Introduction

The objective of the Standing Committee on Migrant Transnationalism (MITRA) is to provide an arena within IMISCOE for exchange on migrant transnationalism. The transnational turn was an innovation in migration studies and offered a new perspective for overcoming the limitations of methodological nationalism. It has provided new insights into integration issues, the functioning of diasporas, political movements, economic and social remittances and methodological strategies for multi-sited research. It has also questioned the very notion of migration. In many cases, people who lead transnational lives are a challenge to dominant conceptualizations of migration, undermining the assumption that people move from one country to another and remain settled in one place.

The Standing Committee on Migrant Transnationalism is not focused on a certain migrant category (for example in terms of gender or age), nor is it focused on certain institutional spheres (such as the labour market, politics or culture). It is also not specifically aimed at governance structures and policy strategies.

The Standing Committee was created on the basis of the former “Interactions of Migrant Integration and Transnationalism in Europe” (IMITE) and “Transnational Practices in Migration” (TRANSMIG) and “International Migration and Social Protection” (IMASP). We bring together IMISCOE Member institutes from across Europe.

To become an individual member of the Standing Committee and receive information about our activities, please get in touch with the coordinators.

Names of coordinators

  • Marta Bivand Erdal (PRIO) This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Erks Snel (EUR) This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Names and institutional affiliations of (key) members

The Standing Committee’s governance structure is built around a Board. The Board consists of 1 member per core institutions participating, in addition to a PhD network member, and an additional member from the institution, which is coordinating the Standing Committee, in total 8 members. 

PRIO will lead the Standing Committee the first two years (2019-2021), with Marta Bivand Erdal (PRIO) and Erik Snel (EUR) as co-coordinators for the period

The Board of the SC for 2019-2021 will consist of: Özge Bilgili (Ercomer, Utrecht University), Melissa Siegel (Maastricht University), Erik Snel/Godfried Engbersen (Erasmus University Rotterdam), Cathrine Talleraas (PhD Network representative), Paolo Boccagni (University of Trento), Brigitte Suter (Malmö Institute for Studies of Migration, Diversity and Welfare (MiM), Malmö University), and Marta Bivand Erdal and Jørgen Carling (PRIO).

Agenda of activities

To represent and develop the field of research on migrant transnationalism within IMISCOE, and in migration studies in general, the Standing Committee on Migrant Transnationalism will engage in specific activities.

  • Conference sessions: The Standing Committee will organize two thematic sessions at the annual IMISCOE Conference. In order to promote a transnational perspective in migration research, these will focus on different subjects and include a range of topics within the umbrella theme of migrant transnationalism. As described under “Membership policy” – a process internal to SC members will be initiated to select the best conference session ideas each year, which then will be circulated as open calls in order to attract interested researchers from both within and outside the SC membership.
  • Training events and PhD courses: The PhD Network member of the Board of the Migrant Transnationalism SC will be responsible for coordinating training events with the PhD Network and the IMISCOE Training Committee. The Standing Committee will organise training events at a biennial basis, e.g. PhD courses in relation to ongoing projects or research symposia.
  • Research Symposia: To foster research exchange on particular research projects or topics, we will organize research symposia, which may include a PhD course component. The symposia will be open to participants within and beyond the Standing Committee. These symposia will include activities such as paper presentations, roundtable discussions and workshops for developing joint publications, special issues or proposals for funding.
  • Kick-off Symposium: To support the development of the new Standing Committee, a larger symposium will be organized in 2020 where all members and other interested will be invited to discuss the wider dynamics of migrant transnationalism. The aim of the symposium will be to encourage networking and innovative research in the migrant transnationalism research field.  

Output 

Longer-term aims which our activities may help us reach, include joint publications and research project funding. The IMISCOE initiatives which are joining forces in the new MITRA Standing Committee, have a proven track-record of development of joint publications emanating from IMISCOE-based-activities, in particular special issues. In the future, special issues of relevant journals, including Comparative Migration Studies, and book proposals for the IMISCOE Springer book series, will be actively considered. Funding for research projects, and proposal development, on themes related to the Standing Committee and involving several IMISCOE member institutions, are another likely outcome in the longer term.