1st Edition

Return Migration and Psychosocial Wellbeing Discourses, Policy-Making and Outcomes for Migrants and their Families

Edited By Zana Vathi, Russell King Copyright 2017
    298 Pages
    by Routledge

    298 Pages
    by Routledge

    Return migration is a topic of growing interest among academics and policy makers. Nonetheless, issues of psychosocial wellbeing are rarely discussed in its context.

    Return Migration and Psychosocial Wellbeing problematises the widely-held assumption that return to the country of origin, especially in the context of voluntary migrations, is a psychologically safe process. By exploding the forced-voluntary dichotomy, it analyses the continuum of experiences of return and the effect of time, the factors that affect the return process and associated mobilities, and their multiple links with returned migrants' wellbeing or psychosocial issues.

    Drawing research encompassing four different continents – Europe, North America, Africa and Asia – to offer a blend of studies, this timely volume contrasts with previous research which is heavily informed by clinical approaches and concepts, as the contributions in this book come from various disciplinary approaches such as sociology, geography, psychology, politics and anthropology. Indeed, this title will appeal to academics, NGOs and policy-makers working on migration and psychosocial wellbeing; and undergraduate and postgraduate students who are interested in the fields of migration, social policy, ethnicity studies, health studies, human geography, sociology and anthropology.



    The interface between return migration and psychosocial wellbeing

    Zana Vathi, Edge Hill University, UK

    1. The forced-voluntary continuum in return migration

    2. Return to wellbeing? Irregular migrants and assisted return in Norway

      Synnøve Bendixsen, University of Bergen, Norway

      Hilde Lidén, Institute for Social Research, Norway

      Forced to return? Agency and the role of post-return mobility for psychosocial wellbeing among returnees to Afghanistan, Pakistan and Poland

      Marta Bivand Erdal, Peace Research Institute, Norway

      Ceri Oeppen, University of Sussex, UK

      Between ‘voluntary’ return programs and soft deportation: sending vulnerable migrants in Spain back ‘home’

      Barak Kalir, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

    3. Ancestral returns, adaptation and re-migration

    4. Roots migration to the ancestral homeland and psychosocial wellbeing: young Polish diasporic students

      Marcin Gońda, University of Łódź, Poland

      ‘This country plays tricks on you’: Portuguese migrant descendant returnees narrate economic crisis-influenced ‘returns’

      João Sardinha, Universidade Aberta, Portugal

      David Cairns, University of Lisbon, Portugal

      ‘Invisible’ returns of Bosnian refugees and their psychosocial wellbeing

      Selma Porobic, University of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina


    5. Asylum systems, assisted returns, and post-return mobilities

    6. ‘Burning without fire’: the paradox of the state’s attempt to safeguard deportees’ psychosocial wellbeing

      Daniela DeBono, Malmö University, Sweden

      The return of refugees from Kenya to Somalia: ge


    Zana Vathi is Reader in Social Sciences at Edge Hill University.

    Russell King is Professor of Geography at the University of Sussex and Visiting Professor of Migration Studies at Malmö University.

    Return migration is discussed a lot but remains poorly understood in both academic and policy contexts. Engaging with the multi-faceted realities of ‘return’, this books offers a much needed critical view to return migration. Focusing on the psychosocial well being of the returning migrant the book challenges the dominant myth that return is a ‘good thing’. Contributions to this volume cover four continents and very different contexts of return (voluntary and forced, assisted and spontaneous) pointing to the agency of the migrant and to the role of volition in both returning and in seeking to escape (forced) return.

    Anna Triandafyllidou, Professor, Global Governance Programme, Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, European University Institute

    Return Migration and Psychosocial Wellbeing sheds new light on classical themes in the study of migration, such as agency, home, and the life course. The book connects these themes with current theoretical turns and policy contexts. The focus on psychosocial wellbeing weaves together forms of migration that are usually studies in isolation from each other.

    Jørgen Carling, Peace Research Institute Oslo

    Readers who want to understand the policy and societal relevance of returnees’ wellbeing will find much in this volume co-edited by Russell King and Zana Vathi. The authors’ contributions accurately identify the various psychosocial dimensions inherent in returnees’ patterns of reintegration as well as their implications. To be sure, this volume clearly shows that it is still possible to reflect on return migration by critically examining and deconstructing predominant assumptions with grounded scientific evidence.

    Jean-Pierre Cassarino, Institut de Recherche sur le Maghreb Contemporain (IRMC)