4 February: GTD Colloquium “Migration Mechanisms of the Middle Range” by Godfried Engbersen (Erasmus University Rotterdam)

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Date(s) - 04/02/15
3:30 pm - 5:30 pm

Grote Gracht 80-82, Spiegelzaal (Soiron Building) Maastricht


Migration Mechanisms of the Middle Range

by Godfried Engbersen (Erasmus University Rotterdam)

Globalisation, Transnationalism & Development Colloquium organized in association with Maastricht Centre for Citizenship, Migration and Development (MACIMIDE)

Abstract: This presentation explores a mechanism-based explanation of migration flows. Firstly, it makes a plea for the analysis of ‘migration mechanisms of the middle range’. Secondly, it reveals the relevance of such an approach by analyzing the social mechanism of diminutive causation, the counterpart of the concept of cumulative causation (Massey). Diminutive causation entails a dynamic multi-level explanation with interconnected macro-, meso- and micro-factors. In particular, we analyze the role of migrant networks in reducing immigration from Morocco to the Netherlands. Three aspects are examined: (1) changing beliefs and motivations of migrants in the Netherlands to support prospective migrants (situational mechanism); (2) migration-undermining feedback provided by migrants to prospective migrants (action-formation mechanism) and (3) the changing nature of migration cultures and migratory aspirations in Morocco due to the migration-undermining feedback from settled migrants in the Netherlands (transformational mechanism). Thirdly, it argues that is crucial to move beyond migrant networks, not only by taking into account macro institutional factors (labor markets, state policies), but also by analyzing the relevance of other feedback channels. Cumulative or diminutive causation works not only through migrant networks but also through new feedback channels provided by the social media. Insights into the functioning of ‘traditional’ and ‘new’ channels of feedback is important for understanding endogenous and exogenous feedback mechanisms.

Godfried Engbersen is Professor of Sociology at the Erasmus University of Rotterdam. He is also the Research Director of the Sociology Department and Director of the interdisciplinary research group Citizenship, Migration & the City (CIMIC). Before, he worked at the universities of Leiden, Amsterdam and Utrecht, and as visiting professor at the Centre of Western European Studies at the University of California, Berkeley (spring 1996). He is an elected member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences (KNAW). He also was an elected member of the Dutch Advisory Commission on Alien Affairs (2001-2009) and Dutch correspondent for the continuous Reporting System on Migration (SOPEMI) of OECD (2001-2013). In 2014 he was appointed member of the Scientific Council for Government Policy (WRR). His current research activities focus on integration policies, migration systems, irregular migration, and labour mobility within the EU.

Upcoming GTD colloquia:

-Wednesday 11, March 2015:  Dr. Masja van Meeteren (Department of Criminology, Leiden University)

-Wednesday 8, April 2015:  Dr. Elodie Razy (University of Liege)