07/04/2021 – The emergence of local responses to emigration: a case study in Romania

Local governments in origin countries have become increasingly active in creating their own strategies and policies in response to emigration. More and more are taking it upon themselves to address the human and material losses emigration entails and to ensure that emigration enhances rather than undermines collective welfare. Yet, despite the increasing relevance and rapid development of local responses to emigration, empirical and theoretical research has so far focused exclusively on the national level. We know nothing about the type of policies and strategies that local governments in origin countries devise, their objectives and how they go about implementing them. This article intends to address this research blind spot, by introducing the concept of local emigration policies, advancing an explanation for their emergence, and highlighting how they differ from national emigration policies. It argues that local emigration policies do not necessarily pursue the same objectives as national ones, tend to be more concrete and tailored to the needs of the locality and/or those of the emigrant population, with their effects being often more direct and immediate than those of national policies. This line of research has multiple (theoretical and policy) implications, including for our understanding of local development and migration, transnationalism, and integration in host societies. 

About the speaker

Dr Magdalena Ulceluse is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Groningen, currently a Visiting Researcher at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Ethnic and Religious Diversity. Her recent work focuses on the type of policies that local governments in origin countries devise to address emigration and its effects, and the factors affecting the decision to implement (or not) local emigration policies. Other research interests include the relation between migration and socio-spatial inequality, labour migration and migrant economic activities, and the economics of humanitarian (refugee) migration. She has held visiting research fellowships at the International Migration Institute in Oxford, the University of Amsterdam, and the Central European Labour Studies Institute in Bratislava, and has worked on projects for several governments and international organisations, including the European Commission, the International Labor Organization, the International Organization for Migration and ESPON.

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