Gaps in Migration Research: Review of migration theories and the quality and compatibility of migration data on the national and international level.

Tuba Bircan, Damini Purkayastha, Ahmad Wali Ahmad-yar, Kathrin Lotter, C. Dello Iakono, D. Göler, Mikolaj Stanek, S Yilmaz, G Solano, Özgün Ünver

Onderzoeksoutput: Article

46 Downloads (Pure)


Migration is humming with activity and fuelled by the changing nature of typologies, geographies, drivers and, more importantly, changing soceities. At the same time, ‘migration’ continues to be a key concern of public and policy debates, especially as intersectional issues of labour rights, citizenship, ethnicity and health inequalities. Alongside the traditional migration categories, new typologies have developed that present particular internal dynamics. The complexity of current migration phenomena, the obstacles in data collection and the limitations in theoretical framework pose challenges for migration studies. Valid, reliable, scientifically driven conceptualisations and arguments on migration are a critical need of the hour – not only for researchers and policymakers, but also for the public whose opinion has a significant role in policymaking. It is important to develop theoretical frameworks and statistical resources that capture the dynamism of migration, the various intersections of identity, economics, globalisation and gender accurately. Ongoing efforts for harmonising definitions and new data sources have contributed to the availability and quality of information on migratory flows. Nevertheless, coherence, consistency and comparability in national and international migration statistics may still be the exception rather than the standard. Today in 2020, although a lot of things have drastically changed, the same challenges and gaps about migration statistics continue to persist. These shortcomings constitute a notable obstacle for researchers and authorities to understand global migration patterns better, develop scenarios, design effective policies, monitor the needs of the population, and to identify how these needs change over time. In the last few decades, there have been multiple attempts by national governments, international and regional organisations, and private institutions to collect better data on migration. However, the existing data on international migration suffers from problems (gaps) of inconsistency in definitions and data collection methodology, lack of adequate statistics, ignorance of new data sources and limitations for comparability, among others. On the other hand, it has also been questioned whether existing migration theories and capture contemporary migration patterns, dynamics and status. Recent changes in the dynamics and modalities of migration have not yet been studied beyond predominant theories and their components. Scholars and international institutions have repeatedly highlighted these issues and insisted on the urgent need for comprehensive, accurate and timely data on migration. In spite of efforts, actual improvements have been limited. The ultimate goal of this report is to critically discuss and identify the contemporary gaps in migration data and to map theories and the contemporary migration reality. This elaborate report comprised three sections: a brief overview of major theories of migration, gaps assessment in theories and data and the theories and contemporary migration realities nexus. The discussion of each part is based on detailed and critical reviews. A final analysis of the different perspectives in each section highlights the findings and recommendations. Main conclusions serve as the updated and detailed list of long-lasting shortcomings of the migration theories and data. Although solution suggestions are not part of the specific objectives of this report, the identified gaps will be the starting point for the assessment and validation of alternative data sources and new methodologies to develop better understanding of the migration scnearios. In addition to that, developed recommendations are a considered process of using findings of this report to help policymakers, data collecting institutes and researchers with making decisions on future actions regarding the improvement of the knowledge on the migration scenarios.
Originele taal-2English
Aantal pagina's104
TijdschriftHumMingBird Paper
StatusPublished - 1 jul 2020


Duik in de onderzoeksthema's van 'Gaps in Migration Research: Review of migration theories and the quality and compatibility of migration data on the national and international level.'. Samen vormen ze een unieke vingerafdruk.

Citeer dit