Possibilities and Realities of Return Migration (PREMIG)

Led by Jørgen Carling
Jun 2010 - Dec 2016

​​​​​​​​​​​PREMIG is a large-scale research project that explores return migration from Norway and the United Kingdom. The project is premised on the idea that the possibility of return - not just actual return - is an important phenomenon. Many immigrants in Europe are considering returning to their country of origin. In most cases, return is a future option rather than a short-term plan. The possibility of return can nevertheless be important in its own right: experiences of marginalization can stimulate plans for return. Furthermore, the prospect of return might lessen commitment to integration. The possibility of return can also be central to migrants’ transnational relationships with people in their country of origin.

Return migration has many faces: for some migrants it is a dream that they hope to realize. Others live in fear of being returned against their will. PREMIG takes a broad approach and aims to cover the diverse aspects of return migration.

Summary report

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SharePoint login for staff members

Research Groups


Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Erdal, Marta Bivand (2016) Juxtaposing Pakistani diaspora policy with migrants’ transnational citizenship practices, Geoforum 76: 1–10.
Bygnes, Susanne & Marta Bivand Erdal (2016) Liquid migration, grounded lives: considerations about future mobility and settlement among Polish and Spanish migrants in Norway, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. DOI: 10.1080/1369183X.2016.1211004 .
Paasche, Erlend (2016) The role of corruption in reintegration: experiences of Iraqi Kurds upon return from Europe, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 42(7): 1076–1093.
Bolognani, Marta & Marta Bivand Erdal (2016) Return Imaginaries and Political Climate: Comparing Thinking About Return Mobilities Among Pakistani Origin Migrants and Descendants in Norway and the UK, Journal of International Migration and Integration. DOI: 10.1007/s12134-016-0470-4: 1–15.
Erdal, Marta Bivand & Aleksandra Lewicki (2016) Moving citizens: Citizenship practices among Polish migrants in Norway and the United Kingdom, Social Identities 22(1): 112–128.
Bell, Justyna & Marta Bivand Erdal (2015) Limited but enduring transnational ties? Transnational family life among Polish migrants in Norway, Polish Diaspora Review (Studia Migracyjne – Przegląd Polonijny) 157(3): 77–98.
Abdin, Zain Ul & Marta Bivand Erdal (2015) Remittance-sending among Pakistani taxi-drivers in Barcelona and Oslo: Implications of migration-trajectories and the protracted electricity crisis in Pakistan, Migration and Development. DOI: 10.1080/21632324.2015.1081334.
Erdal, Marta Bivand; Anum Amjad; Qamar Bodla & Asma Rubab (2015) Going back to Pakistan for education? The interplay of return mobilities, education and transnational living, Population, Space and Place. DOI: 10.1002/psp.1966.
Erdal, Marta Bivand (2014) 'This is my home' Pakistani and Polish Migrants’ Return Considerations as Articulations About ‘Home’, Comparative Migration Studies 2(3): 361–384.
Carling, Jørgen & Silje Vatne Pettersen (2014) Return Migration Intentions in the Integration–Transnationalism Matrix, International Migration 52(6): 13–30.
Erdal, Marta Bivand & Rojan Tordhol Ezzati (2015) 'Where are you from' or 'when did you come'? Temporal dimensions in migrants' reflections about settlement and return, Ethnic and Racial Studies 38(7): 1202–1217.
Erdal, Marta Bivand (2014) Praca i rodzina: Rozważania o powrocie wśród Polaków mieszkających w Norwegii [Work and Family: Return considerations among Polish migrants living in Norway], Studia Migracyjne-Przegląd Polonijny(2): 41–64.
Sagmo, Tove Heggli (2014) Return Visits as a Marker of Differentiation in the Social Field, Mobilities. DOI: 10.1080/17450101.2014.891860.
Carling, Jørgen; Marta Bivand Erdal & Rojan Ezzati (2014) Beyond the insider–outsider divide in migration research, Migration Studies 2(1): 36–54.

Book Chapter

Sagmo, Tove Heggli (2015) The role of social capital in post-conflict business development: perspectives from returning migrants in Burundi, in Africa's Return Migrants: the New Developers?. London: Zed Books (109–129).
Erdal, Marta Bivand (2014) The social dynamics of remittance-receiving in Pakistan: Agency and opportunity among non-migrants in a transnational social field, in Migrant Remittances In South Asia Social, Economic and Political Implications. London: Palgrave Macmillan (115–134).
Erdal, Marta Bivand & Rojan Ezzati (2013) Når ute også er hjemme. Migrasjon og utenrikspolitikk, in Weltzien, Åsmund; & Odd Mølster, eds, Norge Og Det Nye Verdenskartet. Oslo: Cappelen Damm (58–79).

Non-refereed Journal Article

Carling, Jørgen; Erlend Paasche & Melissa Siegel (2015) Finding Connections: The Nexus between Migration and Corruption, Migration Information Source 5.
Erdal, Marta Bivand & Aleksandra Lewicki (2016) Polish migration within Europe: mobility, transnationalism and integration , Social Identities 22(1): 1–9.
Carling, Jørgen & Marta Bivand Erdal (2014) Return Migration and Transnationalism: How Are the Two Connected?, International Migration 52(6): 2–12.
Erdal, Marta Bivand (2014) Transnationalism in a Comparative Perspective: An Introduction, Comparative Migration Studies 2(3): 255–260.

Popular Article

Erdal, Marta Bivand (2015) Når foreldre frykter staten [When parents fear the state], Vårt Land.
Erdal, Marta Bivand & Rojan Tordhol Ezzati (2015) Når blir du norsk? [When do you become Norwegian?], Aftenposten.
Erdal, Marta Bivand & Rojan Tordhol Ezzati (2015) Evig innvandrer, aldri norsk [Eternal immigrant, never Norwegian], Bergens Tidende.
Paasche, Erlend (2014) Nationalism Under Pressure: Islamic State, Iraq and Kurdistan, ISN Security Watch.
Erdal, Marta Bivand & Tove Heggli Sagmo (2014) Avleggs statsborgerskapslov [Outdated citizenship legislation], Dagens Næringsliv.
Paasche, Erlend (2014) Kan Irak fikses? [Can Iraq be fixed?], Dagsavisen.
Paasche, Erlend (2014) Vaklende løsrivelse [Faltering seccession], Morgenbladet.
Paasche, Erlend (2014) Nasjonalisme under press [Nationalism under pressure], Dagens Næringsliv.
Talleraas, Cathrine & Marta Bivand Erdal (2014) Stillheten om retur til Etiopia [The silence about return to Ethiopia], Ytring.
Erdal, Marta Bivand; & Ezzati, Rojan (2013) Norge og det nye verdenskartet [Norway and the new world map], Dagsavisen, 22 May.
Erdal, Marta Bivand & Tove Heggli Sagmo (2013) Mindre norsk med to pass [Less Norwegian with two passports], Ytring.
Erdal, Marta Bivand (2012) Tillit til staten [Confidence in the state], Dagbladet, .

Conference Paper

Paasche, Erlend (2014) Elites and emulators: the evolution of an Iraqi Kurdish - European migration system, presented at THEMIS conference: Theorizing migration systems, University of Oxford, 26.02.2014.

PRIO Policy Brief

Erdal, Marta Bivand & Rojan Tordhol Ezzati (2015) Alder, botid og livsfase: Integrering i et tidsperspektiv [Norwegian version], PRIO Policy Brief, 1. Oslo: Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO).
Erdal, Marta Bivand & Rojan Tordhol Ezzati (2015) Age, life cycle, and length of stay: temporal perspectives on integration [English version], PRIO Policy Brief, 1. Oslo: Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO).
Oeppen, Ceri & Nassim Majidi (2015) Can Afghans Reintegrate after Assisted Return from Europe?, PRIO Policy Brief, 7. Oslo: PRIO.
Erdal, Marta Bivand (2015) Pakistan as a Return Migration Destination, PRIO Policy Brief, 13. Oslo: PRIO.
Erdal, Marta Bivand (2015) How Polish Migrants in Norway Consider Return Migration, PRIO Policy Brief, 12. Oslo: PRIO.
Carling, Jørgen & Silje Vatne Pettersen (2015) The Matrix of Attachment, PRIO Policy Brief, 8. Oslo: PRIO.
Carling, Jørgen & Silje Vatne Pettersen (2015) Tilknytningsmatrisen [The Matrix of Attachment], PRIO Policy Brief, 8. Oslo: PRIO.
Talleraas, Cathrine (2014) The Unintended Effects of Norway’s Readmission Agreement with Ethiopia, PRIO Policy Brief, 3. Oslo: PRIO.
Paasche, Erlend (2014) Why Assisted Return Programmes Must Be Evaluated, PRIO Policy Brief, 8. Oslo: Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO).
Paasche, Erlend (2014) Iraqi Kurdistan: Partner Under Pressure, PRIO Policy Brief, 4. Oslo: PRIO.
Mortensen, Elin Berstad (2013) Why are Zimbabwean migrants ambivalent about return? Insights from the project 'Possibilities and Realities of Return Migration', PRIO Policy Brief, 1. Oslo: PRIO.

PRIO Paper

Bolognani, Marta (2015) Unintended consequences of education for Pakistani immigrants and their descendants in the United Kingdom, PRIO Paper. Oslo: PRIO.
Carling, Jørgen; Elin Berstad Mortensen & Jennifer Wu (2011) A Systematic Bibliography on Return Migration, PRIO Paper. Oslo: Peace Research Institute Oslo.

Report - Other

Carling, Jørgen; Marta Bolognani; Marta Bivand Erdal; Rojan Tordhol Ezzati; Ceri Oeppen; Erlend Paasche; Silje Vatne Pettersen; & Tove Heggli Sagmo (2015) Possibilities and Realities of Return MigrationOslo: Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO).
Ezzati, Rojan (2012) Migrasjon og nye utenrikspolitiske realiteter [Migration and new Norwegian foreign policy realities]: The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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