Return migration and transnationalism: alternatives or complements?

Chris JL (

This workshop was held in September 2012. The page is maintained for documentation purposes.


How are return migration and transnationalism connected? Research has shown the prevalence of the ‘myth of return’ and return visits as ingredients of migrant transnationalism, but what do we know about the connections between different kinds of transnational identifications and practices and considerations about return migration? Preparedness has been identified as an important success factor for return migration, but how does transnationalism affect return migrants’ preparedness for return, and how do sustained transnational ties impact on processes of ‘reintegration’? The Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) will host a workshop entitled Return migration and transnationalism: alternatives or complements? and invites abstracts that address these or similar questions.

Original call for abstracts

Objective and scope: The workshop seeks to have a targeted focus on the connections between return migration and transnationalism. Within this limitation, we take an open approach. We invite contributions that are based on empirical research, either with a specific case or synthesizing across cases. We welcome contributions based on qualitative and quantitative approaches, as well as comparative studies. We also welcome studies focusing on any dimension of volition, ranging e.g. from deportations to retirement returns, on different time scales including permanent return, circulation and the myth of return and focusing on gender dimensions. The primary objective is to better understand the connections between both considerations and experiences of return migration and sustained transnational ties.

Expected contribution: In order to facilitate targeted contributions that address the core theme of the workshop, we ask participants to prepare papers of 5 000 – 8 000 words. The written contributions will be circulated in advance.

Format and costs: The workshop will have a limited number of participants and will not be open to the public. Selected participants must cover their own travel expenses. The organizers will cover accommodation (3 nights) and meals for the duration of the workshop. There is no participation fee.

Context and host: The workshop is organized in conjunction with the research project Possibilities and Realities of Return Migration, which is funded by the Research Council of Norway and carried out in collaboration with the University of Bristol and the Centre for Migration Research at University of Sussex. Conveners are Jørgen Carling (PRIO) and Marta Bivand Erdal (PRIO). Russell King (University of Sussex) will give an introductory presentation.

• 11 March 2012: Deadline for submission of abstracts
• 23 March 2012: Notification of acceptance decisions
• 31 July 2012: Deadline for submission of written contributions
• 3 September 2012: Arrival in Oslo
• 4-5 September 2012: Workshop
• 6 September 2012: Departure

We expect to receive more submissions than can be accommodated at the workshop. A selection will then be made on the basis of the quality and relevance of abstracts.