Possibilities and realities of return migration
Institutt for fredsforskning, PRIO
Senior Researcher Jørgen Koren Carling
- Analyse the LKI 2005/06 data set with respect to return migration intentions
- Analyse data from the Central Population Register 1994-2009 with respect to emigration/return migration of immigrants
- Conduct and analyse 90 semi-structured interviews and 24 focus group sessions with immigrants in Norway
- Conduct and analyse 75 semi-structured interviews and 20 focus group sessions with immigrants in the United Kingdom
- Conduct and analyse a total of 75 semi-structured interviews and 20 focus group sessions with immigrants in five countries of return
- Publish 10 policy briefs with findings from the project
- Submit 15 articles to international peer-reviewed journals
Six out of ten non-Western immigrants in Norway are considering returning to their country of origin. Return is usually a future option rather than a short-term plan, but the possibility of return is a significant factor in people's lives: experiences of marginalization in Norway can stimulate plans for return, or the prospect of return can lessen commitment to integration in Norway. Actual return migration is also considerable: half of immigrants re-emigrate within a decade. In addition, large numbers of rejected asylum seekers leave Norway involuntarily or under pressure.
This project deliberately takes a broad approach to return migration and seeks to use it as a lens for understanding broader processes of integration, exclusion and withdrawal from Norwegian society. Four research questions guide the project;
- How do immigrants in various situations reflect upon and decide about return migration?
- How does the possibility of return interact with
- integration in Norway and
- transnational relationships?
- How can we understand and explain the patterns of actual return among immigrants in Norway? and
- How is return migration experienced by return migrants and the communities to which they return?
We address these questions with an integrated multi-method approach, comprising survey data, register data, semi-structured interviews and focus groups. Comparative data collection in Norway and the UK will facilitate an understanding of the processes at work. Data collection in five countries of return provides understanding of the return experience and its consequences.
The core consortium consists of PRIO, Statistics Norway, the University of Bristol and SOAS. The IOM and partners in countries of return take part in data collection. Plans for continuous, reciprocal engagement with users are integrated in the project schedule. Fifteen articles submitted to international peer-reviewed journals will ensure dissemination and scientific integrity of the results.