Transnational Lives: Economies, Bureaucracies, and Desires (Workshop, 11-12 January 2018)

We invite abstracts for an exploratory workshop that will examine the significance and implications of leading life in two (or more) countries. The workshop title reflects the particular perspectives we encourage. ‘Transnational lives’ suggests analyses that go beyond particular transnational practices—such as remittance-sending or expatriate voting—yet remained grounded in lived experience. The words ‘economies, bureaucracies, and desires’ allude to the diversity of encounters, frictions and forces that may shape transnational lives.

The workshop aims to make a concerted effort for analytical progress. Twenty-five years after the transnational turn in migration studies was introduced, what are the most promising lines of inquiry within a transnational perspective? How should developments in related fields inform our approach to transnationalism? What are the implications of changes in technology, policies, and societies for transnational perspectives on migration?

We specifically encourage empirically grounded papers that make theoretical advances in the research agenda on transnationalism, related to the themes outlined in the workshop title.

Transnational perspectives remain associated with international migration from lower-income to higher-income countries. We encourage contributions that widen this scope, for instance through studies of transnational living among élites in the Global South, among Europeans or North Americans without an immigrant background, or between countries in the Global South. In particular, we welcome papers that use atypical empirical cases to explore the potential and limitations of the insights that have emerged from mainstream studies of transnationalism. Similarly, papers that are founded on unorthodox comparisons could yield refreshing theoretical contributions.

Transnational lives need not be studied from the perspective of the transnational subjects. We welcome contributions that focus on people or institutions that interact with those who lead transnational lives. For instance, we encourage analyses of bureaucratic encounters between people who lead transnational lives and government institutions that have a primarily national orientation.

The number of places will be limited, since this is a two-day workshop without parallel sessions. Abstracts will be selected on the basis of their quality and relevance to the call for papers. In particular, we will assess the papers’ potential for making analytical contributions beyond specific cases.

The workshop is organized in conjunction with the project Transnational Lives in the Welfare State (TRANSWEL), which is funded by the Research Council of Norway and carried out by the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), the Erasmus University Rotterdam, and the University of Oslo.

Abstracts must be submitted by 1 June 2017. Applicants will be notified of the outcome by 1 July 2017. Full papers must be submitted by 1 December 2017 and will be circulated among workshop participants.

In order to submit an abstract, please prepare the following:

  • A title for the paper
  • An abstract of 200-250 words
  • Citations for up to three of your own publications that illustrate your past contributions to advancing research on migration, transnationalism or other themes related to your proposed paper.

Use the abstract submission form to upload your proposal.

There is no participation fee, but participants must cover their own travel and accommodation costs. Discounted hotel rooms in the vicinity of PRIO will be available. The organizers will cover meals during the workshop.

Organizing committee
Grete Brochmann, University of Oslo
Jørgen Carling, Peace Research Institute Oslo*
Godfried Engbersen, Erasmus University Rotterdam
Marta Bivand Erdal, Peace Research Institute Oslo
Erik Snel, Erasmus University Rotterdam
Cathrine Talleraas, Peace Research Institute Oslo

*) Contact person for enquiries.

See also the video version of the call for papers.