Call for papers: “New Dynamics of East–West Migration and Migrant Integration Within Europe and Beyond”

Papers are invited for the 2nd MIRNet International Conference on ‘New Dynamics of East–West Migration and Migrant Integration Within Europe and Beyond’, planned as an in-person event at the University of Sussex, 15–16 November 2021.



Abstracts should be submitted here by 01 August 2021.

Abstracts should be 200 words maximum and include the title of the paper, the name(s) of the author(s) and their affiliation(s). Decisions on Abstracts will be made by 01 September.

Since the collapse of the Soviet empire and the removal of the Iron Curtain in 1989–91 and, even more so, since the EU enlargements of 2004, 2007 and 2013, the East–West axis has come to dominate the geography of migration flows in Europe. Following this epochal geopolitical change came a series of economic, political and health-related events – the 2008 financial crisis, the so-called migration and refugee crisis of 2015–16, Brexit and its aftermath 2016–21 and, finally, the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020–21 – all of which have had and are still having profound impacts on migration and mobility trends within and beyond Europe.

Whilst the East–West dimension remains the dominant organising frame for the conference, not least because East–West mobility dynamics are constantly changing, we also intend to broaden and question this label. Not to be overlooked are ongoing changes in South–North migration within and beyond Europe – affecting, for example, post-economic crisis migrations out of Southern Europe or migrant and refugee flows from the Middle East and global South into Europe, East–South and West–East migrations within Europe, and North–South migrations within and beyond Europe.

Recognising the multi-directionality and multi-temporality of migration and mobility flows within and beyond Europe, we welcome papers and panel proposals that nuance, reverse and subvert the dominant ‘compass migrations’ of South–North and East–West. These might include but are not limited to return mobilities, diasporic migrations, onward and transit migrations, transnational back-and-forth mobilities and issues of integration and reintegration. Such papers might concern migration and integration processes which are not only driven by familiar economic (income, employment) and political (refugee, asylum-seeking) motives but also shaped by motivations related to education, lifestyle, health and cultural factors. We also encourage papers, panels and round-table proposals that challenge predominant ways of conceiving ‘migration’ and ‘integration’, for instance through new empirical foci, which open up the complexities and ambivalences of these processes.

The hosting organisation is the Sussex Centre for Migration Research. The event follows the success of the 1st MIRNet conference on ‘Anxieties of Migration and Integration in Turbulent Times’, hosted online by the University of Tallinn, 14–15 January 2021.

Conference organisers: Russell King, Laura Moroşanu and Md Farid Miah (all University of Sussex), Raivo Vetik and Mari-Liis Jakobson (University of Tallinn) and Garbi Schmidt and Linda Lapina (Roskilde University).

The MIRNet consortium (Universities of Tallinn, Sussex, Roskilde and Tampere) is committed to producing open-access publications from the conference, probably an edited book and one or more special issues of journals. Immediately after the conference a consultation will take place to plan the publications.

There is no conference fee; participants must organise their own travel and accommodation and some meals.

Make sure to sign up for the Facebook event to keep in touch with the latest news