Showcasing migration projects: innovative approaches on integration and governance

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from: 11:30
to: 13:00

In this seminar, three former MPC research fellows will present their ongoing research projects on migration. The presentations will introduce the main objectives of the projects and discuss their methodological and theoretical implications, together with some preliminary findings.


Policy Implementation in Global South Regionalism. Multilevel Migration Governance in South America (POLIM) by Leiza Brumat, Migration Policy Centre (EUI), Eurac Research


POLIM project investigates how and why countries voluntarily implement regional migration policies in the absence of supranational enforcement mechanisms and in weaker institutional settings. It does so by studying the implementation of regional migration policies in four subnational units (one province, one autonomous city and two states) of two multilevel political settings: Argentina and Brazil. Argentina and Brazil are federal states, both of which are part of Mercosur and have subnational units with high levels of autonomy. These subnational units many times implement regional, national and subnational policies, including border crossings and the issuance of residence permits for non-nationals. By studying the implementation of Mercosur policies by the subnational units of two federal states, POLIM aims to shed light on the functioning of regionalism in the Global South and in subnational units by exploring how regional migration policies work in practice.

This project has two main objectives: First, to expand the state of knowledge about the multilevel implementation of regional policies in South America with a comparative perspective (how). With this aim, it will produce an implementation map based on quantitative data. This map will identify the similarities and differences of the policy outcomes in Argentina and Brazil and in the two subnational units in each country. The second aim is to contribute to theorization on the functioning of regionalism in the Global South. By looking at the multilevel interactions of the policymaking/implementing actors, POLIM project will explain why regional policies are implemented in strongly intergovernmental settings and it will identify the main institutional and political mechanisms that account for the implementation of regional migration policies in South America.

The pairs of subnational units that will be analysed and compared are Ciudad de Buenos Aires-Sao Paulo and Misiones-Rio Grande do Sul because it permits a most-similar systems design and because they first two have high rates of immigration flows and the last two have high rates of border crossings. Objective 1 (how) will rely on publicly available data. To answer to the question of objective 2 (why), I will do semi-structured interviews (n=15-25) in each country with key implementing actors. I will code the transcripts and I will use process tracing to identify the mechanisms that are used in multilevel policy implementation in each subnational unit.


Immigrant’s integration in several EU and non-EU countries: a time-use approach (TIMEUSE) by Rezart Hoxhaj, Ghent University


As the number of immigrants has increased in all developed countries, debates about the socio-economic integration of immigrants have become much more important and contested in policy circles and among the public. Yet, despite its relevance, research has not sufficiently contributed to enhance the knowledge of the integration process and to provide new measures and methods for its assessment.

This project proposes a new approach to study immigrant’s integration based on the time immigrants and natives allocate to daily activities. The first advantage of the time-use approach is associated with the time-use data which have detailed information on the type of activities performed by natives and immigrants and on the time allocated to these activities. This allows to examine what the immigrants do in the process of integration rather than just analysing the outcomes of the process (e.g. employment level, education attainment); as the literature usually does. Moreover, the time allocated to integrating activities captures not only the participation of immigrants in the integration process but also the extent they are actively involved in it; which in turn determines its speed. Secondly, the time-use approach allows to analyse the relationships between activities and, thus, identify complementary or competing activities that might boost or act as barriers to integration. For instance, using this approach it is possible to analyse whether and the extent the time spent in commuting hinders the participation of immigrants in work activities and the time they allocate to them; which in turn affects their integration. The research is based upon the use of highly detailed data on the time-use of a large sample of immigrants and natives residing in several EU countries, USA and Canada. In this presentation I will present the methodological approach and some very preliminary results of the analysis.


Global South Migration and Comparative Integration: A Study of South American Migrants (GLAM) by Carolina V. Zuccotti, Universidad Carlos III Madrid


What is the impact of migration on migrants and their children’s life chances? Are their opportunities equal to those of local populations at destination? Do they improve with respect to non-migrants in origin countries? These questions are at the heart of migration studies. Yet, our answers to them are partial because, first, most empirical and theoretical work on migrant integration focuses on South-North migration, even though comparable numbers of international migrants migrate within the Global South. Second, studies on migrant integration are often focused on comparing migrants with local populations at destination, hence failing to capture the counterfactual of what might have happened in the absence of migration or if the migrant had moved elsewhere. The EU-funded GLAM project addresses these lacunae through the study of patterns of socioeconomic integration of South-South migrants and their children, in comparison to their South-North counterparts and to non-migrants in origin countries. GLAM focuses on migration waves originating in South America, a region where approximately 70 per cent of immigration is intra-regional, but also where a large number of migrants in the Global North originate from.

GLAM is guided by three research questions: Q1. How are integration patterns of southern migrants and their children in the Global South? Q2. Do integration patterns of southern migrants and their children in the Global South differ with respect to those of their counterparts in the Global North, and does migrant selection play a role in this? And Q3. What gains (or loses) do southern migrants and their children in Southern and Northern destinations experience with respect to non-migrants in origin countries? To respond to these questions, GLAM studies integration patterns of South American migrants and their children in a popular destination country in the Global South (Argentina) and provides a comparison with respect to their counterparts in the Global North (Spain and Italy) and to non-migrants in origin countries. GLAM is specifically concerned with socioeconomic integration, measured in terms of educational and labour market achievements. Socioeconomic integration is one of the most important outcomes of integration, as is fundamental for individuals’ long-term life chances and opportunities for social mobility. The study uses advanced quantitative methods and a multisite approach, which allows making multiple comparisons across different contexts.


Chair: Henriet Baas, PhD Researcher, Department of Law, EUI