Cfp: L’argent des migrations/The Money of Migrations, Revue Autrepart (details below). Deadline for submitting paper proposals: January 31st, 2013. Submissions should include a title and an abstract (max. 1 000 characters). Selected full papers should be sent on April 15th, 2013.
The Money of Migrations
Isabelle Chort* and Hamidou Dia**
Research interests linked to international migrations are constantly renewed. Different research fields focus on the different aspects of migrations: the formation of migrant networks, the circulation between continents, the use of new technologies, the link between mobilities and development, identity issues… One of the least documented aspects of migrations is their financial implications, besides a few studies mainly conducted by economists. Although data on financial flows and studies on investments are available for a number of countries of origin, a global view of the phenomenon is lacking.
However, migrant remittances interest authorities in both origin and host countries. Remittances contribute to improve the economic situation of the former by creating jobs and alleviating public expenses, but they also directly fund public facilities usually provided by public authorities: schools, health infrastructures, agricultural equipments for community cooperatives, etc. As for the latter, migrants remittances can be mobilized within cooperation policies with the countries of origin and are coveted by banks and money transfer operators; therefore, those migrants who are largely stigmatized in public speeches and encouraged or forced to go home, are rehabilitated as actors of development and sources of profit, thus gaining a form of public recognition. As a consequence, thanks to the money they earn, migrants feature in national and international policies, beyond mere agreements on circulation, stay and residence.
In this issue, we intend to investigate this object further, going beyond immediate expectations of politicians in home and host countries thanks to scientific questioning, shedding new light on the money of migrations: different points will be explored in order to provide new insights into this reality, and a comparative approach will be adopted.
We know little yet about the identity of migrants who send remittances. One of the objectives of this issue is to determine the characteristics of money senders and draw their sociological profile. We are especially interested in individual and collective (mostly in-family) strategies to mobilize and transfer these funds.
Given the volume of remittance flows, the question of remittance channels is legitimate. Although they are documented in a few articles, information on this question is still incomplete, in particular because of the large share of informal transfers.
Equally crucial is the question of how and through which networks (based on family, friendship, political or client links?) money circulates once received in the country of origin. Although researchers study the allocation of remittances to aggregate expenditures, processes resulting in conditions and decisions of allocation are seldom empirically documented. Practices must be described and analyzed depending on the context in which they occur.
An issue on this question cannot ignore the link between remittances and development in origin countries. The literature on this question is particularly rich, in particular in economics, but is often faced with, and most of the time fails to solve, the issue of migrant selection : migrants have particular characteristics that make them differ from non migrants. The analysis of the impact of migrations must account for migrant selection by assessing the counterfactual situation, as a basis for comparison: what would be the income of the migrant and his origin household had he not migrated ? We will try to review the state-of-the-art on the link between remittances and development on the different continents. We will also question the relevance of the development issue: couldn’t it be a political or theoretical concern artificially applied to practices resulting from different logics that should thus be brought to light?
We will finally try to explore a less documented area: South-South and South-North remittances in particular through student migrations. This is indeed an important aspect of the transnational circulation of money: some families in developing countries spend a lot to finance their children’s studies in prestigious institutions in other developing or developed countries. The importance of South-South migration flows leads us to explore the resulting remittances, always comparing them to the transfers sent from the North.
Contributions from the following areas are particularly welcome: sociology, anthropology, economics, demography, political-sciences, history, geography.
Deadline for submitting paper proposals: January 31st, 2013
Submissions should include a title and an abstract (max. 1 000 characters). Selected full papers should be sent on April 15th, 2013
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