How are we researching the drivers of migration? Where do we still need more research? And what kind of knowledge can migration research scholars provide to inform policy? These questions were central to the CrossMigration expert workshop on migration drivers that took place on 26 June, at Malmö University.
The discussion was led by Mathias Czaika, who began by giving an overview of what CrossMigration seeks to achieve with its Migration Research Hub, and presented the taxonomy that forms the backbone of this knowledge accumulation effort. Then, zooming in on the topic of migration drivers, participants engaged with the synthesis report on migration drivers which provides a concise overview of current state of knowledge. In a plenary session, the researchers further refined the taxonomy, and discussed the nature of migration drivers and their changes over time, by social group and region. These and other concerns will be better accounted for in the taxonomy and the report.
The second part of the meeting saw the researchers split into smaller groups to tackle the question of gaps in research on migration drivers. One of the main takeaways from these discussions was that the information in the Migration Research Hub should make it easier to link researchers and policy makers more closely when identifying research needs, and contribute to a different model of interaction between the two groups. This would benefit the policy makers, who would have better information at their disposal, the researchers, who would see their research applied in practice in a much more concrete way, and also importantly, the people who are subjects to these policies.
The result of this productive meeting will be published as a chapter in an open access book, and a series of landing pages for the Migration Research Hub. The gaps and improvements identified continue to make the Migration Research Hub an even better tool for researchers and policymakers, as well as others interested in the topic.