Special Issue "International Migration and Sustainable Development: Globalization, Move-In Move-Out Migration and Translocal Development"


A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 November 2013)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Annelies Zoomers

International Development Studies (IDS), Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University, P.O. box 80115, 3508 TC Utrecht, The Netherlands
Website: http://www.uu.nl/staff/EBZoomers
Interests: sustainable livelihoods; land policies and the impact of privatization, tourism and international migration

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The aim of the special issue International Migration and Sustainable Development: Globalization, Move-In Move-Out Migration and Translocal Development is to analyse the link between globalization and move-in move-out migration, attempting to secure a better grasp of what this means in the context of sustainability/ sustainable development.
Starting point is that—along with globalization—new types of ‘place hopping’ are taking place. Examples of ‘hopping crowds’ are highly skilled academics (moving from university to university); business consultants integrating different localities in a single value chain; but also low-skilled workers contracted by far away mining companies or farmers. Other examples are people working as volunteers in the context of development projects; and residential tourists flying-in and out from sunny destination following the seasons.
Even though in migration research much has been written about transnational migrants, circular migrants and/or temporary migrants, and tourists, above-mentioned category of move-in move-out migrants is in many respects different. Rather than being ‘true’ transnationals (i.e., people being neither here nor there, finding themselves in several places at the same time), the majority are translocals—linked to particular localities and fully engaged within one particular enclave until returning to their home area. For the majority, movements are not ‘circular’—and cannot be described as tourists (i.e. temporarily leisured persons who voluntarily visits a place away from home for the purpose of experiencing a change): many of them work. The denomination ‘temporary migrant’ is not in line with the fact that organizations are recruiting people from a ‘permanent pool’; seen from the perspective of receiving spaces, it is a constant flow of people coming in—having a considerable footprint—even though the people involved are often not considered  part of ‘local’ community.

Through this collection we will show that move-in move out migration (and the institutions behind) plays a dominant role in creating a matrix of (new) links that connect people and places with other places and people elsewhere. According to Appadurai, globalisation creates landscapes of translocalities: ‘Such localities create complex conditions for the production and reproduction of locality in which ties of marriage, work, business and leisure weave together various circulating populations with kinds of “locals” to create neighbourhoods which belong in one sense to particular nation states, but are, from another point of view, what we might call translocalities’ ([1], p. 216). Globalisation, after all, is connecting people and places that are distant in space but linked in such ways that what happens in one place has direct bearing on the other.
Rather than producing transnational communities and spaces, move-in move-out migration is resulting in translocal patterns of development [2]. That is, while people are indeed more and more connected to others in different localities, including distant ones, the essence of this integration lies in linking ‘the local’ to ‘the local’ elsewhere and only partly in integration at the level of nation. Such new types of translocality will create new development opportunities, but also restrict people’s manoeuvring space to escape from poverty – or from ‘capability deprivation’.
In addition, we also aim to better understand whether – and under what circumstances move-in move out migration (and the translocal nature of development) slowly materialises in the form of corridors linking localities—the solidification of links between places and people of a more than occasional nature. As soon as patterns of linkages are established, this might result in investments which in the longer run might lead to self-enforcement and leading to path dependencies.
Finally, attention will be given to the question of to what extent there is an impact beyond the enclaves that are directly affected: Where move-in move-out migration result in change (e.g., displacement, rapid economic growth), it is not enough to make an assessment of the direct results – the effects should also be perceived in relation to what types of consequences take place outside of the direct sight. Given the importance of mobility, each change will produce changes that will ‘travel in space’, produce a whole chain of effects (indirect effects). It is important to develop a more dynamic view taking into account how develop will result in a dynamic space.

1. Appadurai, A. Modernity at Large; University of Minnesota Press: Minneapolis, USA, 1996.
2. Zoomers, A.; van Westen, G. (eds). Special Issue: Translocal development, development corridors and development chains. Int. Dev. Plann. Rev. 2011, 33, 377-509.

This special issue builds on the following hypotheses:
•    New types of move-in move out migration (i.e. non-local actors) are playing an important role in generating (new) patterns of translocal development
•    Based on the intensity and quality of these connections, new path-dependencies might arise. External connections (corridors) may serve as catalysts for innovations and (new) development trajectories, as well as conduits of lock-in in a subordinated and dependent development process.
•    An understanding of the implications of move-in move out migration require us to incorporate what happens at various locations simultaneously, rather than taking a space-bounded view where interventions take place.

Leading questions:
•    What are the characteristics/particularities of different types of move-in move-out migrants or ‘hopping crowds’ (Who are they? How do they move? What instiutions are behind?)
•    What are the results in terms of ‘translocal development’, ‘corridors’ or ‘development chains’?
•    What are the implications in terms of sustainability/sustainable development?

Number of words: 6000-8000 (max)

Prof. Dr. Annelies Zoomers
Guest Editor


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Published Papers (5 papers)

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Displaying article 1-5
p. 4106-4123
Sustainability 2013, 5(10), 4106-4123; doi:10.3390/su5104106
Received: 5 August 2013 / Revised: 7 September 2013 / Accepted: 10 September 2013 / Published: 25 September 2013
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p. 3665-3678
Sustainability 2013, 5(9), 3665-3678; doi:10.3390/su5093665
Received: 13 June 2013 / Revised: 5 August 2013 / Accepted: 15 August 2013 / Published: 27 August 2013
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p. 2856-2873
Sustainability 2013, 5(7), 2856-2873; doi:10.3390/su5072856
Received: 4 May 2013 / Revised: 10 June 2013 / Accepted: 19 June 2013 / Published: 27 June 2013
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p. 2644-2663
Sustainability 2013, 5(6), 2644-2663; doi:10.3390/su5062644
Received: 28 April 2013 / Revised: 6 June 2013 / Accepted: 7 June 2013 / Published: 18 June 2013
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p. 570-589
Sustainability 2013, 5(2), 570-589; doi:10.3390/su5020570
Received: 8 January 2013 / Revised: 21 January 2013 / Accepted: 28 January 2013 / Published: 4 February 2013
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Last update: 31 December 2013

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