Migrant Transnationalism

The objective of the Standing Committee on Migrant Transnationalism (MITRA) is to provide an arena within IMISCOE for academic 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.


Özge Bilgili

Dutch Association for Migration Research, Netherlands

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Brigitte Suter

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Board members

The Standing Committee’s governance structure is built around a board. The board consists of 1 member per institutions participating, in addition to two PhD representatives, in total 10 members. 

MAU currently leads the Standing Committee, with Brigitte Suter (MAU) and Özge Bilgili (UU) as co-coordinators for the period.

The Board of the SC for 2022-24

Paolo Boccagni

Eralba Cela

University of Milan, Italy

Benjamin ETZOLD

BICC (Bonn International Centre for Conflict Studies), Germany

Marie Godin

Karlijn Haagsman

Maastricht University, Netherlands

Ludek Jirka

University of Hradec Králové, Czech Republic


Yichi Zhang

University of St Andrews, United Kingdom

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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 engages in several specific activities.

  • Conference sessions: The Standing Committee organize two thematic sessions at the IMISCOE Annual Conference. In order to promote a transnational perspective in migration research, these focus on different subjects and include a range of topics within the umbrella theme of migrant transnationalism. The sessions are open for  all interested researchers from both within and outside the SC membership.
  • Training events and PhD courses: The PhD representatives are responsible for coordinating training events with the PhD Network and the IMISCOE Training Committee. The Standing Committee organises 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 organize research symposia, which often include a PhD course component. The symposia are open to participants within and beyond the Standing Committee. These symposia include activities such as paper presentations, roundtable discussions and workshops for developing joint publications, special issues or proposals for funding.
  • Webinars: The board organises webinars on issues related to migrant transnationalism a couple of times a year.
  • PhD activities: Our PhD representatives organise activities tailored to fellow PhD students in the field of migrant transnationalism. The aim is to create community and facilitate learning through peer feedback and encouragement.


SYMPOSIUM, 13/14 May in Cluj Napoca: "Linking Policy and Academia: Transnational Families in Europe", co-arranged with the Cost Action TraFaDy (Transnational Family Dynamics). More info: https://transnational-families.eu/may24-policy-symposium-cluj/


Activities in 2024

Activities in 2023

  • SYMPOSIUM, 27/28 March 2023, Bonn: MITRA is involved in the organisation of a research symposium on 'Lived Transnationalism in Times of Violent Conflict - Cross-border Connections and Mobilities of People, Goods and Capital'. The symposium is jointly organised with the Bonn International Centre for Conflict Studies (BICC) and the German Ministry of Research and Education (BMBF)-funded project ‘Forced Migration and Refugee Studies: Networking and Knowledge Transfer’ (FFVT). Access CfP here.
  • MITRA panels at the Annual Conference in Warsaw. 
  • Webinars. 
  • PhD activities:
    • PhD training session at the spring symposium (see above): During the symposium, PhD students had the opportunity to present ongoing work and receive in-depth feedback. Following the symposium, a half-a-day training session (on March 28) particularly targeted towards PhD students was organised. The focus was on practical challenges, ethical dilemmas and research methods in conflict settings. PhD students who attended the symposium and the training session could request a travel stipend.
    • MITRA is organizing writing retreats for PhD students throughout the academic year.








SC MITRA: Writing Retreats

MITRA is organizing writing retreats for PhD students throughout the academic year. The first sessions for 2023 are happening on Feb 6 th and Feb 20 th from 9.00 GMT to 14.00 GMT . For more information, please send an email to This email address is...

Call for Papers: Symposium and PhD Training - Lived transnationalism in times of violent conflict – Cross-border connections and mobilities of people, goods and capital

27-28 March 2023, Bonn, Germany Violent conflicts set people into motion and change existing social relations. More specifically, large-scale wars and localised conflicts not only force people to flee from violence but transform pre-existing mobility...

Call for abstracts: MigranTea

Deadline: 19th November, 2021
The Standing Committee on Migrant Transnationalism (MITRA) provides an arena within IMISCOE for exchange on migrant transnationalism. In this spirit, we are happy to announce MigranTea – informal sessions for PhDs candidates, working on the field of...

Introducing MigranTea

The Standing Committee on Migrant Transnationalism (MITRA) is happy to announce MigranTea – informal sessions for PhDs candidates, working on the field of migrant transnationalism, to present their research and exchange ideas.

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Call for papers: Micro-level dynamics of migrant transnationalism

Deadline: 20.06.2021
We welcome abstracts for papers to be presented at the research symposium on 'Micro-level dynamics of migrant transnationalism'. This symposium will bring together presentations of recent empirical research on migrant transnationalism, from around the...

Read more …