Envisaging L'Aquila
edited by Alessandro Coppola

The Migration-Development Nexus Revisited – Conference

University of Trento, June 8-10, 2011

The migration-development nexus is increasingly in the forefront of debate, both in academic research and in the international discourses and policies of states, international organisations and NGOs. However, despite the plethora of publications and case studies, fuelled also by a widespread political demand for relevant knowledge, the “firm points” within this debate are still relatively few. Moreover, systematic elaborations and comparative analyses are still quite infrequent. Yet, by elaborating on the migration-development nexus – having said of its centrality, symbolical at least, to public policies – one can shed light on a range of major issues in migration studies. These include the interaction between migration policies in the contexts of origin and destination, along with the influence of non-state actors on them; the kinds, frequency and varieties of remittances originated from migrants’ efforts to achieve better opportunities abroad; the impact of emigration on the economic, political and socio-cultural arrangements in home societies; the effects of migration on gender, generational and family relationships, as well as the scope to reproduce and negotiate them in a transnational arena.
The conference aims to review the knowledge available in these respects, in an interdisciplinary and multi-method perspective. Original contributions are invited with regards to empirical studies, relevant conceptualisations, single or comparative case studies and policy-oriented analyses, potentially applying to any migration system – although with special respect to South-North labour migration.
As a way of mapping this huge and diverse field, the accepted papers will be classified in one of the following analytical frames – each of them corresponding to a session in the conference.
1. The M&D nexus at a macro level: States, markets and beyond. This is related to the structural, systemic effects of migration on development in the countries of origin, with a special focus on remittances and on the role of state and international organisation policies;
2. The M&D nexus at a meso level: Local communities and translocal networks. The impact of migration can be equally appreciated on development processes in the local communities of origin. This also involves the role of civil society (“here”, “there” and at a transnational level) and the influence of migrant organisations and of diaspora policies. Of interest here are also the networks and infrastructures underpinning the circulation of remittances (i.e. formal or informal circuits and channels, relevant public or private agencies, etc.);
3. The M&D nexus at a micro level: Women, men, families. This entails the economic and socio-cultural effects of migration processes on family members left behind, and on non-migrants more broadly; transformations in life conditions and styles; emerging cultural patterns of identification and consumption.
The conference is co-organised by the SMMS Centre (Migration scenarios and social change), Department of Sociology and Social Research, University of Trento, and by the TCIC Centre – Training Centre for International Co-operation (www.tcic.eu) an association that promotes training and networking on international cooperation activities, representing the local regional authority (The Autonomous Province of Trento) and local non-state actors involved in international cooperation.
Confirmed keynote speakers include Peggy Levitt, Ninna Nyberg-Sørensen, Eva Østergaard-Nielsen, Hein de Haas and Thomas Faist.
Abstracts (250-500 words), containing a description of the theses advanced, the key question(s) driving the paper and the kind of evidence analysed, should be sent by 28 January 2011 to the following address: smms@unitn.it. For further information please contact the conference coordinator, Paolo Boccagni [paolo.boccagni@unitn.it].
Acceptance will be notified by the end of February 2011. Full papers (5-8.000 words) are expected by 10 May 2011.

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