See also my
personal web site.
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Theories of migration and transnationalism
Migration aspirations and intentions
Networks and chain migration processes
Family and gender in migration
Immigration policy and migration pressure
Border control and migrant fatalities
Undocumented migration and human smuggling
The demography of immigrant communities
Remittances and migration-development links
I have conducted ethnographic fieldwork in Cape Verde, Italy and the Netherlands, primarily with Cape Verdeans, but also with migrants from Ghana and China. Through statistical data and secondary analysis, I have engaged with migration to Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, and United Kingdom, as well as to Europe more generally. This work has examined migration from Brazil, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, Somalia, Pakistan, Turkey, Ukraine, and other countries. I have used diverse methods, often in combination:
Participant observation in multi-sited fieldwork
Purpose-made sample surveys
Statistical analysis of existing survey data
Demographic projection from register data
Discourse and document analysis
I hold a position as Research Affiliate at the
Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS) at the University of Oxford.
I am an Editorial Board member of the
Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, the
International Migration Review and
What I am doing at the moment: Autumn 2016
I will be spending most of the autumn as a visiting resercher at the
Maastricht Graduate School of Governance (MGSoG) of Maastricht University, which is integrated within The
UNU-MERIT United Nations University. During my stay I am finalizing a number of publications and starting to analyze data from our project
Transnational Lives in the Welfare State (TRANSWEL). I will also be working on a special issue entitled 'Desires, Aspirations and the Drivers of Migration', co-edited with
Francis Collins (University of Auckland). I will give a keynote lecture at Maastricht Centre for Citizenship, Migration and Development (entitled 'What is transnational? Exploring the ontologies of an evocative adjective') and another one at the
Hugo Conference on environment, migration and politics (entitled 'Unraveling the causes of migration).
Personal profiles on other sites
Google Scholar Citations
Proficient: English, Norwegian and Cape Verdean Kriol
Basic skills: Portuguese, Spanish and Dutch
All but forgotten: Esperanto and Japanese
2012-: Research Professor; Research Director, PRIO.
2011-2011: Research Professor; Programme Leader, PRIO.
2009-2011: Senior Researcher; Programme Leader, PRIO.
2007-2009: Senior Researcher, PRIO.
2002-2007: Researcher, PRIO.
1999: Research assistant, Statistics Norway
1998: Research assistant, Institute for Social Research
1997: Research assistant, Statistics Norway
2016: UNU-MERIT United Nations University and Maastricht University
2010: Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore
2005: COMPAS, University of Oxford
2003: Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute
2007. PhD (Human geography)
University of Oslo, Norway.
2001. Cand. polit. (Human geography)
University of Oslo, Norway.
1998. Cand. mag. (Human geography, demography and economics)
University of Oslo, Norway.
1993. International Baccalaureate
United World College of the Atlantic, Wales.
Posted by Jørgen Carling on Monday, 19 September 2016
The UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants holds the promise of progress. But ahead of the summit, communications staff were pushing a warped view of migrant diversity. Even the International Organization of Migration (IOM) is straying from its mission to uphold the human dignity and well-being of migrants. When migration issues rose to the top of international agendas last year the word ‘migrants’ became a matter of contention. Many interventions were cast as a matter of clarification and correctness, but actually concealed a fundamental disagreement: do ‘migrants’ include ‘refugees’? There are two opposing views, which can be called inclusivist and residualist. ...
Posted by Jørgen Carling on Monday, 7 September 2015
The recent debate over word choice has taken turns that undermine humanitarian principles and cloud the view of how migration is unfolding. The Washington Post, the New York Times, the Guardian, the BBC, and others have examined the usage of ‘refugees’ versus ‘migrants’ over the past week. The general impression is that ‘migrants’ are being thrown to the wolves. The most insidious contribution, sadly, comes from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). But first, the origins of the current debate: in mid-August 2015, Al Jazeera announced that the network will no longer refer to ‘migrants’ in the Mediterranean. ...
International migration and corruption have several things in common: they play key roles in development processes, feature prominently on policy agendas, and are the subject of large research literatures. However, the connections between migration and corruption, whether in the country of origin or along migration trajectories, remain relatively unexplored. The migration-corruption nexus has important implications for migrants, policymakers, practitioners, and local communities affected by emigration and immigration. Although focused attention to corruption remains rare in migration research, corruption frequently comes up as a topic because it affects people’s lives. For instance, one of the studies that inspired this article set ...
Posted by Jørgen Carling & Silje Vatne Pettersen on Friday, 29 May 2015
Immigrants typically have attachments in two directions: to the country in which they live, and to their country of origin. These attachments are often discussed in terms of integration and transnationalism, respectively. A new conceptual framework, which we call the matrix of attachment, enables us to examine immigrant integra-tion and transnationalism simultaneously. This perspective, we argue, can inspire more nuanced analyses and policy development. We use this framework to analyze variations in attachment among immigrants in Norway. Immigrant integration and transnationalism are neither related in a fixed way nor independent of each other. A substantial proportion of immigrants have weak ...
Posted by Jørgen Carling on Wednesday, 13 May 2015
The European Union has made it clear that bombs were not part of the plan for war against people smuggling after all. “No one is thinking of bombing,” said Federica Mogherini, EU foreign policy chief, yesterday. The alleged plans for bombing had already caused widespread alarm and protest. But what would have been new about bombing the boats that might have ferried migrants and refugees across the Mediterranean? On the one hand, such action would have been unprecedented and dramatic — the ultimate militarization of migration control. On the other hand, it would simply have been another mode of a well-established ...
Posted by Jørgen Carling on Tuesday, 10 March 2015
(This post was originally published on Jørgen Carling’s personal web site.) Migration affects the lives of women in many ways. One subtle but critical mechanism lies in disputes over ‘who’ migrant women are. Migration researchers can play a role in making the battles apparent and showing how they matter. I have collected fifteen articles that have inspired me to write this post. I’ll mention them as I write, highlighting what I think they bring to our understanding of battles over women in the context of migration. You’ll find the abstract and full reference for each article at the end of ...
Posted by Jørgen Carling on Sunday, 3 August 2014
The population of the Philippines is surpassing 100 million in late July 2014. That’s a reminder of the country’s importance in global migration. Emigration generally has the strongest impacts in countries with relatively small populations, such as El Salvador, Armenia and Samoa. In fact, as the scatterplot shows, only five countries have remittance inflows representing at least 10 % of GDP and a population of at least 10 million people. Among them only Bangladesh and — as of July 2014 — the Philippines have populations of 100 million or more. The Philippines has a particular position also in research on ...
Posted by Jørgen Carling on Sunday, 7 August 2011
A lot has already been written about the the events of 22 July 2011 their consequences. For me, the first weeks have been filled with emotionally draining experiences, coupled with debates that I haven’t felt prepared to engage in. Trying to see it all from a bit of distance, beyond the grief of those who were directly affected, these are the main thoughts I have: First, what happened needs to be called what it was: a terrorist attack. It is sad to see how the events were re-labelled and dismissed by much of the international media as soon at is ...