MIGRATION SEMINAR: Unpacking the postcolonial link in migration research and migration policies

Simona Vezzoli, International Migration Institute (IMI), Oxford University

Studies on the drivers of international migration generally agree that there is a correlation between past colonial links and migration flows from former colonies to former colonial powers. However, what is meant by colonial links, why or how they would matter is often left to the imagination of the reader. The Caribbean region permits to see the transformation of relations between former colonisers and colonies starting in the 1960s as well as relations between remaining dependencies and metropoles. Contrary to expectation, migration data for French Guiana, Guyana and Suriname show that not all colonial ties carry the same weight in influencing migration and colonial and dependency links may play larger roles in some instances than in others. This presentation unpacks the concept of postcolonial links and explores the processes of colonisation, independence or annexation as an overseas territory, economic and political hegemony, marginality and resistance in relation to international migration. Moreover, it introduces the concept of time in post-colonial considerations and a role for migrants and non-migrants in shaping migration flows and migration policies.

About the speaker
Simona Vezzoli is a Research Officer at IMI.Simona's research interests include migration policy, in particular sending countries' perspectives on emigration and the interaction between emigration and immigration policies; sending country policies to engage diaspora communities; and return and reintegration of migrants in their communities of origin. Her work has covered migration and development initiatives in Mexico, Morocco, Ghana and Serbia. She is currently exploring the history and impact of migration policies, with a focus on the Caribbean region. Simona works on the DEMIG and GMF projects. She also worked on the Transatlantic Dialogues project.

Venue: Conference Room, UNU-MERIT/MGSoG, Keizer Karelplein 19, Maastricht

Date: 11 April 2012

Time: 12:30 - 13:30


UNU-MERIT