Latest news from International Migration Insitute - December 2016
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2016: A year in migration research

After a year as eventful as 2016, in which discussions around migration often took centre stage, developing an understanding of migration as an intrinsic part of broader global transformation processes, and of its effects on migrants and host communities, is more important than ever. As 2016 draws to a close we bring you a selection of highlights from our work, and introduce new avenues for migration research in 2017.


In September we launched a blog to give our researchers and students an opportunity to profile their research findings and contribute to contemporary debates around migration. Our most popular post to-date, Marieke van Houte on the relationship between aid, development and migration, questions the wisdom of the recent EU-Afghanistan deportation-aid deal. Elsewhere Marie Godin asked what more could have been done to safeguard the Calais Jungle camp's most vulnerable residents and in a series of pieces from our MSc in Migration Studies alumni the former students blog about taking their learning on migration into their new roles.

Next term we'll be welcoming as guest bloggers speakers from our highly-anticipated seminar series Migration to, through and from Africa: An African conversation.

Research findings

A major piece of research in collaboration with ICMPD into how crisis situations in host countries, e.g. natural disaster or conflict, affect migrants found that in times of crisis irregularity exacerbates the vulnerability already associated with being an irregular migrant. Migrants themselves, however, use a variety of strategies to cope and respond.

Some of our key research into migration policies uncovered important findings about the often unintended effects of migration policy-making, showing that travel visa restrictions significantly decrease both immigration and emigration, and how restrictive asylum and visa policies trigger increases in irregular migration into Europe.

Based on research with young Congolese in the diaspora, new work showed how refugees use social media tools to challenge conventional understandings of 'refugee voices'.

Research into the link between transnational politics and political integration among immigrants in Europe suggested that migrants who are keen on activating their political voice, for example through voting, will do so if they are given the access to participate. A short video explores the important implications this has for social cohesion.

Continuing work on African migration, challenging perceptions of it as South–North and increasing in volume, found that African migrants overwhelmingly migrate within Africa and that Senegalese migrants in Europe are less likely to return to Senegal when European entry restrictions become tighter.


We began 2016 by marking our ten-year anniversary with a major conference, The Changing State of Global Mobility, held at St Anne's College, Oxford between 13 and 15 January. We welcomed over 50 international migration scholars to celebrate a decade of pioneering migration research.

Marie Curie Research Fellow Marieke van Houte has been collaborating with physical theatre company Justice in Motion over the course of 2016 to connect experience, research, and creative learning to contribute to dialogues and greater understanding about migration. CONTAINED Project have been developing and performing a trio of performances on three key aspects of migration: decisions and journeys, arrival and reception, and movements and changes.

In October IMI members were among a team from Oxford Department of International Development ran the Oxford Half Marathon in support of the fantastic work of local charity Asylum Welcome, raising more than £1400.

Working paper series

Seven new papers were published in our established working paper series, which now numbers more than 130. The new additions covered diverse aspects of research into international migration, including migration and change and the effect of the global economic crisis on high-skilled migration.


At the beginning of the year we published three major databases from the Determinants of International Migration (DEMIG) project. They track migration policy change (DEMIG POLICY), immigration, emigration and net migration flows (DEMIG TOTAL) and bilateral migration flow data (DEMIG C2C). Available to researchers for download, these free datasets give important access to both quantitative and qualitative research on the long-term evolution of global migration policies and flows.


MSc in Migration Studies, University of Oxford
MSc in Migration Studies open for applications for 2017/18
Watch our new video to discover what you could learn about key migration concepts, methods and theories across the social sciences on our 9-month MSc in Migration Studies. If you want to prepare for further research or for a career in policy and international development, the next application deadline is Friday 20 January. Use the fees, funding and scholarship search to find out about available financial assistance.

We've been adding podcasts from our 2016 seminar series - on topics including migration, politics and political change, and on borders, to our flourishing podcast series. Now numbering more than 100 episodes, the series is accessible through Oxford Podcasts and iTunesU.
We wish all of our community of readers an enjoyable end to 2016 and a very Happy New Year. Join us in 2017 to hear more findings from ongoing and new research, including work on Turkish migrant workers at trade unions and works councils in the UK, Germany, and the Netherlands; migration in the Horn of Africa; the family strategies of migrants in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso; and European welfare systems in times of mobility.
Copyright © 2016 International Migration Institute, All rights reserved.

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