Contemporary research in migration studies considers local, regional and transnational im/mobilities as passages of the same migratory trajectory. The panel interconnects internal and transnational im/mobilities by focusing on onward migration within Europe as a significant element of migratory journeys.
Research on onward migration currently reshapes the field of migration studies. In the past, scholars have been mainly concerned with migration as process of relocation from departure country to destination country, a one-way model underlying permanent settlement in the ‘host’ state and no subsequent movements toward further destinations (Sayad, 1999). Such static approaches are based on a state-centered perspective and continue to influence the field of migration studies with epistemologies produced along the lines of methodological nationalism (Wimmer, Glick-Schiller, 2002).They try to fix what is unfixable to make it knowable within a clear spatial and temporal framework (Cresswell, 2006).
Recently, several studies highlighted the complexity and stratification of migratory trajectories showing how people settle in several countries during a life-time, as part of their situational strategies of re-migration, step by step migration, or circular movements implying repeated departures and returns. Going beyond the idea of migration as a bipolar relocation from A to B, those studies shed light on fragmented migratory landscapes and im/mobile practices of people moving through. Accordingly, migratory trajectories are considered as long-term paths consisting of local, regional and transnational im/mobilities which may be passages of the same migratory journey.
The panel includes papers based on ethnographic fieldwork on the currently increasing phenomenon of onward migration within Europe. It will focus on the emergence of different practices and strategies of onward migration and aims to explore the entanglement between individual trajectories and general trends as well as between local worlds and transnational spaces.