The myth of no return. Return migration, mobility and the transnational lives of Moroccan and Italian labour migrants, 1945- 2015

01 October 2015 → 30 September 2018
Regional and community funding: Special Research Fund
Research disciplines
  • Social sciences
    • Applied economics
    • Economic history
    • Macroeconomics and monetary economics
    • Microeconomics
    • Tourism
Project description

Every migration stream generates a counter flow of return migration. In the field of migration studies, however, this return draws a lot less attention than the arrival and settlement of immigrants in the societies where most researchers are based. This is the case even in the research dealing with post war labour migration from the Mediterranean to the booming economies of Western Europe, where return was built into the discourse and practice of migrants and states alike from the very start. This research wants to address the phenomenon of return for this specific migration stream. It will assess the impact of large-scale economic and political changes on the return flows in general and on the lives of individual returnees and their families in particular. Further, it will focus on the mobility of post-war labour migrants, looking at the extent to which return and other forms of continued or circular migration were present in their trajectories. Finally, it will look at the influence of returnees’ migration experiences on their social contacts, economic behaviour and cultural habits, within but especially across national borders. In order to address these questions, the research will analyse return migration from a long-term and comparative perspective, by studying the life courses of returnees from Morocco and Italy over the past 70 years, embedded within the specific economic and political contexts surrounding them.