Sussex Centre for Migration Research

Migration and Mobility

The research on migration and mobility at the SCMR analyses the evolution of migration processes and aims to achieve a deeper understanding of migration dynamics and their interaction with broader processes of globalization.

Ongoing research on Migration and Mobility

Sussex-Mahidol Migration Partnership

The Sussex Mahidol Migration partnership aims to open up a new field of cutting-edge research that investigates the transnational relationships Bangkok Airportbetween Europe and SE Asia that are driven by international migration flows. It is a collaboration led by the Sussex Centre for Migration Research (SCMR) in the School of Global Studies at the University Sussex, UK, and the Mahidol Migration Center (MMC) in the Institute for Population and Social Research (IPSR), at Mahidol University, Thailand. 

In the first instance, the partnership aims to develop an infrastructure for conducting new research on migration flows between Europe and South East Asia with a special focus on topics in the migration field, including retirement, wellbeing, care, marriage and cultural interaction. Our approach is interdisciplinary drawing on insights from sociology, politics, demography, human geography, development and wellbeing. The primary aim is to generate a research framework and capacity to conduct new empirical research projects in the field of migration.

We envisage the partnership will entail regular exchanges of staff, students and knowledge between Sussex and Mahidol. Efforts will be made to draw on expertise from other research centres located in the two Universities with regard to our activities. Also we include engagement with NGOs and government bodies that work and campaign on international migration.

For further queries about the partnership, about our research, or making links, please contact Professor Paul Statham ( ) at the University of Sussex or Professor Sureeporn Punpuing (; at Mahidol University.

Sussex team: Professor Paul Statham; Dr Sarah Scuzzarello

Visit the partnership website for more information.

Twitter: @sussexmahidol


Youth Mobility: Maximising opportunities for individuals, labout markets and regions in Europe (YMOBILITY)

YMOBILITY develops a comprehensive research programme which addresses the following:
- Identifying, and quantifying, the main types of international youth mobility in the EU, and their key characteristics. Particular attention will be given to differences between and within three main types: highly skilled, less skilled and students
- Understanding what determines which individuals do and which do not participate in international mobility as personal and professional development strategies: their motives, migration channels and information sources
- Analysing the individual outcomes in terms of both employability and careers (skills and competences) and noneconomic terms (welfare and identities)
- Analysing the territorial outcomes for the regions of both origin and destination, in economic, demographic and cultural terms
- Differentiating between short-term and long-term outcomes, taking into account return migration and future intentions to migrate
- Identifying implications for policies in migration but also of education, the economy and housing.
The research will utilise existing secondary data for the whole of the EU, but will mainly rely on primary quantitative data (large-scale surveys to be undertaken by polling agency) and qualitative data (interviews with migrants and returned migrants). The study will focus on 9 countries representing different contexts for youth mobility: Romania, Slovakia and Latvia as sources of emigration and return; the UK and Sweden as destinations for migrants; Germany, Italy, Ireland and Spain as both major destinations and countries of origin. The policy analysis will be informed by interviews undertaken with key informants, such as migrant associations and policy-makers. Experimental methods will be used to assess how individuals will respond to different scenarios of future economic and social change.

Coordinator: 'La Sapienza' University of Rome

Sussex team: PI Prof Russell King, CO-I Dr Laura Morosanu, Postdoctoral Researcher Dr Aija Lulle


Run from PRIO (Peace Research Institute Oslo), the research project NATION --'Negotiating the Nation: implications of ethnic and religious diversity for national identity'-- is funded by the Norwegian Research Council and will run from 2013-2016. The project looks at what it means to be Norwegian, French or British, and what roles are played by ethnicity and religion in contemporary European nation-building.

Dr Michael Collyer is on the advisory board and also is involved in a piece of research for the project on mosque-building in the UK. This is due to start at the end of 2014.


With funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration (FP7), TEMPER (Temporary versus permanent migration) will run from 2014 – 2018. Coordinated from Madrid with eight other partners, the overall objective of the project is to provide a comprehensive assessment of the pros and cons of recent initiatives to promote circular migration, as an alternative to more traditional forms of temporary and permanent migration. The work is focused on a number of countries from four major geographic sending areas, namely: Eastern Europe (Romania, Ukraine), Latin America (Colombia, Argentina), Sub-Saharan Africa (DRC, Ghana, Senegal), North Africa (Morocco). The destination countries under analysis are France, Italy, Spain and the UK.

Sussex’s role in the project is coordinated by Dr Michael Collyer.

For more information, please visit the Temper website

Possibilies and realities of return migration (PREMIG)

PREMIG, an international collaborative research project run from PRIO (Peace Research Institute Oslo), began in 2010 and will run until July 2015. The research investigates return migration from Norway and the United Kingdom; it is premised on the idea that the possibility of return - not just actual return - is an important phenomenon. Often a future option rather than a short-term plan, the possibility of return can be important in some of the following ways: experiences of marginalisation can stimulate plans for return; the prospect of return might lessen commitment to integration; the possibility of return can also be central to migrants’ transnational relationships with people in their country of origin.

Return migration has many faces: for some migrants it is a dream that they hope to realize. Others live in fear of being returned against their will. PREMIG takes a broad approach and aims to cover the diverse aspects of return migration.

SCMR Researcher Ceri Oeppen manages the Afghanistan and Afghan diaspora research for the project.

More information about PREMIG

Download PREMIG final report [2265 KB]

Migrants on the margins

Funded  by the Royal Geographical Society’s new Field Research Programme, this project will run from 2014-2017. It focuses on migrants in some of the world’s most populated cities, including Colombo (Sri Lanka), Dhaka (Bangladesh), Harare (Zimbabwe) and Hargeisa (Somaliland). In the light of recent research which showed that people moving away from humanitarian and other crises often only move short distances and often into marginal urban areas, the project will examine the migrants’ life chances and a number of interlinked themes including migration, environmental change and urban governance.

SCMR Researchers working on the programme are:
Dr Michael Collyer and
Professor JoAnn McGregor
along with Sussex colleagues
Professor Clionadh Raleigh and
Professor Dominic Kniveton

More information

Research Network: Mobile Professionals

Although 'Migration' as a research area has been growing considerably over the last few years, much of the literature has focused on low-skilled migrants moving from developing countries to Western industrialised ones. Far less attention has been paid to Europeans and Americans who move abroad for professional or personal reasons, often for medium- or long-term periods.

Recognising this, new research is emerging on what could be called 'mobile professionals', 'expatriates', or 'privileged migrants'. The aim of this 'research network website' is to raise awareness of these mobilities, which may be less dominant in the popular imagination, but the study of which provides a crucial complement to existing paradigms of 'who migrants are'.

For more information, please visit the Research Network website.

Completed research on Migration and Mobility

Cultural Geographies of Counter-Diasporic Migration: The Greek Second Generation Returns Home

This project was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council as part of their ‘Diaspora, Migration and Identities’ programme and ran from 2007--2009.

SCMR Researchers involved were

Prof. Russell King
Dr. Anastasia Christou as Post-Doctoral Research Fellow (now at Middlesex University)
Dr. Janine Teerling as PhD student.

For more information, please visit the Cultural Geographies of Counter-Diasporic Migration website

MAFE - Migrations between Africa and Europe

Funded under the European Commission’s Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities theme, this project ran from 2008-2012. It was a major research initiative focused on migration between certain countries in Sub-Saharan Africa (Senegal, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ghana), and Europe (Belgium, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK). In each of these ‘migration systems', the research addressed four key areas: Patterns of Migration; Determinants of Migration; Migration and Development; and Migrations and Families.
The project brought together ten European and African research centres working on international migrations. Within MAFE, the SCMR was responsible for the collection of contextual data as well as policy analysis, dialogue and dissemination.

SCMR Researchers involved were

Prof Richard Black (now at SOAS)
Dr Adriana Castaldo
Saskia Gent
Jon Sward
Dr David Garbin (now at University of Kent)
Dr Nalu Binaisa (now at International Migration Institute, Oxford)