The ESF exploratory workshop on migration studied whether and how the implementation of specific policies affects the plans and actions of individual migrants (and their families). It brought together sociologists, political scientists, anthropologists, and international relations experts who work in the area of migration studies at both sides of the Atlantic. Each scientist presented a pilot case study looking at how much information migrants have on migration management/control and migrant integration policies; whether they take into account such policies and what are the results of this ‘interaction’ between migrants’ own plans and needs and the actual policies and in particular their implementation.

The hypothesis was put forward that we can conceptualise of ‘nodal points’ that mark the time and place in the migration process when a migrant ‘meets’ a migration policy. We had also put forward the idea that there are actual nodal points, missed nodal points (when the migrant does not know and hence ignores the policy) and ignored nodal points (when the migrant knows about the policy and feels its effect but chooses deliberately to ignore it and finds ways to circumvent it). We also considered the different types of migration in each country and checked whether different types of migrants (labour migration, family reunification, temporary work, commuting migration, legal vs. irregular migration) were affected by different policies.

The case studies presented in the workshop were organised into four Migration systems: East-West Europe, North Africa-Europe, Middle East-Europe, and Central-North America. Within each system one migrant group was chosen as the reference group (with the exception of the East-West Europe system where two groups were studied). The case studies included the following migrant populations and migrant receiving countries: Poles in Greece and Polls in Germany; Ukrainians in Italy, Hungary and Poland; Moroccans in France, Spain and Belgium; Turks in the UK and the Netherlands; Mexicans in the US (California and Missouri) and Canada.

Convenor: Dr. Anna Triandafyllidou