Dear friends and colleagues of IMI,  

It is a great pleasure to send you this IMI newsletter, in which we want to inform you about recent developments, research, publications and other activities. The most important news is the completion of IMI’s relaunch at the University of Amsterdam (UvA). In 2019, IMI completed its relocation from the University of Oxford, where it was established in 2006, to the UvA’s Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR). In this way, we have been able to continue IMI’s original research agenda committed to promote new thinking of migration as an intrinsic part of global change and development. 
This is achieved through promoting research, generating new data, and publishing IMI’s working paper series. While based at the University of Amsterdam, IMI regroups an expanding network of research fellows from around the world. IMI activities are driven by the desire to advance the boundaries of migration research, advancing migration theory and promote evidence–based debates on migration and encourage greater engagement beyond the academy. IMI aims to contribute to: 
  • Developing a long-term perspective on migration and human mobility as an intrinsic part of global change;
  • Exploring new conceptual and methodological horizons for understanding and researching migration processes;
  • Sharing research and data through the IMI working paper series and other ‘open access’ platforms;
  • Disseminating evidence-based insights on migration to the broadest possible audiences using accessible language.
  • Creating new narratives on migration that challenge polarized debates between ‘pro-’ and ‘anti-’ migration voices.
For more information, we invite you to explore our renewed website, where you can find further information about the IMI's history and a full overview of the 164 working papers that IMI has published so far.
We hope you find the information in this newsletter useful, and we would like to welcome your feedback and contributions, such as ideas for activities and working paper submissions.
Kind regards,
Hein de Haas
IMI director


IMI Working Paper Series

Over the past academic year, we have published 13 new working papers under our flagship publication series, IMI Working Paper Series. The total of 165 papers in this series (1) analyse migration as part of broader global change, (2) contribute to new theoretical approaches and (3) advance our understanding of the multilevel forces driving migration and experiences of migration. Are you interested in submitting your research? Please see the submission call below. 
Congratulations to Katharina Natter and Kerilyn Schewel on successfully defending their PhD dissertations! 

This past academic year two of our IMI researchers successfully defended their PhD dissertations at the University of Amsterdam! Kerilyn’s dissertation examines how development shapes migration from rural Ethiopia. Katharina’s dissertation, for which she received a cum laude distinction unpacks the role of political regimes in immigration policymaking You can learn more about their works here and here. Both of their dissertations where part of the ERC funded MADE (Migration as Development) project led by Hein de Haas. We want to congratulate them both and wish them the utmost success in their academic careers!


The 6th Edition of The Age of Migration published

A fully revised edition of The Age of Migration: International Population Movements in the Modern World by IMI director Hein de Haas, Stephen Castles and Mark J. Miller has been publishedThis new edition continues to offer an authoritative and cutting-edge account of migration flows, why they occur, and their consequences for both origin and destination societies. 
Lea Müller Funk receives IMISCOE’s Rinus Penninx Best Paper Award

We want to congratulate IMI senior researcher Lea Müller Funk on winning the IMISCOE’s Rinus Penninx Best Paper Award for her paper “Investigating mobility aspirations of refugees in fragile political contexts: Ethical reflections and methodological choices”. Her paper is also forthcoming with the Journal of Refugee Studies entitled “Research with refugees in fragile political contexts: How ethical reflections impact methodological choices”.
DEMIG VISA data published 

We are happy to announce that the DEMIG VISA database is now published on our website! DEMIG VISA was developed as part of our ERC-funded DEMIG project at the University of Oxford and is a unique database that tracks annual bilateral visa requirements for 237 nationalities in 214 countries over the 1973-2013 period. You can download the database for free here.


Migration as Development (MADE)
How do processes of development and social transformation shape human migration?
The ERC-funded MADE (Migration as Development) project aims to develop new theoretical and empirical approaches to gain a fundamental understanding of the relation between human mobility and broader processes of social transformation and development. While prior analyses focused on a limited number of economic and demographic ‘predictor’ variables, this project applies a broader concept of social transformation to examine how long-term trends and patterns of internal and international migration are shaped by wider political, cultural, economic, demographic and technological transformations. The project includes fieldwork-based case studies across six different countries: Brazil, Ethiopia, Italy, the Philippines, Morocco, and the Netherlands. This project, that is led by Hein de Haas as part of a consolidator grant received from the European Research Council, started in 2015 and has now entered its final project year. 15 project working papers have been published so far, and several will follow in the coming months. You can see an overview of the current research findings here.

Teaching Immigration in European Schools (TIES) 
Led by IMI researcher Lea Müller Funk, the TIES project aims to bring migration research to schools across Europe. With more and more students coming from different nationalities and cultures, European classrooms have become prime spaces where migration plays out. Yet, in contrast to public debates where migration is omnipresent, migration is often dealt with as a side-topic in school curricula. TIES brings academic knowledge on migration to European classrooms to foster students’ critical thinking about the drivers and dynamics of migration and its consequences for migrants and the societies they come from and live in. To learn more, click here

Led by IMI researcher Evelyn Ersanilli, the RIGHTS project examines how the rights of low skilled migrant workers are shaped by origin and destination states, interstate dialogues, and the involvement of civil society and international organisations. The  project seeks to understand why origin countries push for rights and why destination countries comply with these demands.  It will look at the role of other aspects of the bilateral relationships such as regional cooperation and trade. To learn more, visit the projects's website

When there is discontent, why do some people protest while others cross borders? 
Connecting theoretical expectations from the migration and protest literatures, the MOBILISE project examines: a) whether similar factors drive the choice to migrate and/or protest at the individual level; b) how context affects this mobilisation; c) whether these choices are independent of each other or mutually reinforcing/ undermining. Evelyn Ersanilli is a co-investigator in the Netherlands country team. To learn more, visit the project's website

Transformation to sustainability theories assume static populations and fail to recognize both positive and negative impacts of the movement of people. This gap limits explanations and intervention strategies for sustainability. The objective of the MISTY project is to use theory and rigorous empirical research to expand knowledge of transformations to sustainability by incorporating migration dynamics. Led by Neil Adger at the University of Exeter, this multidisciplinary project is a collaboration between eight institutions in Europe, North America, Africa and Asia. Sonja Fransen leads one of the themes in collaboration with Dominique Jolivet. The theme focuses on the individual life-course dimensions of sustainability. The project is funded by NORFACE and the Belmont Forum. To learn more, click here.

Publication Highlights

KNAW Compendium
On 16-18 October 2019 IMI hosted a KNAW Colloquium entitled: "Renewing Migration Debate: building disciplinary and geographical bridges to explain global migration". The event brough together 35 renowned and early career migration researchers to discuss various topics  around the following guiding question: How can we use the wealth of existing empirical and theoretical research to advance our generalized understanding of migration? The Academy Compendium is a compilation of all the research notes presented  by different scholars during the event, with the aim of stimulating discussion and encouraging conceptual and methodological innovation in future migration research.

Marriage Migration and Integration published by Palgrave Macmillan
Katharine Charsley, Marta Bolognani, Evelyn Ersanilli & Sarah Spencer provide the first sustained empirical evidence on the relationships between marriage migration and processes of integration, focusing on two of the largest British ethnic minority groups involved in these kinds of transnational marriages – Pakistani Muslims and Indian Sikhs.

Political party ideology and immigration policy reform: an empirical enquiryin Political Research Exchange 2 (1): 1-26

Drawing on immigration policy data offering unprecedented historical and geographical coverage, Katharina Natter, Mathias Czaika and Hein de Haas analyse the drivers of immigration reforms in 21 Western immigration countries between 1970 and 2012. Their results show that there is no robust effect of the political ideology of governments and parliaments on the overall restrictiveness of immigration reforms.

International Migration: Trends, Determinants, and Policy EffectsPopulation and Development Review 45 (4): 885-922
Summarizing the findings of the DEMIG project, this paper synthesizes insights from new global data on the global migration trends, the divers of migration, and the effectiveness of migration policies. Hein de Haas et al. investigate the complex links between migration policies and migration trends to disentangle policy effects from structural migration determinants.

"Understanding Immobility: Moving Beyond the Mobility Bias in Migration Studies" in International Migration Review, 54(2), 328–355
In this paper Kerilyn Schewel suggests there is a mobility bias in migration research. By focusing on the “drivers” of migration, migration theories often neglect the countervailing structural and personal forces that restrict or resist these drivers and lead to different immobility outcomes. This paper advances a novel conceptual approach to evaluate the determinants of immobility, explores motivations behind the aspiration to stay, and suggests future directions for further research on immobility. 

Return, Reintegration and the Role of Statein Migration & Integration 8 - Dialog zwischen Politik, Wissenschaft und Praxis
Ozge Bilgili and Sonja Fransen discuss the role of receiving state in the reception and reintegration of returning migrants. For a comprehensive discussion they argue that it is important first and foremost to have a good understanding of what the return and reintegration entail and how these processes are defined.

Working Papers

The IMI Working Paper series presents current research in the field of international migration. It is our flagship publication series that provides rapid, open access to the latest research findings for the international community. The past academic year we have published a number of new working papers: 

State expansion, development imaginaries and mobility in a peripheral frontier: the case of Caracaraí, Brazil, by Naiara Rodriguez-Pena

Social Transformation, Resistance and Migration in the Italian Peninsula over the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, by Simona Vezzoli

Drivers of migration: A synthesis of knowledge, by Mathias Czaika and Constantin Reinprecht

Return aspirations and coerced return: A case study on Syrian refugees in Turkey and Lebanon, by Lea Müller Funk and Sonja Fransen

Who aspires to stay? Immobility aspirations among youth in Ethiopia, India, Peru, and Vietnam, by Kerilyn Schewel and Sonja Fransen 

Using or Inducing Return Aspirations? On the role of return counsellors in the implementation of ‘assisted voluntary return’ policies in Austria and the Netherlands, by Laura Cleton and Reinhard Schweitzer
To see all our working papers, click here.
Call for submission

Since 2006, the IMI Working Paper series has been a premier platform to share early research findings with global audiences.  The papers in this series (1) analyse migration as part of broader global change, (2) contribute to new theoretical approaches and (3) advance our understanding of the multilevel forces driving migration and experiences of migration. We actively encourage submissions from researchers from around the world. For more information on guidelines, please click here. 


Watch the OWIM - Multiculturalism and Migration Observatory's seminar featuring IMI researcher Kerilyn Schewel, addressing the current COVID-19 pandemic and migration processes. Speakers discuss forced immobility and the short and long term impacts of the pandemic on local and global migration processes, among other questions. You can watch the full recording here


We are looking for two enthusiastic student assistants who will support the TIES project both organisationally, as well as through substantial research. One position has a focus on organisational tasks as well as the creation and maintenance of a network of educational stakeholders and teachers across Europe, while the second position has a research component contributing mostly to the development of the teaching modules. The exact length and weekly working hours are negotiable but we are looking for two students who can each commit to work between 8-15 hours per week, preferably throughout the length of the project.

Are you interested? Check out the vacancy on our website!
Deadline: 20 August 2020
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