Transnational Migration and Mobility Conflicts

Led by Jørgen Carling

Jan 2002 – Dec 2007

This project analyses how immigrants' ties with their country of origin are affected by Europe's restrictive immigration policies. When policies restrict continued migration, this might lead to a lack of 'fresh blood' in migrant communities and contribute to distanciation from the society of origin. Furthermore, strong emigration pressure affects the relationship between non-migrants who are eager to come to Europe, and their emigrant relatives who feel socially obliged to help, but have limited opportunities for facilitating immigration. The survival of transnational connections are related to the relationship between migrant generations, and the different generations' attachment to the country of origin.

The questions above are addressed through the case study of migration from Cape Verde to the Netherlands, an accessible and succinct instance of processes affecting numerous sending and receiving countries. The analysis is based on fieldwork in both countries, with semi-structured interviews within family networks as the principal form of data collection. The empirical analysis is used to inform the development of theoretical perspectives on contemporary migration. Existing theories have limited explanatory capacity because they largely fail to incorporate the effects of restrictive immigration policies.

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