Contested Concepts in Migration Studies  book cover
1st Edition

Contested Concepts in Migration Studies

ISBN 9780367634834
Published November 30, 2021 by Routledge
276 Pages

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Book Description

This volume demonstrates that migration- and diversity-related concepts are always contested, and provides a reflexive critical awareness and better comprehension of the complex questions driving migration studies. The main purpose of this volume is to enhance conceptual thinking on migration studies.

Examining interaction between concepts in the public domain, the academic disciplines, and the policy field, this book helps to avoid simplification or even trivialization of complex issues. Recent political events question established ways of looking at issues of migration and diversity and require a clarification or reinvention of political concepts to match the changing world. Applying five basic dimensions, each expert chapter contribution reflects on the role concepts play and demonstrates that concepts are ideology dependent, policy/politics dependent, context dependent, discipline dependent, and language dependent, and are influenced by how research is done, how policies are formulated, and how political debates extend and distort them.

This book will be essential reading for students, scholars, and practitioners in migration studies/politics, migrant integration, citizenship studies, racism studies, and more broadly of key interest to sociology, political science, and political theory.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Conceptual Thinking in Migration Studies

Ricard Zapata-Barrero, Dirk Jacobs, and Riva Kastoryano

1. Border: Meanings, practices and fields in academia, politics, and public domains

Bastian Vollmer 

2. Citizenship: From liberal right to neoliberally earned

Christian Joppke

3. Cohesion: Beyond the diversity threatening hypothesis

Ricard Zapata-Barrero

4. Cosmopolitanism: Moral Universalism and the Politics of Migration

John Erik Fossum and Espen D.H. Olsen

5. Discrimination: Studying the racialized structure of disadvantage

Patrick Simon

6. Diversity: Polyphony of the concept

Dirk Jacobs

7. Identity and immigration: Core concepts

Edward Telles

8. Integration: A critical view

Adrian Favell

9. Interculturalism: Re-imagining dialogue and connectedness in super-diverse realities

Fethi Mansouri

10. Mobility and Migration: Physical, Contextual and Perspectival Interpretations

Rainer Baubock

11. Multiculturalism: Maximum Misunderstanding

Keith G. Banting

12. Nationalism: The concept and its varieties

Anna Triandafyllidou

13. Secularism: Political Secularism and Post-immigration Ethno-Religious Communities

Tariq Modood

14. Tolerance: Recognition, reasonable accommodation, and minority rights

Patrick Loobuyck

15. Transnationalism: Theory and experience

Riva Kastoryano

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Ricard Zapata-Barrero is Full Professor in the Department of Political and Social Sciences at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.

Dirk Jacobs is Full Professor at the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, Universite Libre de Bruxelles, and Chairperson of the Brussels Studies Institute, Belgium.

Riva Kastoryano is Emerite Research Director at the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), affiliated at Sciences Po - Center for International Studies (CERI-Sciences Po, Paris).


‘Written by leading scholars and researchers the various chapters in this bold and challenging book are full of insights into key issues that are at the heart of ongoing conversations in many societies. It is a must-read for all those working on this important social and political issue.’

John Solomos, University of Warwick, UK

‘From citizenship and diversity to identity and multiculturalism, the essays in this innovative and important volume by leading migration scholars provide fresh perspectives and revealing insights into contested concepts in migration studies.’

Nancy Foner, City University of New York, USA

‘Migration is a hotly debated, contested topic in many countries. These disagreements are mirrored in the many contested concepts in migration studies. This book, however, shows that clarification of these contested concepts may be a first step in making migration less contested.’

Jan Willem Duyvendak, University of Amsterdam and NIAS-KNAW, The Netherlands

"...a significant contribution to the field and an essential book that students, scholars, and policy-makers interested in migration and diversity would like to keep it on their desks to consult."

Erdem Dikici (2022): Book Review of "Contested concepts in migration studies" in Ethnic and Racial Studies, DOI: 10.1080/01419870.2022.2063153

"...the book invites us to rethink and expand fifteen key concepts... due to its broad overview, this compendium can be a useful source of information not only to scholars within the field, but also to journalists and policymakers interested in expanding their knowledge and accuracy in the understanding of such concepts."

Luana Franco Rocha (2022): Book Review of "Contested Concepts in Migration Studies" in Immigrants & Minorities, DOI: 10.1080/02619288.2022.2069218