2-5 July 2024, Lisbon and Online

21st IMISCOE Annual Conference

Migration as a Social Construction: A Reflexive Turn

The formation of nation-states was an uneven process, occurring as it did, at a time when the inequalities and inequities of colonialism and imperialism were played out through varieties of national and local bordering practices. As a result, a number of categories, distinctions and hierarchies between citizens and foreigners, nationals and non-nationals, “we” and “others” has been constructed, where non-nationals are framed into further categories through civic stratification. The use of these categories enforced and materialised by laws, policies and institutions impacts the way that migration is taught, theorized and spoken of, neglecting that migration is socially constructed. This conference focuses on the social processes through which (some) individuals on the move become socially transformed into migrants, how even some non-mobile individuals (descendants of migrants, for example) become categorized as migrants, and the way some people are categorized as illegal and irregular whilst other mobile citizens evade similar categorizations.

The conference showcases and extends a wave of critical ontological and conceptual reflection that has been labelled as the reflexive turn in current migration research. We seek to explore the interplay between migration law and policy, public debate, rights access, social movements and civil society, and migrants’ experiences and actions in destination, transition and origin countries and their transnational impact across different global regions. The social construction of migration intersects with other topics of social research such as gender, class, race and ethnicity, identity, ideology, colonialism, global inequalities, climate/environment. Building upon the intersectional character of migration research, the aim is to draw on empirical studies to contribute to the conceptual understanding of the processes of the social construction of migration and its impact on social reality and in migration studies. Such a focus can contribute to promoting interdisciplinarity in migration studies and highlight the interdependence of different social dimensions, structures and process that characterize this social phenomenon.

For the 21st IMISCOE Annual Conference in Lisbon, we invite submissions of Individual Paper Proposals, Workshop Proposals, and Panel Proposals that relate to the broad topic of migration as a social construction. Panels should be either fully in-person (with all participants at the venue) or fully online (with participants joining remotely). A very limited number of hybrid panels (up to a maximum of 5 sessions per timeslot) could potentially be accommodated in exceptional circumstances (health issues, visa restrictions, special care needs), when duly justified and notified to the IMISCOE Network Office prior to the finalisation of the registration process. Submissions for contributions are open from August 18 until October 16, 2023 (Extended).


Centre for Research and Studies in Sociology (CIES-ISCTE - University Institute of Lisbon)

pdf 21st IMISCOE Annual Conference flyer (229 KB)

Individual Paper Proposals

Paper proposals should include a 250-word abstract and the name(s), affiliation(s), and contact details of the author(s). Individual papers will be thematically clustered into panels. We strongly encourage authors to highlight the conceptual and methodological novelty of their contribution.

Submit an individual paper proposal

Panel Proposals

Panel proposals should include a 250-word abstract of the theme of the panel, together with min 3/max 5 thematically consistent and related 250-word paper abstracts. Submissions should also include the names, affiliations and contact details of the chair(s), discussant(s) and author(s) of each paper.

Submit a panel proposal

Workshop Proposals

Proposals can also be submitted for workshops. This can be, for example, book workshops, policy workshops or roundtables focusing on specific topics, with the aim of discussing research or outlining future research agendas. Submissions for workshops should include a maximum of 400-word abstract as well as the names, affiliations and contact details of the organizer(s) and workshop participants (up to 10 participants, excluding the workshop chairs).

Submit a workshop proposal


Paper, panel, and workshop proposals will have to be linked to a Specific IMISCOE Standing Committee or to the Open Section. Please check the description of all IMISCOE Standing Committees and select the one more aligned to the topic of your proposal. Please note that the Open Section should only be used for proposals which do not have a direct thematic link with any IMISCOE Standing Committee.


The deadline for submitting proposals has been EXTENDED to October 16, 2023 (23:59 CEST). All submissions should be made online via this page (see the links above). When submitting proposals, applicants must choose their intended mode of participation: ON-SITE in Lisbon or ONLINE. Please note that the 2024 Annual Conference is not envisaged to be fully blended: panels and workshops running throughout the conference days will be expected to take place either fully on-site or fully online. Applicants will be informed about the acceptance of their submission towards mid-end of January 2024. Applicants may be the lead presenter of only one accepted paper in the conference and may appear up to a maximum of 3 times in any other active role (as chair, discussant and/or workshop organiser/participant). The conference may be fully online if the Covid-19 or any other exceptional situation imposes it.

Conference registration fees*

Participation fees Participants from IMISCOE Member Institutes in EU/OECD Countries Participants from IMISCOE Member Institutes in non-EU/non-OECD Countries Participants from non-IMISCOE institutes in EU/OECD countries Participants from non-IMISCOE institutes in non-EU/non-OECD countries
On-site participation: standard 230 100 360 125

On-site participation: PhD students

150 50 200 75

Online participation: standard

150 50 225 65

Online participation: PhD students

95 50 145 65

*These new registration fees that have been adjusted for inflation were approved by the IMISCOE Board of Directors on the 3rd of July 2023.




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