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International mobility of skilled professionals is governed by various rules and policies, posed by the sending and receiving states and by the organisations where the professionals work. This panel discusses the phenomenon from the point of view of the accompanying children and spouses.
Increasing numbers of skilled professionals lead international careers where they work, either temporarily or permanently, abroad. Often, these experts, sometimes called career expatriates or corporate elites, are accompanied by their spouses and children. International labour mobility is governed by various rules and policies, posed on by the sending and receiving states as well as by the companies and organisations where the mobile professionals work. In this panel, we discuss the phenomenon from the point of view of the accompanying children and spouses. Which rules do they obey or transgress? How do the accompanying spouses negotiate and navigate the various rules, norms and practices that concern them? Which kinds of rules, norms and practices affect the children and how do they navigate those in their everyday lives? Which kinds of rules and practices become constructed within the families or among the children? How are the family dynamics formed when living in a foreign country? How is power negotiated in expatriate families? The panel welcomes both empirical and conceptual papers discussing the rules, practices, power, participation and transgression among expatriate families.