Organisers: Antonie Schmiz (Osnabrueck University) and Charlotte Räuchle (Humboldt-University, Berlin)

It has been five years since Nina Glick Schiller and Ayse Çağlar presented their ‘rescaling’ approach in their widely recognized edited volume titled “Locating Migration. Rescaling Cities and Migrants” (2011; see also Glick Schiller and Çağlar 2009).

The idea of the book and its underlying approach of ‘rescaling migration’ is to create a conceptual framework that enables comparative research on local migration regimes. This allows for comparisons between cities on different scales – and engages with their relative positions in a global hierarchy, their connections to other urban areas, differing migration histories, economic performances and their integration in diverging political systems. It is based on a relational understanding of scale and space.

However, in empirical research, the approach generates several open questions. These concern for instance the missing link between the macro level (e.g. integration of a city into global financial markets, production chains and knowledge production), the meso level (e.g. migration history, branding, welcoming or diversity policies) and the micro level (e.g. individual migrant agency, migrant entrepreneurship, place making strategies).

The interdisciplinary workshop allows a profound discussion of researching local migration regimes in comparative perspective. It thereby aims at contributing to, further developing and critically reflecting the ‘rescaling approach’. It thus asks for contributions with a strong theoretical and conceptual focus. The outcome of the workshop is a research network with a mutual understanding of comparative research approaches to migration regimes on the local scale as basis for an edited volume. Questions and topics that will be addressed in the workshop are:

  • How can local migration regimes in different cities be compared?
  • What role does scale play for the analysis of local migration regimes?
  • How can different groups of migrants be studied within the rescaling approach (refugees, irregular migrants, asylum-seekers, highly-skilled migrants, ethnic entrepreneurs etc.)?
  • How does the rescaling approach help to overcome the ‘local trap’?
  • What role does migrant agency play in urban development processes?

If you are interested in participating in the workshop please contact us before December 12, 2016 (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

The IMISCOE office takes the final decision upon acceptance of the workshop in February 2017.


Glick Schiller, N., and A. Çağlar. 2009. “Towards a Comparative Theory of Locality in Migration Studies: Migrant Incorporation and City Scale.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 35 (2): 177-202. doi: 10.1080/13691830802586179.

Glick Schiller, N., and A. Çağlar. 2011. “Locating Migration. Rescaling Cities and Migrants.” Cornell University Press: Ithaca and London.