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Gamlen, A. 2013 Migration Studies:Taking stock of a new start, Migration Studies

What is migration studies? Every academic field has its own version of the saying that 'philosophy is what philosophers do'. It means that you should leave such difficult questions to the experts, who are busy disagreeing about the answer.
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  Editorial Migration Studies : Taking stock of a newstart Alan Gamlen What is migration studies? Every academic field has its own version of the saying that‘philosophy is what philosophers do’. It means that you should leave such difficult ques-tions to the experts, who are busy disagreeing about the answer. But defining a discipline inthis way is not so much begging the question as making a statement about the way know-ledge is produced: it emerges from specialized communities, to which access is gained by learning to argue rather than to agree. Viewed in this way, each academic discipline isdefined less by a fixed set of subjects, theories or methods, than by a lively debate aboutwhat the discipline actually is.With this in mind,  Migration Studies   aims to cultivate debates among migrationresearchers about what migration studies is. This kind of debate can only emerge fromresearch that advances understanding of human migration, and as explained in our open-ing editorial, we believe the best way of doing this is to prioritize new methods, new comparative evidence and new theoretical perspectives on migration (Gamlen et al.,2013). As we round off Volume 1 of   Migration Studies  , it seems a good time to takestock of progress made towards these goals so far. 1. Boundary-crossing research Migration Studies   is both multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary: it publishes research thatis rigorous enough to advance a specific academic discipline and important enough toresonate across disciplinary boundaries, influencing wider public debates about migration.The journal’s Global Editorial Board comprises migration experts representing the mainsocial science disciplinesin differentworld regions andkeyglobal institutions; every issueiscomposed of articles representing a range of disciplinary portfolios, each overseen by a dedicated Associate Editor looking out for pieces of broad and lasting significance.In this way the journal aims to promote disciplinary cross-fertilization and wider publicintellectual engagement.Many examples of such boundary-crossing research appear in Volume 1 of   Migration Studies  . For example, Alejandro Portes and Jessica Yui’s work on ‘Entrepreneurship,Transnationalism and Development’ both pushes forward a long-standing sociologicaldebate about immigrant adaptation, and also contributes to the growing interdisciplinary field of ‘economic sociology’ (Portes & Yiu, 2013), while David Bartram’s paper on‘Happiness and Economic Migration’ speaks not only to economists but also to psycholo-gists – and, judging by media interest in the article, policy pundits (Bartram, 2013). MIGRATION STUDIES VOLUME 1   NUMBER 3   2013   253–257  253 doi:10.1093/migration/mnt027 ! The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com   a  t   Vi   c  t   or i   a  Uni   v e r  s i   t   y of   W e l  l  i  n g t   on on N o v e m b  e r 1  8  ,2  0 1  3 h  t   t   p :  /   /  mi   gr  a  t  i   on . oxf   or  d  j   o ur n a l   s  . or  g /  D o wnl   o a  d  e  d f  r  om  Jonathan Inda’s study of US deportation policy speaks directly to debates about immigra-tion reform, by spanning concerns common to both sociologists and political scientists(Inda, 2013), whereas Yvonni Markaki’s research on ‘Attitudes to Immigrants at the EULevel’ contributes to political science while resonating with psychologists and sociologists(Markaki, 2013). In this way,  Migration Studies   articles are rooted in, but not confined to,one or other established academic discipline.More broadly,  Migration Studies   welcomes work that transcends distinctions betweenfields that are normally kept separate – whether these boundaries are between disciplines,between periods or places, or between types of movement. For example, the universe of migration drivers is often condensed into a spectrum between ‘forced’ and ‘free’ – a dis-tinction that, while often pragmatic, sometimes has troubling practical and conceptualconsequences. In this vein, Katy Long’s piece on ‘When refugees stopped being migrants’argues that the increasingly strictly policed moral and legal distinction between ‘refugees’and ‘migrants’ effectively rules out onward mobility as a solution to refugee crises (Long,2013). Julia O’Connell-Davidson’s article, ‘Troubling Freedom’, probes this distinctionfurther, arguing that apparently ‘free’ and legally sanctioned migration choices may be just as constrained - for example, by debt - as decisions that lead migrants into situationslabelled ‘vulnerable’ or ‘exploitative’ (O’Connell Davidson, 2013). Such studies exemplify this journal’s support for boundary-crossing research. 2. Advancing data, methods and theory Migration Studies   seeks to publish research with relevance beyond a specific time and place,and operates on the premise that enduring generalizations emerge from work that breaksnew ground in the interlocking realms of data, method and theory.Comparison is a key route to generalization, as Irene Bloemraad persuasively argues inIssue 1 of the journal (Bloemraad, 2013), and a number of articles in Volume 1 presentsignificant new comparative analyses. Some employ cutting edge statistical techniques toexamine rich new datasets. For example, Francesc Ortega and Giovanni Peri advanceunderstanding onthefundamentalquestionofwhypeoplemigrate,introducing innovativemeasures of migration policy into a large-scale cross-country comparison (Ortega & Peri,2013). Several others, including Markaki’s (mentioned above) and McKenzie’s and Siegel’s(mentioned below),alsotake aquantitativeapproach. Meanwhile,comparative workbasedon qualitative methods is also showcased, for example in Rahel Kunz and JuliaMaisenbacher’s analysis of international mobility partnerships (Kunz & Maisenbacher,2013), and in Peggy Levitt and N. Rajaram’s examination of migratory healthcare norms(Levitt & Rajaram, 2013). Similarly, Peter O’Brien elaborates on universal concepts of citizenship using a ‘public philosophy’ approach to compare various European contexts(O’Brien, 2013).However, comparison isnotthebe allandendallofmethodology. Forus,itisonemeansto the wider ends of advancing research methods in migration studies. Another equally important approach is to highlight methodological innovations: ground-breaking toolsand techniques that enable migration researchers to respond to new questions or to shednew light on old ones. For example, problems of accessing ‘hidden’ and ‘vulnerable’ 254    EDITORIAL   a  t   Vi   c  t   or i   a  Uni   v e r  s i   t   y of   W e l  l  i  n g t   on on N o v e m b  e r 1  8  ,2  0 1  3 h  t   t   p :  /   /  mi   gr  a  t  i   on . oxf   or  d  j   o ur n a l   s  . or  g /  D o wnl   o a  d  e  d f  r  om  populations are arguablyendemic to migrationstudies, but nowhereare theymore difficultthan in work on migrants with irregular status. The depths of these difficulties are illu-strated by the rarity of studies such as Liza Schuster and Nassim Majidi’s on deportedAfghan asylum seekers (Schuster & Majidi, 2013). The formidable and multiple obstaclesto conventional ethnographies in such contexts highlight a need for methodologicalinnovations such as those proposed by David McKenzie and Melissa Siegel, who introducethe technique the technique of list randomization into migration studies, as a way of eliciting illegal migration rates (McKenzie and Siegel, 2013). The journal welcomes moremethodologically driven innovations in migration research.Advancing methodology is not just a goal in itself, but also a means to the more centralends of advancing migration theory – the body of ideas that enable researchers to under-standand explainhuman mobility acrosscontexts. Migration Studies   isespeciallyinterestedin work that convincingly falsifies out-dated hypotheses or proposes new conceptual para-digms to cope with migration processes, but the basic expectation is serious theoreticalengagement: submissions shouldclearlydemonstrate howtheyinform andare informedby relevant theories. Whether by reviewing and updating existing theoretical literature, orby bringing theories into conversation with new empirical work, this engagement needsto be more than merely superficial.Volume 1 of   Migration Studies   presents a range of significant theoretical contributions tolong-standing debates about the drivers, processes and impacts of migration, as well asincreasingly important topics such as migration governance. Ortega and Peri, and Portesand Yiu—respectively—shed new empirical light on two enduring theoretical debates atthe core of migration studies, nudging forward our understanding, respectively, of thedeterminants of migration (Ortega & Peri, 2013) and of processes of migrant adaptation(Portes & Yiu, 2013). Relatedly, through historical analysis of the US ‘migration industry’,Ivan Light helps deepen longstanding inquiries into the factors that shape migration pro-cesses (Light, 2013), while Levitt and Rajaram’s piece extends centrally important theor-etical debates about the impacts of migration on development, by focusing on the role of migrants in the mobility of ideas that constitute what they call ‘global healthcare assem-blages’(Levitt&Rajaram,2013).Onthetopicofgovernance,Indaaddstheoreticaldepthtodiscussion about the USA’s vast new deportation regime (Inda, 2013), while Kunz andMaisenbacher’s offer a sophisticated theoretical perspective on mobility partnerships as anemerging form of migration governance at the global level (Kunz & Maisenbacher, 2013).Such articlesexemplify thejournal’s search forwork wherenew data and robust methodssupport ambitious theoretical innovations. Also notable in Volume 1, however, are severalpieces whose theoretical merit is not dependent on comparative empirical work. BrendaYeoh, for example, makes a refined theoretical contribution to conceptualizations of cosmopolitanism by focusing on the single case study of Singapore (Yeoh, 2013), whileO’Connell-Davidson’s interrogates the existing literatures on human smuggling and traf-ficking,rather thanrelyingonnewempirical work,inorderto revealdeep contradictions inthe edifice of liberal theory (O’Connell Davidson, 2013). Volume 1 thus edges forwardtheoretical understanding of human migration on a number of fronts; we hope that futurereaders will find it helpful and be inspired to build on its varied contributions.This journal is part of a wider flourishing in the field of migration studies, involving thefounding of several other new migration-related periodicals and the publication of a large EDITORIAL   255   a  t   Vi   c  t   or i   a  Uni   v e r  s i   t   y of   W e l  l  i  n g t   on on N o v e m b  e r 1  8  ,2  0 1  3 h  t   t   p :  /   /  mi   gr  a  t  i   on . oxf   or  d  j   o ur n a l   s  . or  g /  D o wnl   o a  d  e  d f  r  om  number of new books, reference works, and other ‘new media’ resources. In fosteringdebates about what ‘migration studies’ is,  Migration Studies   also publishes reviews of such important new contributions to the field. As well as prominent single contributions,such as Geoffrey Cameron’s review of Paul Collier’s controversial recent book   Exodus  (Cameron, 2013), the journal also seeks high quality review articles in the vein of Nicholas De Genova’s ‘Deportation as a way of life’ (Genova, 2013) and Stefan Rother’s‘Global Migration Governance without Migrants’ (Rother, 2013). Broadening the scope of review articles is a priority for future issues of the journal: we seek reviews that authorita-tively synthesize central themes and concepts in the study of migration, helping readers tobetter understand what is at the core of migration studies and also where the boundaries of the field lie.On behalf of the Editorial Team, thank you to all who have contributed to the inauguralvolume of   Migration Studies   – to our Editorial and Advisory boards, to our in-house teamat Oxford University Press, and most of all to our authors and reviewers. References Bartram, D. (2013) ‘Happiness and “Economic Migration”: A Comparison of EasternEuropean Migrants and Stayers’,  Migration Studies  , 1/2: 156–174.Bloemraad, I. (2013) ‘The promise and pitfalls of comparative research design in the study of migration’,  Migration Studies  , 1/1: 27–46.Cameron, G. (2013) ‘Exodus: How migration is changing our world, by Paul Collier’, Migration Studies  , 1/3: 375–377.Gamlen, A., Betts, A., De´lano, A., Lacroix, T., Sigona, N. and Vargas-Silva, C. (2013)‘Faultlines and contact zones: A new forum for Migration Studies’,  Migration Studies  ,1/1: 1–3.Genova, N. De. (2013) ‘Deportation as a way of life’,  Migration Studies  , 1/2: 241–244.Inda, J. X. (2013) ‘Subject to deportation: IRCA, “criminal aliens”, and the policing of immigration’,  Migration Studies  , 1/3: 292–310.Kunz, R. and Maisenbacher, J. (2013) ‘Beyond conditionality versus cooperation: Powerand resistance in the case of EU Mobility Partnerships and Swiss MigrationPartnerships’,  Migration Studies  , 1/2: 196–220.Levitt, P. and Rajaram, N. (2013) ‘Moving toward reform? Mobility, health, anddevelopment in the context of neoliberalism’,  Migration Studies  , 1/3: 338–362.Light, I. (2013) ‘The migration industry in the United States, 1882–1924’,  Migration Studies  , 1/3: 258–275.Long, K. (2013) ‘When refugees stopped being migrants: Movement, labour and humani-tarian protection’,  Migration Studies  , 1/1: 1–23.Markaki, Y. and Longhi, S. (2013) ‘What determines attitudes to immigration in Europeancountries? An analysis at the regional level’,  Migration Studies  , 1/3: 311–337.McKenzie, D. and Siegel, M. (2013) ‘Eliciting illegal migration rates through listrandomization’,  Migration Studies  , 1/3: 276–291.O’Brien, P. (2013) ‘Clashes within Western civilization: Debating citizenship for EuropeanMuslims’,  Migration Studies  , 1/2: 131–155. 256    EDITORIAL   a  t   Vi   c  t   or i   a  Uni   v e r  s i   t   y of   W e l  l  i  n g t   on on N o v e m b  e r 1  8  ,2  0 1  3 h  t   t   p :  /   /  mi   gr  a  t  i   on . oxf   or  d  j   o ur n a l   s  . or  g /  D o wnl   o a  d  e  d f  r  om  O’Connell Davidson, J. (2013) ‘Troubling freedom: migration, debt, and modern slavery’, Migration Studies  , 1/2: 176–195.Ortega, F. and Peri, G. (2013) ‘The Effect of Income and Immigration Policies onInternational Migration’,  Migration Studies  , 1/1: 47–74.Portes, A. and Yiu, J. (2013) ‘Entrepreneurship, transnationalism, and development’, Migration Studies  , 1/1: 75–95.Rother, S. (2013) ‘Global migration governance without migrants? The nation-state bias inthe emerging policies and literature on global migration governance’,  Migration Studies  ,1/3: 371–374.Schuster, L. and Majidi, N. (2013) ‘What happens post-deportation? The experience of deported Afghans’, 1/2: 221–240.Yeoh, B. (2013) ‘“Upwards” or “Sideways” cosmopolitanism? Talent/labour/marriagemigrations in the globalising city-state of Singapore’,  Migration Studies  , 1/1: 96–116. EDITORIAL   257   a  t   Vi   c  t   or i   a  Uni   v e r  s i   t   y of   W e l  l  i  n g t   on on N o v e m b  e r 1  8  ,2  0 1  3 h  t   t   p :  /   /  mi   gr  a  t  i   on . oxf   or  d  j   o ur n a l   s  . or  g /  D o wnl   o a  d  e  d f  r  om
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