Fieldwork-based case studies will be conducted in six to seven countries from around the world representing different development-migration trajectories and ‘phases’ (drawing on transition theory) over the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. These cases will provide in-depth insights into the evolution of mobility systems consisting of distinct, multi-layered but functionally interrelated forms of internal and international migration, and how their distinct evolution can be explained from variations in broader development processes.

Complementing the country-level analyses, local within-country case studies will provide vital evidence on the long-term evolution of complex migration and wider mobility systems, and how this evolution can be explained from the character of and variations in broader development processes. Please scroll over the map provided below to learn more about the reason we have selected each country.

Brazil – Simona Vezzoli and Naiara Rodriguez Peña

Brazil offers the entry-way into several forms of migration and transitions: colonial settlement, and large labour migrations from Southern Europe, internal mobility and displacement of indigenous populations, emigration to OECD countries, diverse forms of mobility across the Amazon basin and recent migration from the Central and South American countries and Europe.

Ethiopia – Kerilyn Schewel and Asmamaw Legass Bahir

Ethiopia offers a unique case of a country that has never been colonised and experiences relatively low levels of international migration despite (or because of) a high incidence of poverty and a long history of authoritarianism and displacement. Recently, emigration (to the Gulf and elsewhere) seems to increase rapidly on par with larger development processes.

Italy – Simona Vezzoli

In Italy, migration has been central to nation-building and where the lack of opportunities and internal income differences have generated continuous internal migration and large emigration over the last two centuries. While Italy’s recent transition to a net immigration country as a major transformation, the recent economic crisis points to the potentially ephemeral nature of such transitions as emigration regains strength.

Morocco – Hein de Haas, Katharina Natter, Mohamed Berriane and Dominique Jolivet

Morocco is a quintessential ‘labour frontier’ country (cf. Skeldon 1997) and has recently overtaken Turkey as the prime source of non-EU immigration. While at least 10 percent of its population is living in Europe, emigration rates have recently declined and Morocco is increasingly becoming a destination country for sub-Saharan migrants and refugees, possible heralding its future transition into a country of settlement (de Haas 2014).

The Netherlands – Hein de Haas, Siebert Wielstra, Sonja Fransen

The Netherlands has as a rich migration history linked to its central position as a small, open trading nation, its colonial empire, as well as its central role in slavery and the recruitment of Europeans and Asians. While in the post-War years many Dutch participated in government-sponsored emigration schemes (e.g. to Australia), post-colonial migrations of Dutch-Indonesians and Surinamese and immigration of workers and their families from Turkey and Morocco transformed the Netherlands into a high-immigration country.

French Guiana – Simona Vezzoli, Mathis Osburg

French Guiana is an overseas department and region of France in South America that enables the study of mobility in relation to rapid but deep processes of socio-economic development within the wider context of France’s established political and bureaucratic stability. Until the second half of the 20th century, mobility remained tied to the relocation of convicts from metropolitan France and the promotion of rural agricultural activities. After the Second World War, the expansion of the French state’s services in this peripheral overseas department has contributed to rapid urbanization, increasing immigration from countries in the region, and long-distance internal migration to metropolitan France.