Introduction: Understanding Migration Research (Across National and Academic Boundaries) in Europe

Maren Borkert, Alberto Martín Pérez, Sam Scott, Carla De Tona


In this introduction to the special issue we argue that migration is a phenomenon that shifts space and time. It is an ageless human strategy to improve life and could be defined as a natural behaviour of human beings. What makes migration a subject of investigation are processes like nation-state-building, Europeanisation, globalisation and economic polarisation, which problematise the free movement of people. Academic researchers have responded to the challenges associated with this by drawing upon a range of disciplines, gathering evidence from a variety of countries, and employing an array of methodological tools to examine the emergent and evolving processes and patterns of Europe's new migration. Nonetheless, one is still faced with bewildering diversity in terms of migrant flows and the minority communities that form from these. This complexity, we argue, presents a new challenge for European migration research, particularly to those researchers attempting to understand patterns and processes of migration at a pan-European level and/or entering the field for the first time. The collection is an attempt to explore these challenges from different national and disciplinary perspectives and this introduction is designed to set the scene for this project.
URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs060339


Europe; migration; qualitative research; interdisciplinary


Copyright (c) 2006 Maren Borkert, Alberto Martín Pérez, Sam Scott, Carla De Tona

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