Further reading

Many scholars have examined the dynamics of migration and the categories that we use to describe people on the move. Here is a sample of texts that are openly accessible online.

Reactive migration: Sociological perspectives of refugee movements, by Anthony Richmond, Journal of Refugee Studies (1993). Full text (pdf).

The policies which should be adopted toward refugees, and other reactive migrants, are those which ensure the viability of a global social system.

Managing mobility for human development: The growing salience of mixed migration, by Nicholas Van Hear, UNDP Human Development Research Paper (2009) Full text (pdf).

The adoption of the notions of ‘mixed migration’ and the ‘migration-asylum nexus’ [can] be seen as a liberal response to state concerns […], as well as to the findings of researchers on refugees and forced migration.

When refugees stopped being migrants: Movement, labour and humanitarian protection, by Katy Long, Migration Studies (2013). Full text.

The extent of separation between refugee protection and migration has in fact proved to be counter-productive in many instances and should be revised.

Refugee advocacy and the meaning of ‘migrants’, by Jørgen Carling, PRIO Policy Brief (2017) Full text (pdf).

Narratives about ‘two kinds of people’, are, paradoxically, a central ingredient in many of the conflicts that thousands are forced to flee.

Refugees, migrants, neither, both: categorical fetishism and the politics of bounding in Europe’s ‘migration crisis’, by Heaven Crawley and Dimitris Skleparis, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies (2017). Full text.

The dominant categories fail to capture adequately the complex relationship between political, social and economic drivers of migration or their shifting significance for individuals over time and space.

Forced to leave? The discursive and analytical significance of describing migration as forced and voluntary, by Marta Bivand Erdal and Ceri Oeppen, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies (2017). Full text.

A discursive construction of ‘the migrant’ or ‘the refugee’ veers away from the complexity of reality and reifies the binary of forced vs. voluntary; it turns it into two boxes between which migrant experience necessarily can and must be divided.