The Complexity of Global Migrations

4 April 2018. From 18:30 | Workshop | English | IEMed, Barcelona
slideshow image

Global migrations are an overwhelmingly complex phenomenon, involving millions of unique individuals and multifaceted social, economic, political and technological infrastructures. Faced with such complexity, we are forced to simplify in order to understand. A popular quote about science, attributed to Albert Einstein, says that “everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” The social scientists working on migration should use this observation to reflect upon the work they do but shift the focus from degrees of simplicity to ways of simplifying. The choices that they make along the way reflect their views about what is essential and what is not; these choices are subjective and contextual, perhaps political, and open to challenge.
Jørgen Carling identifies up to seven possible reasons that may motivate people to emigrate such as having the possibility and aspiration to do so; the emergence of the opportunity to do so; whether it is a chosen or forced option; that the pros add more than the cons; that it is socially acceptable and legally viable; that it is seen as something intrinsically or instrumental valuable, or simply that one can emigrate for the reasons that immigrants are admitted to host countries. But from the study of the social sciences of global migration, why is there a rise of migration?



Juan Carlos Triviño

Researcher Universitat Pompeu Fabra

Jørgen Carling

Professor Peace Research Institute Oslo



slideshow image