Thomas Faist, Professor, Bielefeld University

A Transnational Approach to Migration: Concepts and Empirical Applications

This seminar examines the transnational approach in migration studies. First, we discuss the conceptualizations of the transnational perspective on cross-border relations and efforts at systematization. Second, we apply a transnational perspective on cross-border migration by focusing on the three T’s: transnationalization, transnational social spaces, and transnationality. This part includes a typology of transnationalization in which transnational social spaces are differentiated according to transnationality, the kind and extent of cross-border relations in various realms of social life. Third, we apply a transnational approach empirically, dealing with the social security of migrants and their families across borders in selected transnational social spaces. Finally, we discuss some venues for further research through a transnational optic where the focus should be on changing social and symbolic boundaries, as social spaces are composed of dynamic processes.

Recommended reading: Thomas Faist, Margit Fauser, Eveline Reisenauer. 2013. Transnational Migration. Cambridge: Polity.

Thomas Faist is professor of Sociology of Transnationalization, Development & Migration at Bielefeld University and directs the Center on Migration, Citizenship and Development (COMCAD). Professor Faist has contributed to research on cross-border migration but also on citizenship and development issues. Among his most famous publications are The Volume and Dynamics of International Migration and Transnational Social Spaces (Oxford UP 2000); Diaspora and Transnationalism: Concepts, Theories and Methods (with Rainer Bauböck, IMISCOE 2010) and Transnational Migration (with Fauser and Reisenauer, Cambridge 2013). His forthcoming book is The Transnationalized Social Question: Migration and the Politics of Social Inequalities in the Twenty-First Century (Oxford UP 2018). Professor Faist is an advisor on migration & mobility to various civil society organizations.

Program för Forum för forskning om transnationell migration och CEIFO-seminarier höstterminen 2018.