Migration and migration-related diversity are likely to remain key topics of the European policy and research agenda for the foreseeable future. This asks for a rethinking of the research agenda on migration, from a strategic perspective as well as from a research perspective. The objective of this chapter is to suggest applications that are useful in shaping the next funding opportunities for migration research, and to provide roadmaps for the optimisation of research efforts in order to avoid overlapping and, where possible, to close the gaps in the global spectrum and national initiatives on migration. Questions such as How to benefit from and get access to available knowledge and expertise? How to promote the accumulation of knowledge and expertise? and How to address gaps in knowledge? have been at the heart of the Horizon 2020 CrossMigration research project and have led to the definition of itsstrategic research agenda. This chapter considers the need for a future agenda on migration studies, addressing methodological issues; what funding to focus on; how funding might be organised; who should be involved in funding (and procedures); and what prospects there are for the future. We will also propose three strategies to consider how an agenda might help provide towards: (1) keeping the road safe for achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals in 2030, (2) contrasting current and future pandemic/epidemic disease, and (3) establishing a fruitful dialogue with the African scientific community.
Migration and migration-related diversity are likely to remain key topics of the European policy agenda for the foreseeable future. This asks for a rethinking of the agenda on migration, from a strategic perspective as well as from a research perspective. The objective of this chapter is to suggest applications that are useful in shaping the next funding opportunities for migration research, to provide roadmaps for the optimisation of research efforts in order to avoid overlapping, and, where possible, to close the gaps in the global spectrum and national initiatives on migration. Questions such as How to benefit from and get access to available knowledge and expertise? How to promote the accumulation of knowledge and expertise? and How to address gaps in knowledge? have been at the heart of the Horizon 2020 CrossMigration research project and have led to the definition of itsstrategic research agenda. This chapter considers the need for a future agenda on migration studies, addressing methodological issues such as: what funding to focus on; how funding might be organised; who should be involved in funding (and procedures); and what prospects there are for the future. We will also propose three strategies to consider how an agenda might help provide towards: (1) keeping the road safe for achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals in 2030, (2) contrasting current and future pandemic/epidemic disease, and (3) establishing a fruitful dialogue with the African scientific community.
Let us start with the general definition of a political agenda, namely “the list of subjects or problems to which governmental officials, and people outside the government closely associated with those officials, are paying some serious attention at any given time”, Kingdon (1995, p. 3). It is within a political agenda that a research agenda—a process consisting of exploration, engagement and prioritisation, integration, programming, implementation—is laid out in order to make explicit what are the requirements set out by the state for researchers to relate their studies to real-world issues in order to validate their research and access research funding allocated by a government. A research agenda is about assessing various research options, which in turn leads “to recommendations for a re-orientation of political decision-making” (Fischer et al., 2007, p. 501).
This chapter reflects on the methodological, conceptual, and epistemological challenges of engaging in cross-disciplinary research on migration with a long-term future agenda.Footnote 1 It elaborates on definitions (Sects. 29.1, 29.2, 29.3, 29.4 and 29.5) and concrete examples (Boxes 29.1, 29.2 and 29.3) with regard to tackling migration as a domain that ignites a dialogue between very diverse disciplines such as sociology, narratology, media-studies, ICT, political science, social psychology, religious studies, economics, human rights, cultural heritage, museum studies, and civil society organisations while using data available through research infrastructures, computational social science and digital humanities (Pozzo, 2021).
The ambition of this chapter is to map, synthetize, and make accessible academic literature on how to program research funding on migration studies, how to use them and to whom to address them (King & Lulle, 2016). The primary focus is on theories, concepts and methodological approaches concerning various facets of migration, including the drivers of migration, migration infrastructures, different migration flows, policies and migration-related diversity. Furthermore, the ambition is to guide the reader towards interaction with the other chapters of the handbook as well as with external sources. In fact, while bringing together literature in a coherent way, this chapter is linked to the Migration Research Hub, in order to provide suggestions for further reading (original articles and books) as well as for more empirical material on migration and diversity (datasets, graphs, algorithms).
Migration accompanies the whole history of civilisations, involving continuous relations and exchanges among cultures, hence translations through different linguistic, economic, political, and cultural contexts. The methodological approach we are looking into, however, is different from those of the studies which are all defined by disciplinary methodologies (see Salamońska (Chap. 26); Zapata-Barrero & Yalaz (Chap. 25); Kraler & Reichel (Chap. 27), all this volume). The idea is that research on migration ought not to be reduced to the emigration or immigration processes of populations or ethnic groups. Migration encompasses the whole history of civilisation, while considering continuous relations and reciprocal exchanges among diverse cultures, and thus translations (in their widest sense) of texts and modules from one to another context, be it linguistic, economic, political, or cultural.
2 What to Focus Research Funding On
Systematic mapping and synthesis of studies on migration shows that a lot of research has been done over the last decades. Funding programs and instruments from the past have played a key role in this. There are important opportunities to develop knowledge on migration further, by focusing on topics that are understudied as well as by promoting systematic knowledge accumulation of existing research. In the framework of CrossMigration, we proposed joint actions for the preparation of a Strategic Research Agenda based on a set of Key Knowledge Questions defined in a dialogue between researchers and policymakers, which have been considered, discussed, and integrated into the various drafts of the growing research agenda. Last but not least, the taxonomy of the Migration Research Hub proves to be useful for both funding agencies and researchers applying for funding in the area of migration and diversity. By focusing on the “Projects” button within the database, one can explore the topics which are most popular among funding organisations, and those which have not yet received much attention. Thus, this classification system could help scholars to propose innovative research avenues when applying for research grants, while it can help research funders avoid repeatedly funding projects on the same topics, making them more aware of the research knowledge gaps and where there is need for financial support to initiate or expand research.
3 Mainstreaming Research on Migration into a Focus Area
Migration is not a stand-alone topic. It connects to broader themes such as climate change, economics, international relations, gender, social policies, and many more. This is why it is preferable to speak of research on migration rather than of migration research. There is a strong connection with and embedding of research on migration in research on other themes and areas in which migration plays a role. Looking at the experiences with Circular Economy, a Focus Area on migration would be an interesting model to look into. Focus areas cut across thematic boundaries and bring together contributions from various program parts to pursue a common objective and create sustained impact; they are endowed with a substantial budget to allow for work of sufficient scale, depth, and breadth. At issue is the phenomenon of migration in the sense of epochal mobility in its complex and articulated shape that embraces a series of aspects that are first and foremost socio-economic and cultural but have a substantial bearing on security, health-care, environmental, and nutritional issues.
Box 29.1: Tackling the Pandemics
How can we build multi-ethnic communities that are peaceful, supportive, free from racial tensions, religiously tolerant, and above all bioethically fair? The dynamics aimed at building and consolidating a right to health-care open to a full integration of immigrants, even the most enlightened and the most generous, are proving difficult. The reality is that ethnic integration, if it is difficult at the societal level, is infinitely more difficult at the ethical and bioethical level. It builds, in fact, a multifactorial process, which no one has yet been able to fully explore and which has the Gordian knot of identity at its centre.
A public debate on lessons learned from the first phases of COVID-19 management in connection to migration is currently taking place because the perception of a lack of coordination has emerged between political and scientific levels, institutional claim-makers and the media. The story of the spread of COVID-19 is instructive. If it is an absolute bioethical principle that of guaranteeing all patients the appropriate treatments, then the identification of the most appropriate treatment for each patient, of each ethnic group, opens lacerating and at present non-modular debates. This is why the countless projects, the endless debates, the noble wishes that have migratory dynamics at their core ring the ears of most of us, almost always empty. Which, of course, does not entail nor justify surrender attitudes towards what is now clearly the most complex problem of the first decades of the third millennium. A node that no algorithm will ever be able to control, because antagonistic, spiritual and material needs, individual and collective, are intertwined, rooted in history, which can no longer be proposed, and projected into illusory, ambiguous and problematic future paradigms. The pandemic invites to rethink Research and Innovation for a re-determination of the effectiveness of the exchange between the knowledge of scientists and the experiential knowledge of communities. Taking territories as reference, it is evident that local administrations must have management infrastructures (unimaginable before Covid-19) for the respect of the precautions of social distance and the tracking of positive cases. Today, the COVID-19 pandemic makes it urgent to work on participatory approaches that can boost community readiness for local COVID-19 management. As the emergency increases, so does the need for transparency. Today, local administrations must equip themselves with the management of infrastructures (unimaginable before COVID-19) for enforcing social distance and tracking positive cases.
Evidently, one of the tasks that migration researchers must take on is the determination of the Societal Readiness Levels, the levels of integration in society of new technologies, products and services (NewHORRIzon, 2020). In the case of natural disasters, and such is the pandemic, it is a question of activating social and cultural innovation processes that prepare communities to respond to catastrophic events in their territory (UNDRR, 2020) through access to data, participation in communities of practice, co-creation, reflection and inclusion (Pozzo et al., 2020). Keeping in mind the Syracuse Principles, it is necessary that the assessment of Technology Readiness Levels be integrated by the corresponding Societal Readiness Levels. Keeping in mind § 25 of the Siracusa Principles on the Limitation and Derogation of Provisions in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1985) it is necessary that Technology Readiness Levels (ISO, 2019) be accompanied by the corresponding Societal Readiness Levels (NewHORRIzon, 2020).
4 Globalizing Research on Migration
It is crucial to study the broader socio-economic and political circumstances in the countries of origin that lead to migration in the first place, explore migration processes, including transit migration, and look at migrant-receiving countries in Europe, North America, as well as in Brazil and China, together with sending countries in the Middle East and North Africa, Sahel, the Sub Saharan Africa, as well as countries in South America and Asia. In order to do so, voices from the Global South, also those of migrants themselves, should be included in creating a rich and diverse field of research. A strengthening of collaboration in research on migration, with non-European partners should be more encouraged. This includes partners from across the Mediterranean, but also partners from across Africa and Asia.
Box 29.2: Keeping the Road Safe towards the Sustainable Development Goals
It is becoming clear that COVID-19 ought not to undermine the work done so far to achieve SDGs 1 (No Poverty), 3 (Good Health), 4 (Education), 5 (Gender), 8 (Growth), 10 (Inequalities), and 16 (Peace). The challenges related to migration issues are based on the aim of contributing to a change in the mindset as regards a culture of inclusion and reflection in target groups active in social infrastructures such as education, life-long learning, healthcare, urban development and regeneration (UNSDSN, 2020). Today, the biggest challenge is given by the lack of a shared conceptualisation that is preventing the development of indicators to measure it that are crucial to plan, monitor and evaluate policies. For migrants settling down in adopted home countries, lack of inclusion and recognition, together with discrimination and racism, make inclusion processes challenging. Striving toward an ideal of unity in diversity in democracies necessitates an approach in which those one disagrees with are seen as legitimate others, not as enemies. Culture cannot be but plural, changing, adaptable, constructed. Inclusion and reflection are constructed whenever we are in contact with other human beings, regardless of where they come from.
5 Research Infrastructures
A considerable challenge is represented by the passage from data science to data humanities. Research infrastructures are common goods. They are planned, built, and managed for serving vast research communities, which operate in diversified sectors on the principles of open access and competition. Research infrastructures are facilities that provide resources and services for research communities to conduct research and foster innovation; they can be used beyond research, e.g., for education or public services and they may be single-sited, distributed, or virtual. The main goal is to deal with every aspect of science and technology related to this field in order to offer innovative solutions to current and future societal challenges. As a matter of fact, researchers in the social sciences and humanities are confronted with increasingly complex and large amounts of data in highly interdisciplinary settings.
European research infrastructures today are of different kinds. In Europe, starting communities can apply for admission in the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures Roadmap, which currently lists about 50 projects and landmarks and is updated every 2 years. Formed in 2002 at the behest of the European Council, ESFRI supports a coherent and strategy-led approach to policymaking on research infrastructures in Europe; it facilitates multilateral initiatives leading to the better use and development of research infrastructures, at EU and international level. Scientific communities can apply for substantial funding within Europe’s framework programs for research and innovation. Launched 30 years ago to bring together expertise from across the European Community, the framework program has become a major part of research cooperation in Europe, growing progressively in size, scope and ambition; it has evolved from supporting cross-border collaboration in research and technology to now encouraging a truly European coordination of activities and policies. Their governance and legal status are structured in accordance with the provisions established for each multiannual financial period.
Currently, the European Union funds nine research infrastructures proposed by communities within the social sciences and humanities that are up and running, which are monitored by the ESFRI Strategy Working Group on Social and Cultural Innovation:
CESSDA ERIC (Council of European Social Science Data Archives) is an umbrella organisation for European Social Science data archives, which has been active since the 1970s to improve access to data for researchers and students, and to enhance the exchange of data and technologies among data organisations (link to: https://www.clarin.eu/).
CLARIN ERIC (Common Language Resources and Technology Infrastructure) is a large- scale pan-European collaborative effort to create, coordinate and make language resources and technologies available and readily usable (link to: https://www.cessda.eu/).
DARIAH ERIC (Digital Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities) is the first permanent European digital infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities (link to: https://www.dariah.eu/).
EHRI (European Holocaust Research Infrastructure) listed as an ESFRI Project, supports the Holocaust research community by building a digital infrastructure and facilitating human networks (link to: https://www.ehri-project.eu/).
E-RIHS (European Research Infrastructure for Heritage Science) creates synergies for a multidisciplinary approach to heritage interpretation, preservation, documentation and management (link to: http://www.e-rihs.eu/).
ESS ERIC (European Social Survey) aims not only at providing an academically robust way of knowing Europe, but also at contributing to the scientific community’s endeavor to develop, test and implement methods of reliable social measurement (link to: https://www.europeansocialsurvey.org/).
OPERAS (Design for Open access Publications in European Research Area for Social Sciences and Humanities) coordinates and pools university-led scholarly communication activities in Europe in the Social Sciences and Humanities to enable open science as standard practice. It is an H2020 funded project that operates in the ESFRI’s high strategic potential area of intervention Digital Service for Open Science Research (link to: https://operas.hypotheses.org/).
SHARE ERIC (Survey on Health, Ageing, and Retirement in Europe) aims at elaborating a statistical survey of lifestyle, health, economics and social life in over 50 European countries (link to: http://www.share-project.org/home0.html).
RESILIENCE (Religious Studies Research Infrastructure) collects historical documents and current information on global theological-political issues while fostering interfaith dialogue. It is an H2020 funded project that operates in the ESFRI’s high strategic potential area of intervention Religious Studies (link to: https://reires.eu/).
Migration researchers use research infrastructures to confer data, models, and scholarly outcomes to a number of communities—and receive data, models, and scholarly outcomes from the same as well as from other communities. In fact, besides the nine infrastructures we mentioned, the other ESFRI working groups (Energy, Environment, Health and Food, and Physical Sciences & Engineering) embed six further infrastructures that might be involved in cross-disciplinary research on migration:
SoBigData (Social Mining and Big Data Ecosystem) provides an integrated ecosystem for ethic-sensitive scientific discoveries and advanced applications of social data mining on the various dimensions of social life, as recorded by big data (link to: https://kdd.isti.cnr.it/project/sobigdata-social-mining-and-big-data-ecosystem).
EMSO (European Multidisciplinary Seafloor and Water Column Observatory) ensures long-term monitoring of environmental processes related to the interaction between the geosphere, biosphere and hydrosphere, including natural hazards. It is composed of several deep-seafloor and water column observatories (link to: http://emso.eu/).
IAGOS (In-Service Aircraft for a Global Observing System) conducts long-term observations of atmospheric composition, aerosol and cloud particles on a global scale from commercial aircraft of internationally operating airlines (link to: http://iagos-data.fr/).
LifeWatch ERIC (E-Science and Technology Infrastructure for Research on Biodiversity and Ecosystems) connects biodiversity data, observatories and researchers from all over the continent (link to: https://www.lifewatch.eu/).
BBMRI ERIC (Biobanking and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure) biobanks are essential for the understanding of the diversity of human diseases, biological samples and corresponding data are required for the development of any new drug or diagnostic array and are critical for the advancement in health research (link to: https://www.bbmri-eric.eu/).
EUBI ERIC (European Research Infrastructure for Biomedical Imaging) provides open physical user access to a broad range of state-of-the-art technologies in biological and bio- medical imaging for life scientists (link to: https://www.eurobioimaging.eu/).
Judging from the possible relevance of these infrastructures to research on migrations, it becomes evident that migration as a field of research ignites a holistic approach that embraces all four aspects of sustainability—cultural, social, environmental, and economic (Pozzo & Virgili, 2017).
6 Filling the Gaps in Research on Migration
The mapping and synthesis of research on migration (see Chap. 1 of this volume) has revealed that although much work has been done, specific urgent topics still remain understudied. It is useful to target funding instruments at different levels.
Macro factors and micro-level migration decision-making. Our understanding of how migratory decisions are made in the real world remains rather limited. More specifically, how do macro-level factors (e.g., development, conflict, climate change) shape micro-level aspirations to migrate? Analysing how structural and individual factors interact is necessary to understand why people move. This is an area particularly interesting for development, foreign policy and humanitarian actors, as they try to better assess how their interventions impact migration and forced displacement. Amongst other disciplines, behavioral economics and social psychology could provide much insight on how actors take decisions; whether to migrate, where to go to (or from), how to migrate, when to migrate, etc.
How do government interventions influence the drivers of migration? Governments consider influencing the drivers of irregular migration and forced displacement as part of its strategic objectives but key questions remain on how a state can leverage its instruments and whether its objectives are realistic and coherent (see Chap. 3 (this volume) and Key Knowledge Questions on Migration Drivers). Besides, this questioning needs to extend to other migration flows (e.g., how European interventions influence students who wish to come to Europe).
What are the profiles of migrants arriving, what categorisations are used, and what are the effects of policies on these categories? Policies often distinguish between different types of migration flows, and policymakers need data and analysis on the profiles of newcomers to design adequate migration, asylum and integration policies (see Chap. 5 (this volume) and Key Knowledge Questions on Migration Forms). However, more research is required on how these categories work out in practice, to what extent they reflect the different profiles of migrants (i.e., mixed migration), and also what the effects of policies are on these categories or flows. It is important to study not only the effects of migration policies, but also the general social and economic policies (i.e., welfare) on both internal and external migration flows. Studying mobility would be beneficial for exploring policy implications more comprehensively. In Europe (see Chap. 6 (this volume) and Key Knowledge Questions on the External Dimension of EU Migration Governance). More specifically, a future agenda ought to examine what are the implications of the recent large scale refugee intake for the upcoming family mobility; the new geographies of labor migration; what role changes in wage differentials play in both; what are the factors affecting changes in migration temporalities (permanent, temporary, circular, seasonal, short-term, etc.). How these are affected by uncertainties and exclusion.
Integration. Migration is an important factor in increasing cultural, ethnic, and religious diversity within receiving societies. Migration poses questions of social and cultural (not only economic) integration, raises tensions about dominant values or prevailing traditions, stresses the limits of the institutional make up of receiving countries with the quest of accommodating new populations with different cultures and needs.
Migration infrastructures. There is a comparably strong focus on human smugglers and traffickers in migration studies. Compared to this, there is less research on regular agents such as work recruitment agencies, student mobility consultants or marriage agents, which is surprising when taking into account how many (regular) migrants use their services. Also, digital migration studies are an emerging field of interest. Finally, there is little research on the interface of migration and tourism or migration and travel logistics. Notably, means of transportation, such as carriers, air(ports) or bus and train stations are widely neglected in migration research (see Chap. 4 (this volume) and Key Knowledge Questions on Migration Infrastructures).
Focusing on decision-making in migration governance. There has been significant research on structure of migration and diversity policymaking, at the European, national, regional, and local level (see Key Knowledge Questions on the future of the Schengen Area and the European Common Asylum System). However, much less is known of how governance actors take decisions in real world settings. On top of focusing on evaluation of policy outcomes, it is interesting to focus on policy decision-making. This can lead to important contributions to the quality of migration governance, while covering topics such as evidence-based policymaking, how to cope with social complexity, how to cope with contestation and politicisation, how to cope with incident-driven politics, etc.
7 How to Focus Research Funding?
The following section looks into how to focus research funding in Europe and all over the world, including the use of funding instruments. Especially, it considers the community response to the way migration related calls for research and innovation actions as well as coordination and support actions will be posted within the Horizon Europe Global Challenge Cluster 2 “Culture, Creativity and Inclusive Society”.
A survey within the European community of researchers on migration has shown that what has been proposed so far is not sufficient. What the community asks to the European Commission and the governments of Member States and Associated Countries is a new approach for a future agenda, which might well serve as a first step in the direction of new alignment schemes for streamlining research efforts among national/regional and international research activities on migration. Especially, it appears necessary to go beyond methodological nationalism and for defragmentation (Wimmer & Glick Schiller, 2002).
At issue is evaluating and mapping initiatives suitable for supporting coordinated research on migration at the European and international level. Public-to-public networks align national strategies helping to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of public research efforts. Public-to-public networks include ERA-NETs, Article 185 initiatives as well as Joint Programming Initiatives. These instruments are essential for funding future research efforts, as indicated by CrossMigration, in as far as they allow the European Union, in implementing its multiannual framework programs, to make provision for participation in research and development programmes run by several Member States, in agreement with the Member States concerned, including participation in the structures created for the execution of those programs. They are actions designed to support coordinated national research and innovation programs that allow implementation of joint programs of activities, ranging from research and innovation projects to coordination and networking activities, as well as training activities, demonstration and dissemination activities, support to third parties etc.
Organizing knowledge and using knowledge-based evidence for policy design and implementation requires (1) coordination with currently operative ERA-NETs (funding networks established towards topping-up funding of single joint-calls for transnational research and innovation. This is done in selected areas with high European added-value and Horizon 2020 relevance) related to migration: NORFACE-New Opportunities for Research Funding Agency Cooperation in Europe, HERA-Humanities in the European Research Area; (2) Joint Programming as an integrating mechanism across research initiatives and across research; (3) the European Joint Partnerships; (4) Long-term envisaging of including research on migration within the art. 185 TFE (which allows the EU to participate in research programs jointly undertaken by several EU countries) initiative PRIMA-Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area, the most ambitious joint program to be undertaken in the frame of Euro-Mediterranean cooperation.
Joint Initiatives. These years are witnessing the emergence of the European Partnership model, the novel and comprehensive EC funding instrument for EU R&I Partnerships, which is expected to replace in the next EU R&I Framework program 2021–2027 Horizon Europe the toolbox currently in use for funding public-public and public-private partnerships. In fact, the new European Partnerships can implement a logic of intervention similar to the JPIs, even if they are a financing tool and not a strategic approach. CrossMigration has followed closely the process started in November 2016 (ERAC, 2016) towards the establishment of a Joint Programming Research Initiative on Migrants, Migration and Integration by the High-Level Group for Joint Programming (GPC), which contributes to the preparation of the debates and decisions of the Competitiveness Council on joint programming. Completed in March 2017 (ERAC, 2017), the document issued by GPC ad-hoc Task Force puts the emphasis on the need of a Joint Programming Initiative for implementing the required strategic approach to EU research on migration (ERAC, 2017).
Coordination and Support Actions. CSAs that would engage specifically with bringing together research results, distilling them, and coming up with new findings that would have a direct relevance for policy development. CSAs consist primarily of accompanying measures such as standardisation, dissemination, awareness-raising and communication, networking, coordination or support services, policy dialogues and mutual learning exercises and studies, including design studies for new infrastructures and may also include complementary activities of strategic planning, networking and coordination between programs in different countries. Two coordination and support actions have been set up for research on migration, namely a social platform such as RESOMA and the IMISCOE Migration Research Hub.
More responsive funding structures. The definition of funding programs currently takes a very significant amount of time. This makes it difficult to bring together experts and do research on more immediate topics on the agenda. In recent years, funding schemes have favoured either short technical assistance projects conducted by small teams of experts or long large-scale research projects by large consortiums of institutions. This leaves a gap for medium-scale medium-duration projects by medium-size teams to produce more targeted and faster results. This suggests that further diversification of funding schemes would be beneficial. It is to be expected that funding structures could become more responsive by providing, besides longer and long-term oriented research projects, also shorter and smaller short-term oriented projects. This enables the use of knowledge and research for more immediate issues on the policy agenda, and it could be a stepping stone towards longer term projects.
Enhancing findability and accessibility. Funding programs are built on what is already there. This not only prevents overlaps in research, it also promotes systematic knowledge accumulation and it enables a focus on areas that really need more or new research. The Migration Research Hub provides a crucial instrument for taking stock of and reviewing existing work, before setting out and targeting new research.
The Process of Defining Research Funding. Stakeholders of a research agenda are Ministries, Research Funding Organisations, Research Performing Organisations, Universities, companies, SMEs, unions, NGOs. Stakeholders could be involved, in different capacities, in the definition of sustainable funding programs for the future.
Cooperation with non-research stakeholders. In order to gain a comprehensive and deep understanding of the multitude of aspects relevant for migration, it is important to foster collaboration with the civil society, policymakers and practitioners, and business at local, national and international level. These actors pose knowledge internal to their practical involvement with the issues of migration, which is not immediately accessible to the academic researchers. However, given that stakeholders do not always have time to reflect on the use of the knowledge beyond their immediate every day work aims, it is important to stress that collaboration between academic researchers and practitioners is a broader sense could be mutually beneficial to gain a more nuanced picture on how migration is played out in wider contexts of social reality.
Cooperation with developing countries. In order to grasp the global aspect of migration, cooperation with partners from developing countries is crucial. We can only understand migration better when we understand the root causes of this migration better. And we believe the best way to develop such knowledge is by collaborating with partners in countries of arrival of migrants, such as in Europe, North America, as well as Brazil and China, together with sending countries in the Middle East and North Africa (Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria), Sahel (Mali), Sub Saharan Africa (Senegal, Guinea, Mali, Côte d’Ivoire, Benin, Congo), as well as countries in South America (Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Venezuela) and Asia (Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Philippines).
Structural collaboration with the scholarly community. Collaborations within the migration scholarly community can be of strong mutual benefice to enhance overview of and accessibility to available research, to promote opportunities for knowledge accumulation, and to foster the likelihood of research being used by stakeholders. Think of the role scholars play for the development of humanitarian corridors as a government practice mixed with private sponsorship, as bottom-up actions that aim to create legal channels, in particular as regards highly vulnerable people, or think of the role they might play for interreligious dialogue, globally, as an identity element and bridge with the country of origin and in receiving societies through dynamics of resilience and possible integration for migrants.
Box 29.3: What Are African Researchers on Migration Asking?
Taking into account intra-African migration and international cooperation on migration policies, there is a problem of taking into account the work of African scholars and their views on migration, hence the recommendation for establishing an African research centre on migration. Hence, the need to adopt open science for open innovation in order to obtain a new product, which brings about the invitation to researchers to face it and ask governments to facilitate freedom of mobility on the basis of research. On 26–27 February 2020 at Université Cheikh Anta Diop in Dakar a meeting took place of experts from Brazil, France, Italy, Norway, Portugal, and the United Kingdom with African scientists from Morocco, Senegal, Guinea, Mali, Benin, and Congo. The question was posed of the irrationality of migration. There is a need of improving measures and management through the cultural re-contextualisation of the migrating planet. There is a need of contrasting the hegemony of migration studies which mainly engage the points of view and concepts of the countries of the north. Cultural migration mobilizes a plurality of factors, among other historical traditions, religious beliefs, imaginary or social models but also the normative and organisational structures, the media structures that inspire migration. The culture of migration is based on the migration imaginary, under which is meant the scene of the individual and collective representation of migration experience. Two factors come into play: (a) persuasive communication, linked to new media (social networks), highlighting the elements of migratory success and (b) dissuasive communication practiced by traditional media (television and radio), which focus on the elements of dangers and unsuccessful migration. This is why governments ought to define issues for cooperation on migration research around the digital economy and local development. Other elements that explain the connection of migrants with religions come into play, especially its resilience when other modes of integration are possible. Religious communities often develop programs that support and accompany migrants in their host countries such as education programs and food-banks.
Two types of actors appear: not-for-profit actors (return migrants, relatives, returnees) who are active in departure areas, and for-profit actors (transporters, smugglers, police, coaxers) who are active in places of transit and arrival. Third, the phenomenon of return migration from Europe and North America to Senegal calls for the acknowledgment of invisible migrations. They are Europeans and Americans who define themselves as expatriates, not as migrants, and who Senegalese authorities do not consider as migrants. The attractiveness of Senegal is to be sought in the crisis in the West, the hardening of conditions in Morocco, the monetary differential, but also professional advantages. Finally, irregular migration flows to Europe over the past 5 years evoke the ineffectiveness of European migration policies. The awareness campaigns, the externalization of the border of the European Union and the bilateral agreements on migration are unable to stop migration flows in a context of globalization, as long as Europe remains a fortress.
The main question is: how do migrant remittances impact the living conditions of original households? Migrants’ transfers and living conditions of original households can be considered in the case study of the city of Kinshasa. The data mobilized come from the 2007 MAFFE survey, which shows that 67% of Congolese migration goes mainly to South Africa, Angola, and Congo Brazzaville. Only 29% of migratory flows are directed to Europe (Belgium, France and Germany) and 3% to America. With regard to the drivers of migration, economic reasons, family reunification, higher education play a very important role. However, the analysis of socio-demographic characteristics shows that the average age of migration lies between 20 and 29 years. The likelihood of remittances depends on the continent of residence of the migrant. Migrants based in Europe transfer more funds but investments are rare. Women return more money than men. In any case, the effectiveness of migration on the living conditions of the family of origin seems to be confirmed.
Return and reintegration are currently major axes of migration policies, none of which have been effective yet, for the number of return migrants has not increased. Their ineffectiveness is linked to several elements: (a) no harmonization of the intervention packages proposed by the European States; (b) resources used vary from country to country; (c) each country has its own package compared to the return; (d) migration policies also show limits in the context of monitoring implementation actions. An interesting case study is national migration policies in Mali, for Mali is importantly marked by intra-African mobility. Economic crises and monetary policies affect migration and the settlement of Malians outside their country. The economic precariousness of the population creates the dependence of families on migration-related money transfers. Associative actors also intervene in the management of migration, by setting up dissuasive campaigns, of a think tank on migration with migrants or through the NGOisation of the fight against irregular migration. Mali’s national migration policies testify the desire to improve knowledge, while strengthening the role of civil society in supporting the diaspora in order to derive economic benefits. The Réseau Migration et Développement reported on the difficulties of gaining access to funding experienced by national NGOs, which are forced to turn to international NGOs. This condition is a challenge for researchers who are capable of combining research and field-work in which they are actors. Researchers can contribute to a paradigm-shift on migration in Senegal and in the world. The Ministère de l’Économie, des Finances et du Plan du Sénégal (link to: http://www.finances.gouv.sn/) is coordinating the process of drawing up Senegal’s national migration policy, pointed out that the Senegalese migration policy currently being validated is a key issue in as far as it is about to end 55 years of political vacuum. The Maghreb Sahel Migrant Network highlighted the fact that migration policies in sub-Saharan Africa are influenced by European policies that encourage the containment of migratory flows. This explains most of the problems of migration management in Africa. In this context, the European Union ought to review its development programs and projects in Africa, when it has become clear that they do not benefit at all the young people who continue to prefer leaving their homes.
8 Conclusion: What Prospects?
Overall, the future agenda on migration is coming about through different steps taken to address research gaps and ensure longitudinal perspective in areas that are of high interest for policymakers. Although crisis-oriented, the policy push for coherence is producing a shift towards a more systemic approach to migration studies, for more organic, wide-ranging and policy-relevant research results on migration. This effort coincides with strategic trends in research programming, such as the increased focus on multidisciplinary research, larger-scale projects with a higher number of partners and countries covered between participants and research areas, and a higher combination of research methods.
From 2014 to 2020, in Europe, through the framework program for research and innovation Horizon 2020, a wealth of research has been funded on migration. More than 40 projects on migration received funding, with an average budget of 2M€ (ranging from 1 to 5M€) for an average duration of 3.5 years. First, on average, 3 projects per topic have been funded; second, research institutions from third countries, including countries from the Global South have been involved; third, international organisations and NGOs have participated in project consortia, strongly encouraged by the nature of the topics; fourth, target groups have been included in the design of research methods and approaches; fifth, programs have been encouraged to combine social sciences, humanities, natural sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
To these projects, one should add the variety of research projects funded under national schemes and/or other research bodies (public and private), which add on to the EU-funded migration research. While this certainly allows for a sound body of evidence in the different research areas and policy fields, the lack of coordination among multi-level funding also generates incoherence and confusion. Stronger efforts to ensure coordination, at least among EU financing instruments on migration research and studies, and possibly with national funding schemes, would be advantageous for the research community and for policymakers.
Most importantly, beyond programming, there is now a need to ensure synergies and coordination among projects that are exploring the different dimensions of migration. It is imperative that findings and tools elaborated/developed by the different projects are discussed in a combined and thorough fashion.
Future funding instruments and schemes should make sure that innovation in research methods and approaches is further developed and supported. On the other hand, from a policy perspective, with impact as one of the main criteria to assess the proposals presented to the various financing instruments, a thorough assessment should be carried out with respect to the outcomes of government funded research, at least in terms of policy impact. This would allow an open discussion on what might be the criteria to assess such an impact, such as a mention of a piece of research in a policy/legislative document issued by an institution, or the invitation of a project to a policy workshop/discussion, or perhaps the use of a project/research finding as a basis for policy programming? This complex debate needs to be at the core of future programming, together with a transparent discussion on how to assess the potential impact of a project (or a proposal) as well as its actual outcomes in that sphere.
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Pozzo, R., Boubtane, E., D’Albis, H., Tonegutti, R.G., Paravati, C. (2022). A Future Agenda for Migration Studies. In: Scholten, P. (eds) Introduction to Migration Studies. IMISCOE Research Series. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-92377-8_29
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