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Return migration, social remittances and transnational citizenship practices

Migrations de retour, transferts sociaux et pratiques citoyennes transnationales

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Published on Wednesday, November 15, 2017 by João Fernandes


Si les problématiques de « l’assimilation », du « multiculturalisme » ou de « l’intégration » des migrants dans la société d’installation ont occupé, jusqu’à la fin des années 1980, la recherche en sciences sociales sur le fait migratoire, les transnational studies se sont présentées comme une « nouvelle » approche analytique, capable de désigner la capacité des migrants à tisser et à maintenir des relations économiques, politiques et socioculturelles liant leurs sociétés d’installation et d’origine. Ainsi, le migrant conceptualisé comme « transmigrant » (Glick Schiller et. al., 1995) permet de percevoir d’autres dynamiques engendrées par les migrations en portant l’attention également sur les transferts sociaux (Levitt, 1998) et politiques (Ostergaard-Nielsen, 2003; Collyer, 2014). Au travers de l’étude des pratiques transnationales des migrants ce sont aussi les implications pour les individus et communautés non migrants qui ont fait l’objet d’un intérêt croissant (Levitt and Lamba-Nieves, 2013).



Research on transnational spaces in the field of migration studies, notably since the 1990s, dedicated specific attention to the transnational practices of migrants, which remediated the biased perspective of the migrant considered only through the prism of immigration and not emigration. While issues revolving around ‘assimilation’, ‘multiculturalism’ and ‘integration’ of migrants have constituted until the end of the 1980s the bulk of social science research around migration, transnationalism studies offered a new analytical approach, able to account for migrants’ ability to create and maintain economic, political and socio-cultural ties between societies of residence and origin. This transnational frame has brought about new perspectives on return migration, revealing that the concept of ‘return’ far from equating definitive return, could be conceptualised as a stage, a phase of the migratory trajectory that needs to be studied in all its dimensions across time and space (Petit et al., 2007). Conceptualising the migrant as a ‘transmigrant’ (Glick Schiller et. al., 1995) sheds light on other dynamics engendered by migration, notably social (Levitt, 1998) and political remittances (Ostergaard-Nielsen, 2003; Collyer, 2014). The study of transnational practices of migrants equally led to an increased scholarly interest for the implications of migration for non-migrant individuals and communities (Levitt and Lamba-Nieves, 2013).

Overall, the development of research in this field has, however, rarely mobilised intersectional analytical frames. Several theoretical propositions can nevertheless be mobilised to take up the task of carrying out an intersectional analysis of power relations within transnational practices, such as Floya Anthias’ conceptualisation of ‘translocational positionality’ (Anthias, 2012) or Sarah Mahler and Patricia Pessar’s work on ‘gendered geographies of power’ (Mahler and Pessar, 2001). This panel wishes to dedicate specific attention to gendered and classed analyses of transnational citizenship practices, social remittances and circular/return migration.

Main topics

This call invites papers, in French or English, which consider (notably but not only) the following topics:

  •  circular/return migration, and notably intersectional analyses of these migration patterns;
  •  forms of social remittances, case studies and typologies ;
  •  impacts of new technologies on social and political remittances ;
  •  social remittances of migrants and development issues ;
  •  social remittances as multidirectional phenomenon between society of departure and society of residence ;
  •  transnational citizenship practices and their social, civic and political implications for societies of origin ;
  •  circular/return migration in the light of issues around nationality, citizenship and dual citizenship;
  •  the implications of emigration and circular/return migration on non-migrant individuals/ families/ communities.

All social sciences disciplines are relevant to this call and interdisciplinary approaches are of particular interest.

Submission guidelines

Proposals, of 500 words maximum, should be sent

by December, 10th, 2017 

to Hicham Jamid (hichamjmd@gmail.com) and Nina Sahraoui (nina.sahraoui@gmail.com) and indicate name of author, current position and affiliation. Proposals should specify the main research question, the theoretical framework as well as the methodology followed for the collection of the data mobilised in the paper.

Practical information (to be found on the conference website)

This panel is organised in the framework of the APAD (the Association for the Anthropology of Social Change and Development) 2018 conference ‘Migration, Development and Citizenship’ to be held in Roskilde, Denmark, 23-25 Mai 2018.

The Conference languages are English and French.

Registration: Full rate for standard registration: €160. The standard registration fee includes documentation, lunch, coffee-breaks, cocktail and APAD fees for 2018 (+ including one issue of Anthropology & development, APAD journal).

Concession rate (APAD members): €120.

Some grants will be available for African scholars. APAD will organise a writing workshop in March 2018 for young African scholars with a selected paper.

For more information: http://apad-association.org/en/2018-conference/

Panel conveyors 

  • Hicham JAMID, PhD Candidate, LISE-CNRS Cnam-Paris & ORMES, University Ibn Zohr, Agadir, hichamjmd@gmail.com
  • Nina SAHRAOUI, Post-doctoral Research Associate, European University Institute, Florence, nina.sahraoui@gmail.com


  • Anthias, F. (2012) Transnational Mobilities, Migration Research And Intersectionality Towards A Translocational Frame, Nordic Journal of Migration Research, 2(2), pp.102-110
  • Charbit, M. (2007) Transferts, retours et développement, données, concepts et problématiques, In : Petit, V. (dir.), (2007),  Migrations internationales de retour et pays d’origine, les collections du Centre de Population et Développement, Paris, pp. 57-85, 208 p.
  • Collyer, M.  (2014) “Inside Out? Directly Elected ‘Special Representation’ of Emigrants in National Legislatures and the Role of Popular Sovereignty.” Political Geography 41: 64–73
  • Glick Schiller N., Basch L., Szanton Blanc C. (1995) ‘From Immigrant to Transmigrant: Theorizing Transnational Migration’, Anthropological Quarterly, Vol. 68, No. 1 (Jan.), pp. 48-63
  • Levitt, P. (1998) Social Remittances: Migration Driven Local-Level Forms of Cultural Diffusion. International Migration Review, Vol. 32, No. 4 (Winter), pp. 926-948
  • Levitt, P. and Lamba-Nieves, D. (2013) Rethinking social remittances and the migration-development nexus from the perspective of time. Migration Letters, Volume: 10, No: 1, pp. 11 – 22
  • Mahler Sarah J. & Pessar Patricia R. (2001) Gendered Geographies of Power: Analyzing Gender Across Transnational Spaces, Identities, 7:4, 441-459
  • Østergaard-Nielsen E., “The Politics of Migrants' Transnational Political Practices”, International Migration Review, Vol. 37, No. 3, (Fall, 2003), pp. 760-786
  • Petit, V. (dir.), (2007),  Migrations internationales de retour et pays d’origine, Les collections du Centre de Population et Développement, Paris, pp. 57-85


  • Roskilde, Denmark


  • Sunday, December 10, 2017


  • Migrations de retour, transferts sociaux, transnationalisme, pratiques citoyennes transnationales, genre, migrations circulaires, développement,citoyenneté et de double nationalité


  • Hicham JAMID
    courriel : hichamjmd [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Nina Sahraoui
    courriel : nina [dot] sahraoui [at] gmail [dot] com

Information source

  • Hicham JAMID
    courriel : hichamjmd [at] gmail [dot] com

To cite this announcement

« Return migration, social remittances and transnational citizenship practices », Conference, symposium, Calenda, Published on Wednesday, November 15, 2017, https://calenda.org/421582

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