Call for papers: The interactions between integration and migrants’ transnational development activities


22 December 2015

We invite abstracts for a session at the 13th IMISCOE conference (International Migration, Integration and Social Cohesion in Europe), Prague 30 June – 2 July 2016. Deadline for submission of abstracts: 18 January 2016.

The session is promoted by the IMITE standing committee (Interaction of Migrant Integration and Transnationalism). Session organizers: Jørgen Carling (PRIO), Marta Bivand Erdal (PRIO) and Ceri Oeppen (University of Sussex).

In a new IMISCOE publication, King and Collyer (2016:182) write, "further research is sorely needed on the relationship between integration […] and engagement in home country development".  Whilst further research is always welcome, existing research that has used a transnational lens to look at integration, and existing research on the migration-and-development nexus often already includes data on this relationship – what is also needed is further discussion with an eye to the interactions between integration and development.  This double session encourages migration researchers to look at the linkages and interactions between processes of integration and migrants' engagements in transnational development-related activities.

For the first half, we seek papers that explore the ways in which integration processes in Europe and migrants' development engagements in the global south may intersect and mutually affect each other.  For example, a migrant-led development project in their country of origin may increase their status and recognition in their European place of settlement, as their philanthropic activities are admired and replicated.  Conversely, such development engagements may be viewed with suspicion, as evidence of ongoing loyalty to the country of origin, in place of loyalty to the country of settlement.

For the second half, we seek to acknowledge and address the 'diaspora bias' in many studies of the migration and development nexus, by including perspectives, analyses and voices from the Global South.  Whilst acknowledging potential asymmetries within transnational social fields, we hope to draw on revised understandings of 'social remittances', which see them as multi-directional exchanges of ideas, norms and practices, which consequently have an effect on social processes in both country of origin and country of settlement.

We encourage papers drawing on quantitative and qualitative methods, from across a variety of geographic contexts in Europe and globally, engaging with the perspectives of individuals, families and local communities, as well as organized development interventions, and governments at local or national levels. Contributions may be more theoretically or more empirically driven, or could adopt a comparative perspective.

Please submit abstracts of 150-200 words, via the online form, by Monday 18 January.  Notification of acceptance in the proposed session will be sent by 25 January.