Internal and transnational mobilities are connected, sometimes in counterintuitive ways. Taking the various directionalities and power relations into account, ethnographically grounded theoretical work will deal with this anthropological legacy in contemporary settings.
Recent socio-economic transformations have pushed migration studies to explore the effects of the contemporary economic crisis on people's mobility strategies. The long-standing mobilities both within regions, states and continents, and across global administrative and political divides are continuing relentlessly. In this context, the division between internal and international migration theories and methodologies was critiqued from different conceptual viewpoints (King and Skeldon 2010).
Contemporary research on international migration has parallels with earlier studies of circular labour migration in Africa and beyond (Mitchell, 1956; Mayer 1961). Organisational solutions crucial for transnational mobility were developed during internal migration, which often relied on kin, religious or ethnic networks (Manchuelle 1997). However, while transnational social fields in many ways appear to be extending translocal ones, the influential power relations on different contextual scales need to be taken seriously as forces shaping mobility regimes (Glick Schiller and Salazar 2013).
We ask, how are the different kinds of mobility, ranging from local and regional to transnational, historically connected, displacing a simplistic one-way conceptualisation? What kind of counterintuitive interconnections exist? How does onward migration happen? Protagonists of internal migration may be former transnational migrants and seemingly cosmopolitan transnationals may end up in small villages after all. Ethnography is particularly apt in exploring the everyday social accommodation and navigation of such multiple, intersecting and seemingly contradictory (im)mobilities.
To recover the anthropological legacy on variously connected (im)mobilities, the panel welcomes papers which stem from ethnographically grounded theoretical work with the aim of a comparative discussion.