Entrepreneurs in Vienna. Cakir is a University Lecturer in Political Science and Development Studies at the University of Vienna. Her research examines religion and politics focusing on Muslims and Alevis in Europe and Austria, transnationalism of migrant self-organizations, as well as neoliberal economization and ethnicization of the “migrant subject” in migrant entrepreneurship. Cakir has done several interviews for the Austrian national television and radio and is involved in antiracist movements.