Call for papers: Two-step approaches to understanding migration

The 15th Annual Conference of IMISCOE (International Migration, Integration and Social Cohesion in Europe), Barcelona, 2–4 July 2018


22 November 2017

Looking back upon migration research since the turn of the Millennium, we can identify a broad class of analytical frameworks that are united by separating the migration process into two steps: (1) the evaluation of migration as a potential course of action and (2) the realisation of actual mobility or immobility at a given moment. The first step has been referred to, for instance, as migration aspirations, desires, intentions or needs, or as 'potential migration'. Terminology applied to the second step includes migration ability, capabilities, and 'actual migration'. Studies that take a two-step approach do not use a shared vocabulary, they do not form a cross-referenced body of literature, and they operationalize the two steps in different ways. Still, the underlying logic is distinct. It is suited for analysing migration in a world where most people cannot simply 'decide' to migrate, but need to overcome many hurdles if migrating is what they desire. We identified this type of analytical frameworks and proposed the term two-step approaches to understanding migration in Carling & Schewel (2017) 'Revisiting aspiration and ability in international migration', which was recently published in Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies.

For this panel we invite papers that exemplify, apply, or challenge two-step approaches to analysing migration dynamics. Papers could be either conceptual or empirical. If empirical data is used, it may be qualitative, quantitative, or both.

Abstracts of 150-250 words must be submitted via the online submission form by 6 December 2018. We will notify applicants about the outcome of the selection by 10 December 2018. The panel proposal with selected abstracts will then be submitted to the organizing committee of the IMISCOE Annual Conference.

Panel Organizers: Kerilyn Schewel (University of Amsterdam, Netherlands) and Jørgen Carling (Peace Research Institute Oslo, Norway). ​

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