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Gamlen, A. et al. 2013 Faultlines and contact zones: A new forum for Migration Studies, Migration Studies-Editorial

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Migration studies is entering a new era. The intellectual roots of the field stretch back at least to the nineteenth century, since which time it has focused on the drivers of human mobility and the processes of adaptation that follow. But never
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  Editorial Faultlines and contact zones: A newforum for Migration Studies Alan Gamlen, Alexander Betts, Alexandra De´lano, Thomas Lacroix, Emanuela Paoletti,Nando Sigona and Carlos Vargas-Silva Migration studies is entering a new era. The intellectual roots of the field stretch back atleast to the nineteenth century, since which time it has focused on the drivers of humanmobility and the processes of adaptation that follow. But never before has it drawn suchsustained attention from so many researchers across such a broad range of backgrounds.Migration is becoming an increasingly visible and important element of human experience,and more than ever before, migration studies is becoming a distinctive and integrated fieldofscholarship,withitsownapproachesandinstitutions.Thisjournalisbeingestablishedtohelp galvanize the field still further. It aims to provide an interdisciplinary forum forleading research that develops the core concepts, data, and methods needed by migrationscholars in the twenty-first century and beyond. It has several specific priorities. 1. A service to scholarship The leading migration journals in existence today were founded in a barrage during the1960s and 1970s, asscholars and policy makers struggled to make sense of migration and itsconsequences in the context of post-World War II boom and bust. They helped cultivatethe vibrant ecosystem of research projects, conferences, institutes, and graduate studiesprogrammes now at the heart of the field of migration studies. Owing both to the success of their efforts and to the urgency of questions surrounding a new surge of global migrationagainst the background of another boom and bust, more conduits are needed to carry agreater flow of migration research towards an even wider readership.  Migration Studies   willhelp to filter and channel this flow, playing a central role in the next phase of progress in itsfield. 2. Strengthening dialogue across professional divisions Many faultlines cut across and fragment the field of migration studies. Researchers facepressures to work within disciplinary silos defined by established professional associations,conferences, journals, and schools. Communities of scholars in specific places becomepreoccupied with parochial concerns and blind to what is happening elsewhere.Academics and policy makers often misunderstand each other. These and other boundariesexert deep impressions on the study of migration. MIGRATION STUDIES VOLUME 1   NUMBER 1   2013   1–3  1 doi:10.1093/migration/mnt001 ! The Authors 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 2  0  ,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  But such divisions are not simply negative, they can also be productive. Disciplinary constraints anchor scholarship to the most abiding questions. Strong local communities of researchers bring depth of focus to the study of specific places and flows. Scholars andpolicy makers act as mutual checks and balances. Therefore, this journal does not aim toerase such divisions, but to increase the quality and quantity of communications acrossthem. It prioritizes scholarship that is grounded in a specific academic discipline but re-verberates across disciplinary boundaries and work that is policy relevant without beingpolicy driven. It seeks excellent contributions from around the world. The composition of our global editorial board reflects our determination to maintain these demandingstandards. 3. Developing core concepts and methods This journal aims to help develop the core concepts, tools, and data needed to understandall forms of human migration. Editors and reviewers ask three central questions of eachpiece submitted to or commissioned by the journal: Does the work break new theoreticalground? Isitmethodologically innovative? Doesitpresentnewcomparative analysis?Work that meets one or more of these criteria is considered for publication. We welcome work that clarifies, consolidates, or builds incrementally on existing core approaches in migra-tion studies, as well as work that challenges and undermines such approaches—especially where srcinal models are convincingly presented. Single case studies are considered forpublication only where they make clear conceptual or technical innovations.The field of migration studies is incredibly dynamic and there are many different ideasabout where its leading edges lie. There is still much to learn about the drivers of migration,and the quest for a general theory continues. Economic crises and conflicts are reshapingthe geographies and geopolitics of migration. Huge, ‘superdiverse’ urban conglomeratesattract migrants with a bewildering array of affiliations, statuses, and trajectories, and act ascrucibles for new dynamics of belonging, membership, and engagement. New technologiesare allowing migrants to network across distances and divides in astonishing ways, trans-forming social life profoundly. All these processes are governed and mediated in increas-ingly complex ways at many interlocking levels. The arrival of ‘big data’ is changing thesources and techniques migration scholars use to study these currents, helping to overcomeperennial problems of data availability and comparability, and entrenched differences be-tween quantitative and qualitative researchers. Meanwhile, exciting efforts are underway tounderstand the role of migration in global history and in the evolution of our species.We welcome research that pushes these and many other boundaries in migration studies. 4. A forum, not an agenda Having itemized priorities, it is important to emphasize that this journal is established notto further any specific theoretical or methodological agenda, but rather to serve as a broadforum. It provides sound and lighting, but the stage is for others. Unlike an individualarticle or book, the purpose of a journal is not to sharply focus one idea but rather to 2    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 2  0  ,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  showcase many. With this in mind,  Migration Studies   publishes innovative research sur-rounding human migration in all its manifestations. There is no rush to limit either thescope of our content or the range of production tools we use to deliver it, particularly inlight of the rapid rate of change in publishing technology today. We are already adapting tothese changes, for example, by reviewing films, databases, websites, and other new-mediasources relevant for twenty-first-century migration researchers, practitioners, andteachers—in addition to traditional books. The journal will be free to view online untilthe end of 2014, and we are developing other ideas for delivering web-based content. Wewelcome you to join us in shaping  Migration Studies  . EDITORIAL   3   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 2  0  ,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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Oct 13, 2019

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