• Özge Bilgili, Macimide  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Since the 1990s, studies on transnationalism have mushroomed. There is a growing consensus to move away from methodological nationalism in order to understand the multiple ties and activities that bind migrants across one or more countries. The first generation of transnational studies focused strongly on issues of identity formation and feelings of belonging, economic transnationalism (remittances) and political transnationalism (social movements, Diaspora politics). Most studies were based on small qualitative studies and on surveys conducted in the country of destination. Many studies were based on the category of first generation labour migrants, especially from Latin America. In the last decade the idea of transnationalism has been tied to other issues such as citizenship, membership of the welfare state, integration and return (especially in the West-European context). Furthermore, qualitative and quantitative studies have been complemented by comparative studies (between groups and continents) and multi-sited studies (including research in countries of origin). This standing committee focuses, firstly, on the two interrelated processes of 'integration' and 'return', analysed through a transnational lens. The aim is to unravel how processes of integration, return and transnationalism are interrelated, and to specify the conditions under which these processes may affect each other. A second issue analyses the exclusivity and territoriality of social membership in the welfare state: to what extent is the welfare state model compatible with parallel memberships elsewhere, and to what extent is membership linked with the territory of the state? 


  • CIMIC (Citizenship, Migration & the City), Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands (Engbersen, Leerkes & Snel)
  • Maastricht Graduate School of Governance/UNU Merit, University of Maastricht, the Netherlands (Siegel & Bilgili)
  • PRIO, Peace Research InstituteOslo, Norway (Carling & Erdal)

Agenda of activities


Workshops & Conference sessions

  • IMISCOE workshop 'The Economic and Local Consequences of Labour Migration from Central and Eastern Europe in a Time of Economic Crisis, CIMIC/EUR, 8th-9th June 2011, Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • Transnationalism Workshop, Maastricht School of Governance/UNU-Merit, Maastricht, 14 December 2011
  • IMISCOE workshop ‘Migrant transnationalism, integration & return.’ October 25th-26th 2012, Erasmus University, CIMIC/EUR, Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • IMISCOE/PRIO Oslo Workshop Workshop on Migrant Integration and Transnationalism in Contemporary Europe, 24-25 October, Oslo, Norway
  • Session on transnationalism at the 9th Annual Conference of IMISCOE,  28-29 August 2012 in Amsterdam
  • Session on transnationalism at 10th Annual IMISCOE Conference, 26-28 August 2013 in Malmo

Special issues 

Articles (selection)

  • Bilgili, Ö., & Siegel, M. (2014). Policy perspectives of Turkey towards return migration: From permissive indifference to selective difference. Migration Letters11(2), 218-228.
  • Snel, E., Faber, M. & Engbersen, G. (2014) 'Civic stratification and social positioning: CEE labour migrants without a work permit.' Population, Space and Place, Advance online publication (FEB 2014)DOI: 10.1002/psp.1846. 
  • Carling, J. & K. Hoelscher (2013) 'Capacity and Desire to Remit: Comparing Local and Transnational Influences.' Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 39(6):  939-958
  • Erdal, M., (2013) ‘Migrant Transnationalism and Multi-Layered Integration: Norwegian-Pakistani Migrants’ Own Reflections.’ Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies,  39(6): 983-999
  • Engbersen, G., Leerkes, A.S., Grabowska-Lusinska, I., Snel, E. & Burgers, J. (2013) 'On the Differential Attachments of Migrants from Central and Eastern Europe: A Typology of Labour Migration.' Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 39(6), 959-981.
  • Oeppen, C. (2013) 'A stranger at 'home': interactions between transnational return visits and integration for Afghan refugees.' Global Networks, 13(2): 261-278
  • Van Bochove, M. & G. Engbersen (2013) 'Beyond Cosmopolitanism and Expat Bubbles: Challenging Dominant Representations of Knowledge Workers and Trailing Spouses.' Population, Space and Place. Advance online publication (10 DEC 2013). DOI: 10.1002/psp.1839
  • Carling, J., Erdal, M.B., and Horst, C., (2012) ‘How does conflict in migrants’ country of origin affect remittance-sending? Financial priorities and transnational obligations among Somalis and Pakistanis in Norway.’ International Migration Review, 46(2): 283-309.
  • Van Meeteren, Masja (2012) 'Transnational activities and aspirations of irregular migrants in Belgium and the Netherlands.' Global Networks, 12(3): 314-332

Book Chapters

  • Engbersen, G. & E. Snel (2013) Liquid migration: dynamic and fluid patterns of post-accession migration flows. In: B. Glorius, I. Grabowska-Lusińska & A.  Rindoks (eds.), Mobility in Transition: Migration Patterns after EU Enlargement. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University, pp. 21-40
  • Engbersen, G. (2012) ‘Migration transitions in an era of liquid migration. Reflections on Fassmann & Reeger’. In: M. Okolski (ed.) Europe:The Continent of Immigrants: Trends, Structures and Policy Implications. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, pp. 91-105

Research proposal approved

  • Transnational Lives in the Welfare State (TRANSWEL). Financed by Research Council of Norway. Partners: PRIO Oslo, the University of Oslo & CIMIC Rotterdam.