Nauja  Kleist Author of Evaluating Organization Development

Nauja Kleist

Senior Researcher
Danish Institute for International Studies

I work with international migration in relation to mobility regimes, return migration, especially deportation, diaspora mobilization, and states' migration-development policies. Inspired by theories on gender, hope, (im)mobility, social fields, and belonging. My recent research analyses the social effects of migration management for West Africa, with focus on involuntary return migration to Ghana. Another long-term project is Somali diaspora mobilization.


Sociologist with more than ten years of professional experience in migration research. I am curious about the relationship between mobility regimes and migrants' social and spatial (im)mobility and social imaginaries.

Areas of Research / Professional Expertise

    My research examines various dimensions of African migration and (im)mobility, especially in relation to involuntary return and deportation, post-deportation life, high-risk migration projects, diaspora mobilization, transnationalism, and migration management and migration development policies. Inspired by theories of social fields, hope and uncertainty, belonging, social recognition, gender and family relations, and diaspora engagement.

    I have recently coordinated a research program on the social effects of migration management for West African migrants - my own research project examined involuntary return to Ghana. Other research projects have analyzed African diasporas as agents of change, also with focus on Ghana, and processes of Somali diaspora mobilization.  

    I have extensive experiences with ethnographic and multi-sited fieldwork, research communication and coordination, editorial work, and policy studies.

Personal Interests

    Outside academia: music, yoga, traveling, gardening, and not least good food!



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 Featured Title - Hope and Uncertainty in Contemporary African Migration - 1st Edition book cover