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Ms K.D. (Kerilyn) Schewel

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences
Programme group: Political Sociology: Power, Place and Difference

Visiting address
  • Nieuwe Achtergracht 166
Postal address
  • Postbus 15508
    1001 NA Amsterdam
Contact details
  • Research Interests

    Kerilyn's research asks how processes of development shape (im)mobility outcomes. She examines how the social transformations associated with 'development' shape the aspirations people hold for their lives and the real capabilities they have to achieve them -- whether at home or elsewhere. Her publications to date focus on how formal education impacts migration aspirations, why young Ethiopian women migrate to the Middle East as domestic workers, new approaches in migration theory, and how to more meaningfully incorporate 'immobility' into migration studies.

    Her doctoral dissertation, entitled 'Moved by Modernity: Migration, Development and Changing Aspirations in Rural Ethiopia', utilizes original household survey and census data, in-depth interviews and ethnographic methods to analyze the impacts of development policy on the mobility patterns of a traditionally pastoral people in the central lowlands of the Ethiopian Rift Valley. She explores how migration patterns have interacted with political, economic and social change over time; explains generational, gender, and household divides in present-day (im)mobility outcomes; and considers the impact of changing aspirations and capabilities of young people on future migration trends. In this context, she addresses questions related to mobility and immobility, rural transformation, urbanization, education, and gender.

    Kerilyn graduated from the University of Virginia with a BA in Psychology (2009), during which time she did qualitative research on public health access among Afro-Brazilians in Bahia, Brazil. She holds an MSc in Migration Studies from the University of Oxford (2014). Her masters thesis was entitled “Understanding the Aspiration to Stay: a Case Study of Young Adults in Senegal."  Her doctoral research contributes to the Migration as Development project, led by Prof. Hein de Haas, which examines how the social transformations associated with development affect the geographical orientation, timing, composition and volume of both internal and international migration across six case study countries. 

  • Publications




    • Schewel, K. D. (2018). Two-step Approaches to Migration. Paper presented at IMISCOE 15th Annual Conference, Barcelona, Spain.


    • Schewel, K. D. (2017). The Influence of Education on Migration Aspirations. Paper presented at 7th European Conference on African Studies ECAS 2017 , Basel, Switzerland.



    • Schewel, K. (2020). Migration, Development and the Urbanization of the Good Life: Mobility Transitions in Rural Ethiopia. (IMI Working Papers; No. 159), (MADE project paper ; No. 11). Amsterdam: International Migration Institute (IMI). [details]
    • Schewel, K. D., de Haas, H. G., Fransen, S., Natter, K., & Vezzoli, S. (2020). Social Transformation. (MADE Project Paper; No. 16). International Migration Institute (IMI).
    • Schewel, K., & Fransen, S. (2020). Who aspires to stay? Immobility aspirations among youth in Ethiopia, India, Peru, and Vietnam. (IMI Working Papers; No. 161), (MADE project paper; No. 12). Amsterdam: International Migration Institute (IMI). [details]


    • Schewel, K. (2018). Why Ethiopian women go to the Middle East: An aspiration-capability analysis of migration decision-making. (IMIn working papers; No. 148), (MADE project paper; No. 5). Amsterdam: International Migration Institute Network. [details]
    • Schewel, K., & Fransen, S. (2018). Formal Education and Migration Aspirations in Ethiopia. (IMI working papers; No. 144), (MADE project paper; No. 2). Amsterdam: International Migration Institute Network. [details]
    This list of publications is extracted from the UvA-Current Research Information System. Questions? Ask the library or the Pure staff of your faculty / institute. Log in to Pure to edit your publications. Log in to Personal Page Publication Selection tool to manage the visibility of your publications on this list.
  • Ancillary activities
    • No ancillary activities