Dr. Shinko and I had a thirty-minute meeting on April 18, 2018 to discuss my research presentation and poster for the Poster Conference on April 20, 2018 and the Research Symposium April 25, 2018. I shared the comments Professor Esser and Ambassador Shelton-Colby made during my presentation in class with Dr. Shinko. She concurred that my research question was vague, and my title did not fit my research. Thus, we spent the first part of our conversation discussing my research question and possible titles, and Dr. Shinko explained that my title should answer my research question. Partly through our meeting, Professor Esser passed by Dr. Shinko’s office and joined us in discussing my research.

My original title was “The Ignored Victims of the Syrian Refugee Crisis,” but Professor Esser and Dr. Shinko reminded me that the focus of my research was the host countries and their identities. My research highlights how countries perceive themselves and how others perceive them, in other words, perception versus representation. The identities do not matter as much as which countries are acknowledged. Professor Esser further described how he understood my research as three categories of countries, where the first embraces its identity, the second is very defensive, and the final category represents countries that are uncertain and do not have a “predictable position.” Together, we created several titles:

  • The Marginalization of Refugee Host Countries Within the European Union
  • The Representational Practices and Politics of Refugee Burden-Sharing in the EU
  • The Politics of Acknowledging Refugee Burden-Sharing in the European Union
  • Perception vs. Representation: Identities of Host Countries in the European Union

I eventually decided to use “The Politics of Representation: Refugee Burden-Sharing in the European Union.”

After Professor Esser left, Dr. Shinko and I discussed the comments I received on my analysis draft. I explained that the main problem with my research was that my methodology section was unclear and did not explain a systematic approach. Dr. Shinko advised that I explain how I followed different trails as I read articles and how each article intellectually led me to keep raising questions and continue searching through other articles. She also suggested I describe how I reached my point of saturation in my research to confirm I had sufficient exposure. However, she advised that the best way to prove my trustworthiness and validity of my research be to list the variety of sources, which support the claims I make, in my footnotes.