Abdirashid Ismail

Research Fellow

D.Sc. (econ), KTT

  • Transnational Migration
  • Immigration & Integration
  • Family Wellbeing
  • Political Economy of Conflict
  • State Failure/Formation



My research interests span two broad fields of studies: First, immigration and diaspora studies, with a particular focus on transnational migration, family well-being, and integration and asylum policy. Here my primary research focus is on European Somalis and their transnational families. Second, political economy of conflict and state formation. Before I joined the Migration Institute, I worked at the Department of Social Research of the University of Helsinki as a post-doctoral researcher. I am also an economics policy fellow with the Heritage Institute for Policy Studies (HIPS) in Somalia.


Family Separation, Migration Status, and Everyday Security: Experiences and Strategies of Vulnerable Migrants (2018–2021).

Selected publications

Ismail, A. A. (2019). Immigrant Children, Educational Performance & Public Policy: A Capability Approach. Journal of International Migration and Integration, 20(3): 717–734, DOI: 10.1007/s12134-018-0630-9.

Ismail, A. A. (2019). Transnational Finnish-Somali Families and Children’s Wellbeing. In Wellbeing of Transnational Muslim Families: Marriage, Law and Gender.  Tiilikainen, M., Al-Sharmani, M. M. & Mustasaari, S. (eds.). Routledge.

Al-Sharmani, M. M., Mustasaari, S. & Ismail, A. A. (2018). Maahanmuutto, palvelut ja hyvinvointi: kohtaamisissa kehittyviä käytäntöjä. Hiitola, J., Anis, M. & Turtiainen , K. (toim.). Tampere: Vastapaino, s. 53-75.

Ismail, A. A. (2018) ‘They All Encouraged Me to Do It, But After All, the Decision is Mine’: Marriage Practices among Diaspora Somalis in Finland.  Nordic Journal of Migration Research 8(2): 124–131.

Al-Sharmani, M. M., & Ismail, A. A. (2017). Marriage and Transnational Family Life among Somali Migrants in Finland. Migration letters, 14(1), 38-49.

Al-Sharmani, M. M., Mustasaari, S., & Ismail, A. A. (2017). ‘Faith-based Family Dispute Resolution in Finnish Mosques: Unfolding Roles and Evolving Practices,’ In S. Bano (Ed.), Gender and Justice in Family Law Disputes: Women, Mediation, and Religious Arbitration (pp. 270-291). Waltham, MA, USA: Brandeis University Press.

Tiilikainen, M. E., Ismail, A. A., & Al-Sharmani, M. M. (2016). Somalialaiset perheet perinteiden, siirtolaisuuden ja sisällissodan välissä: In O. Fingerroos, A-M. Tapaninen, & M. Tiilikainen (Eds.), Perheenyhdistäminen: Kuka saa perheen Suomeen, kuka ei ja miksi? (pp. 43-63). Tampere: Vastapaino.

Tiilikainen, M. E., Fingerroos, O., & Ismail, A. A. (Eds.) (2016). Special issue of Bildhaan – An International Journal of Somali Studies: Revisiting Somali Identities. (Bildhaan: An International Journal of Somali Studies ; Vol. 16). St. Paul: Macalester College.

Tiilikainen, M. Fingerroos, O. and Ismail, A. A. (2016) “Editors‘ Note,” Bildhaan: An International Journal of Somali Studies: Vol. 16, Article 5.

Ismail, A. A. (2016). Maandeeq: The Dilemma of the Post-Colonial State in Somalia. Nordic Journal of African Studies, 25(1), 1–22.

Ismail, A. A. (2016). The Political Economy of State Failure: A Social Contract Approach. Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding, 10(4), 513-529.

Ismail, A. A. (2011) “Post-War Political Leadership in Somalia: the Diaspora Factor”, Nordic Journal of African Studies, Vol.20, No.1, pp. 28-47.

Ismail, A. A. (2011) “Causes of Fragility in Somalia”. In Ulf Johansson (ed). The Role of Democratic Governance vs. Sectarian Politics in Somalia. Lund University Press.