Category: IMISCOE Research Series
Publisher: Springer
Library: IMISCOE Research Series
Year: 2018


This open access book covers the main issues, challenges and techniques concerning the application of qualitative methodologies to the study of migration. It discusses theoretical, epistemological and empirical questions that must be considered before, during, and after undertaking qualitative research in migration studies. It also covers recent innovative developments and addresses the key issues and major challenges that qualitative migration research may face at different stages i.e. crafting the research questions, defining approaches, developing concepts and theoretical frameworks, mapping categories, selecting cases, dealing with concerns of self-reflection, collecting and processing empirical evidence through various techniques, including visual data, dealing with ethical issues, and developing policy-research dialogues. Each chapter discusses relative strengths and limitations of qualitative research. The chapters also identify the main drivers for qualitative research development in migration studies. It is a unique volume as it brings together a multidisciplinary perspective as well as illustrations of different issues derived from the research experience of the recognized authors. One additional value of this book is its geographic focus on Europe.  It seeks to explore theoretical and methodological issues that are raised by distinctive features of the European context. This volume will be a useful reference source for scholars and professionals in migration studies and in social sciences as well.  The publication is also addressed to graduate and post-graduate students and, more generally, to those who embark on the task of doing qualitative research for the first time in the field of migration.


  1. Introduction: Preparing the Way for Qualitative Research in Migration Studies
    Zapata-Barrero, Ricard (et al.)
    Pages 1-8

  2. Mapping the Qualitative Migration Research in Europe: An Exploratory Analysis 
    Yalaz, Evren (et al.) 
    Pages 9-31

  3. Context-Based Qualitative Research and Multi-sited Migration Studies in Europe 
    King, Russell 
    Pages 35-56

  4. Moving Out of the Comfort Zone: Promises and Pitfalls of Interdisciplinary Migration Research in Europe 
    Borkert, Maren 
    Pages 57-73

  5. Applied Political Theory and Qualitative Research in Migration Studies 
    Zapata-Barrero, Ricard 
    Pages 75-92 


  • This open access book addresses key issues and major challenges at different stages of conducting qualitative migration research
  • Offers an interdisciplinary approach to European migration studies
  • Discusses theoretical, epistemological and ethical relative strengths and limitations of qualitative research in European migration studies.


“This excellent volume makes a much needed contribution to the field of migration research. The book is quite unique in bringing together epistemological and methodological issues. The peculiarity of this volume is in its truly multidisciplinary perspective. The use of examples from the contributors’ work to illuminate critical issues in qualitative research on immigration is particularly welcome.” (Professor Anna Triandafyllidou, Global Governance Programme, European University Institute)

“This volume constitutes an ideal tool for planning and carrying out qualitative research on migration issues. It gives important advice on different aspects around the study of migration processes: from a deep understanding of migration causes and dynamics to producing new insights for the theoretical understanding of contemporary migrations; from constituting a solid corpus of new data for evidence-based informed policy making to a critical assessment of public discussions and policies on migrants.” (Professor Enzo Colombo, University of Milan, UNIMI, Department of Social and Political Sciences) 




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