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How do organisations shape migration and inclusion?

This special issue explores the potential of an organisational perspective in and for migration studies. Organisations – such as public administrations, border agencies, schools, universities, companies etc. – actively shape migration trajectories and processes of inclusion/exclusion in multiple ways. However, an organisational approach has received relatively little attention in migration research, which has long concentrated either on the macro-level of migration and integration policies or on the micro-level of individual migration and incorporation outcomes, trajectories and agency. While we witness a growing number of studies examining different types of organisations lately, they are still rather compartmentalised and largely lack a systematic and comparative take on organisations. 

This special issue places organisations at the center of analysis. The contributions progresses the study of organisations in the context of migration and incorporation by taking organisational approaches as an analytical perspective. 

The special issue brings together contributions focusing on the role of organisations in both migration and incorporation processes as well as in sending, receiving and border contexts.

This broad range of empirical contexts is a conscious choice: by comparing organisations, social contexts, different forms of migration and modes of inclusion/exclusion we seek to shed light on overarching organisational practices, structures and rationalities at play.


The special issue addresses the following main questions: 

  • What role do organisations play in the production of migration movements and migrants’ inclusion? 
  • How do organisations mediate structural factors and individual actions and trajectories in migration and immigrant incorporation contexts? 
  • What do organisational studies offer for migration studies, which theoretical concepts and strands are helpful? 
  • How can case studies on specific types of organisations inform our understanding of the role of organisations more generally if we place them in a comparative perspective?

Edited by: Christine Lang, Andreas Pott and Kyoko Shinozaki

  1. The introductory article of this Special Issue explores the potential of an organisational perspective in comparative migration studies and for migration studies more broadly. Although organisations shape migr...

    Authors: Christine Lang, Andreas Pott and Kyoko Shinozaki
    Citation: Comparative Migration Studies 2021 9:60
  2. Around 30,000 children living in Shenzhen, Mainland China cross the border to Hong Kong to attend school every day. This paper focuses on the school as a key meso-level organisation that mediates macro-level p...

    Authors: Maggi W. H. Leung, Johanna L. Waters and Yutin Ki
    Citation: Comparative Migration Studies 2021 9:58
  3. Organisations are important gatekeepers in the labour market inclusion of immigrants and their children. Research has regularly documented ethnic discrimination in hiring decisions. Aiming to further our under...

    Authors: Christine Lang
    Citation: Comparative Migration Studies 2021 9:26
  4. Due to their high numbers, refugees’ labour market inclusion has become an important topic for Germany in recent years. Because of a lack of research on meso-level actors’ influences on labour market inclusion...

    Authors: Martina Maletzky de García
    Citation: Comparative Migration Studies 2021 9:25
  5. Public organisations are fundamental actors in migrant incorporation processes, as they are in charge of assessing migrants’ entitlement and providing access to welfare services. While a lot has been written o...

    Authors: Roberta Perna
    Citation: Comparative Migration Studies 2021 9:16
  6. This article analyses how organizations shape migration trajectories. More specifically, by looking at the Philippine migration industry, this ethnographic research highlights how organizations such as recruit...

    Authors: Julien Debonneville
    Citation: Comparative Migration Studies 2021 9:12

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