Category: News from Members

CfP: Workshop on Welfare Inequalities and Migration – 18th Nordic Migration Conference, Oslo, August 11-12

The workshop addresses how inequalities in provisions of welfare across states have impacted migration flows. Explanations of migration predominantly focus on regional (spatial) inequalities in terms of income and employment. As such, they miss out the potentially important role of differences in welfare regimes in destination and origin countries in affecting migration decisions, and hence, their potentially crucial role in attracting and retaining migrants. Therefore, the workshop aims to assess the role of welfare systems in both countries of origin and destination on migration patterns (macro level) and migration aspirations and decision‐making process (micro level) within and towards Europe.

The way in which origin and receiving welfare regimes across Europe affect migration has remained surprisingly under‐studied. Prior work has only partially captured the role of welfare provisions in mobility patterns by taking an exclusively (macro level) receiving country perspective. This has resulted in a strong bias that ignores the role of the country of origins’ welfare regimes in migration. This is unfortunate as from a theoretical perspective, social security and socio‐economic inequality in origin countries are expected to play a major role in migration decision‐making.

While a macro‐perspective serves to identify patterns, trends and correlations between migration and characteristics of welfare systems, a micro‐perspective is crucial to uncover the social mechanisms explaining these patterns, and in particular the role of perceptions of welfare provisions and their transferability in the formation of migration aspirations and decisions. In order to fill these theoretical and empirical gaps, we welcome submissions addressing how different types of welfare arrangements in both origin and destination shape migration patterns (macro perspective), and how perceptions of welfare provisions and their transferability in origin and potential destination countries shape migration aspirations and decisions (micro and meso perspective). Conceptually, we consider both formal welfare arrangements, available through public/state institutions, as well as informal, family and community based arrangements. Another potential line of enquiry is how migration impacts inequalities in terms of transforming welfare provisions in both destination and sending countries. We also welcome contributions focusing on the legal aspects of welfare transferability, as well as practical barriers and opportunities in relation to welfare arrangements encountered by migrants.

Abstracts can be submitted electronically before March 15th at the conference website: In the electronic submission form, you should indicate you want to present your paper in the workshop on welfare inequalities and migration. Decisions on eventual acceptance will be communicated at the end of April.

If you have any questions regarding this workshop, please do not hesitate contacting the workshop organizers:

Christof Van Mol, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute – NIDI (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Sónia Pereira, Institute of Geography and Spatial Planning, University of Lisbon (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)