Punjab Research Group

Bringing Culture Back in: Social Remittances and Local Practices in the Migration-Development Nexus

Posted in Conferences by Pippa on April 28, 2009

Monday, 18 May 2009, 15.00-17.00

Danish Institute for International Studies, Main Auditorium, Strandgade 71, ground floor, 1401 Copenhagen K



In recent years, the migration-development nexus has become a central issue on national and international policy and research agendas, especially in relation to economic remittances and their impact on national economic development. Yet, local socio-cultural practices are often ignored in the celebration of the migration-development potential as are the changes following new practices and ideas which migrants bring along, so-called social remittances. Likewise, the complex relationship between migrants and their countries of origin is generally overlooked by policy makers, who tend to divide migrants into emigrants – seen as potential remitters, and immigrants – often seen as potential problems. At this seminar, two of the leading scholars in transnational migration, Peggy Levitt and Ninna Nyberg Sørensen, challenge the mainstream perception of migration and development, arguing that culture must be brought back in, and a transnational social field perspective must be applied.


This is the third seminar in the 2009 Migration Seminar Spring Series Revisiting the Migration-Development Nexus: visions, challenges and prospects. The series critically explores visions and practices concerning migration and development. In recent years, the development potential of migration has gained much interest among policy makers, international development organizations and researchers. However, the discourses of migration and development revolve mostly around financial remittances, often ignoring local practices and migrant perspectives. These seminars revisit the migration-development nexus. Based on cutting-edge research and ongoing policy involvement, the seminars present current policy development as well as migrant responses and practices, questioning common sense assumptions and presenting new perspectives.

For more information: http://www.diis.dk/sw77419.asp


Practical Information

The seminar will be held in English.

 Participation is free of charge, but registration is required. Please use our online registration form no later than Friday, 15 May 2009 at 12.00 noon.

Downturn hits money transfers By Dil Neiyyar, BBC Asian Network

Posted in Articles, News/Information by Pippa on April 1, 2009

Sujith from Cardiff came to Britain to get a good education, earn some money and help his family back in India.


But he’s stopped sending money because of the falling value of sterling.

“I used to send about a grand (£1,000; $1,400) every quarter [three months]. But I stopped because of the falling rate,” he said.

That means that Sujith’s story is not uncommon.

There’s been a massive fall in the number of people sending money back to India. Some money transfer agents say customer numbers have dropped by as much as 80%.

Last year £300 million was sent from the UK to family and friends in India. A poor exchange rate and unemployment are being blamed for a sharp fall this year.


Declining business

Inderjit Singh’s shop in Handsworth in Birmingham is popular with people sending money back to India. But this year far fewer people are using his money transfer business.


“After Christmas the customers became very down. Before Christmas normally we send about £4,000 to £5,000 a week to India. And now only £800, £700, £900 maximum. It means 70% to 80% customers drop,” he said.


To read full article: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7971948.stm

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The Bucerius Ph.D. Scholarships in Migration Studies “Settling Into Motion”

Posted in News/Information, PhD Studentship by Pippa on January 13, 2009

The Bucerius Ph.D. scholarship program in migration studies “Settling  Into Motion” offers up to eight scholarships for Ph.D. theses  addressing migration in changing societies. For 2009 proposals studying “Migration, Development and the Environment” are especially welcome.

Migration is a double-edged sword: It generates remittances and some countries heavily depend on these transfers for their economic stability. At the same time, migration drains the highly qualified workforce in countries of origin thus weakening long-term development. Environmental degradation and climate change increasingly cause migration as exemplified by the plan of the Maldivian government to move its entire population should ocean levels rise further. On the other hand, large scale migration into camps and shanty towns further deteriorates the environment. Applications for scholarships under this topic would be encouraged to study the following aspects (but are not limited to these):

– Economic, social and cultural remittances
– Return migration
– Migration management including circular migration and other forms of temporary labour arrangements
– Immigration experiences of developing countries
– Migration-development nexus
– Climate change, environment and migration
– Environmental impact of migration
– Innovative approaches both in terms of subject matter and methodology are highly encouraged.

Applicants must be Ph.D. students of – in a broad sense – social sciences. Deadline 25 February 2009 for a stipend starting in August 2009.Please apply online at http://www.settling-into-motion.org/h/index.php  with Ph.D. proposal and two references.

ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius
Anna Hofmann
Feldbrunnenstraße 56
20148 Hamburg
Phone: +49 40 4133 6785
Fax: +49 40 4133 6777

Comments Off on The Bucerius Ph.D. Scholarships in Migration Studies “Settling Into Motion”

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