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Differentiated belonging, embedding and anchoring. The comparative studies of young adult Central European migrants in light of Brexit and pandemic

Theoretical Relevance
This Paper Cluster, offered to Comparative Migration Studies, presents theoretical and empirical insights into the processes of belonging, embedding and anchoring of migrants and return migrants in temporal, comparative and international perspectives. Drawing on new mixed methods, empirical data with Polish and Lithuanian migrants in the UK, and returnees back to the origin countries, these papers use Brexit as a lens to develop theoretical innovations. Through the application of the theoretical lens of anchoring and embedding, we aim to gain new understandings of complex, multi-level and dynamic processes across various domains, sectors and segments of life. In so doing, the papers in this cluster go beyond simplistic, static and one-dimensional notions of migration integration in destination societies or, indeed, reintegration in the origin society.

Comparative perspective
Three of the papers arise from the project CEEYouth: The comparative study of young migrants from Poland and Lithuania in the context of Brexit and thus draw on a comparative dataset. Comparing Polish migrants, who have been very extensively researched, with less researched Lithuanian migrants, provides a valuable opportunity to explore similarities and differences in the migration/ return patterns and experiences from these two Central European countries.

The fourth but first in the row – conceptual paper - focuses on Poles but in two different UK sites, London and the Midlands. This paper advances the concepts of anchoring and embedding to analyse the opportunities and obstacles for forging belonging/ attachments and the potentially unsettling impact of Brexit in London, which voted against, and Midlands which showed more support for Britain’s departure from the EU.

Methodological aspects
The four papers draw upon a range of methods including surveys, interviews, ethnography, longitudinal techniques and social network visualisation, also with a use of mixed-method approach. In the CEEYouth research project the data was obtained comparatively for Poles and Lithuanians through both asynchronous and synchronous interviewing but also online survey with returnees and secondary analysis of public statistics. The fact that the research team was in contact with interviewees longitudinally, throughout the course of three years – through the entire process of Brexit and pandemic – in both synchronous (interviews) and asynchronous (email and messenger) ways can make the contribution to CMS very innovative and up-to-date.

Edited by Izabela Grabowski, Louise Ryan

New Content Item (1)

The journal of Comparative Migration Studies has of June 2022 received its first Web of Science Impact Factor score. We are happy to report Journal Citation Report (JCR) rating of 4.417!


The journal Comparative Migration Studies (CMS) invites applications for several new members of the Editorial Board. In particular, CMS invites non-European scholars working on migration and (migration-related) diversity from various disciplines, including sociology, demography, anthropology, political sciences, law, geography and economics.

Comparative Migration Studies is an international peer-reviewed journal that has been selected for inclusion in the Web of Science. CMS is associated with the IMISCOE Research Network. CMS distinguishes itself as a journal on three elements:

  • An explicit comparative orientation. We believe that a focus on comparative research can promote the theoretical development of migration studies. This can involve various types of comparative studies (between countries, groups, levels, historical periods).
  • A wide disciplinary angle. CMS aims to develop a wide disciplinary angle, such as political science, economics, law, history, demography, social geography, sociology, cultural studies, literature, psychology and anthropology.
  • An open access journal. We believe open access nowadays is the best way to get the widest possible exposure for the work published in our journal. Publishing your articles with CMS means that other scholars will have easy access to your work and will be more likely to actually read it and refer to it. Open access publishing is not without costs.

In order to develop the journal further, and to make sure that all relevant disciplines and methodological traditions are well represented, the editorial board will be expanded. We invite applications from scholars from various disciplines:

  • working in the field of migration studies
  • special interest in comparative research
  • quantitative research background

Being member of the editorial board means that you will be involved in policymaking regarding the journal and that as editor you will be in charge of reviewing articles that are in your area of expertise (on average a couple of hours per month).

Applications should include 1 A4 with a motivation letter and a full CV. The current editorial board will select a number of applicants for a personal meeting. Subsequently, we expect to add 3 new members to the editorial board of CMS starting from September this year. Applications should be sent to info@comparativemigrationstudies.org no later than July 15, 2022. For more information on the journal, please visit www.comparativemigrationstudies.com .

Editors in Chief of CMS

Prof.dr. Sawitri Saharso
Prof.dr. Peter Scholten

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