Stephen Castles, who has been a leading migration scholar and migration theorist since the 1970s, has passed away aged 77. Stephen has left a legacy of a remarkable contribution to the understanding of the complex, changing dynamics of global migration, the ways that this migration transformed sending and receiving countries and the lives of migrants themselves. 

Although born in Australia, Stephen was raised in England and his first period as a migration scholar was European-based. Immigrant Workers and Class Structure in Western Europe (1973) — his first major contribution to the field — was very influential and made Stephen’s reputation within the global migration research community. Soon after the publication of his second major book contribution to the field — Here for Good. Western Europe’s New Ethnic Minorities (1984) — Stephen returned to Australia in 1986 to take up the post as the Director of the Centre for Multicultural Studies at Wollongong University. During that time, Stephen had a major impact on migration research and policy in Australia. In 2001, Stephen then moved to Oxford University as Director of the Refugee Studies Centre and worked at Oxford University till 2009 when he returned to Australia to take up a position at the University of Sydney until his retirement in 2017.

One of the difficulties in reviewing the career of Stephen Castles is that over four and a half decades, his immigration scholarship — with a range of co-authors — has been so productive and his writings so prolific. The recurring theme is that Stephen Castles regularly anticipated new global migration issues so that his scholarship was at the forefront both theoretically and in policy terms. 

Here for Good (1984) addressed the increasingly important issue of temporary migration, a theme that he returned to in later books, including Back to the Future? Can Europe Meet Its Labour Needs through Temporary Migration? (2006). His book, Citizenship and Migration: Globalisation and the Politics of Belonging (2000), was at the cutting edge of the citizenship debate that still resonates strongly in Australasia, Europe, Scandinavia and North America. At Oxford, Stephen’s publications addressed forced migration to Europe, including States of Conflict: Causes and Patterns of Forced Migration to the EU (2003) ― this was a matter that was starting to gain relevance both in academia and in the policy/practice worlds. Stephen’s global focus shifted his gaze to sending countries and fieldwork in Africa and the relationship between global migration and development in Migration and Development: Perspectives from the South (2008). The Age of Migration — first published in 1993 and now in its fifth edition — is still the most influential migration textbook in the world and has been translated into Spanish, Italian, Turkish, Polish, Japanese and Taiwanese Chinese. In his last book, Social Transformation and Migration: National and Local Experiences in South Korea, Turkey, Mexico and Australia (2015), Stephen returns to the themes he addressed in his first book but in a different way: this time, the key focus is not the labour market and migrant workers per se but the transformation of the places of migrant settlement and migrants as neighbours.

One of the key features of Stephen Castles’ immigration scholarship has been the collaborative nature of his research. This is seen in the wide range of co-authors in his published work. Another has been his innovative, shifting focus, cannily anticipating new major global migration trends and issues and cutting the cloth of the theoretical lens that would be necessary to understand and interpret these trends and develop policy responses. A sociologist, Stephen always located his research in social theory though with an interdisciplinary focus, critical to a phenomenon such as global migration that transcends traditional disciplines. Another is the increasing global span of his fieldwork, with his focus on sending as well as receiving nations and his insistence that many nations are both. The global South is progressively featured in his published work over the decades. The other constant in his career has been Stephen’s focus on policy implications and the importance of policy development. His insights and advice were eagerly sought by national governments and transnational institutions.

Stephen Castles was a humble and unassuming man. His many graduate students found him very approachable, generous with his time and knowledge and so valuable as a guiding hand on their newly emerging academic careers. 

He has many friends among the Metropolis International community who are greatly saddened by his unexpected passing but forever grateful for his life and career. Stephen played key roles in the two Australian International Metropolis Conferences, Melbourne 2007 and Sydney 2018. The planning of the former benefited greatly from Stephen's intricate knowledge of the subject. He gave freely of his time in consultation with the organisers and his presence on the podium gave lustre to the occasion. As Australia's foremost expert on international migration, he brought the country's leading position in this field of study to the Conference, which attracted some 700 delegates, of whom over 300 came from overseas. He was honoured at the equally successful International Metropolis Conference in Sydney in 2018 with a Plenary Session focussing on his career. It was a way for the Metropolis International family to honour his scholarship in the field and further engage with what he so generously offered. Stephen's role as the first Chair of the Board of the Bureau of Immigration Research had a substantial impact in placing the Bureau as a respected and influential international agency. 

The Metropolis International community has lost a giant in the international field of migration studies. We send our sincere condolences to his wife, Ellie Vasta — an Australian migration scholar of substantial achievement in her own right — and to his daughters Freyja and Jenny and their families. His influence and memory will long resonate within the academic, government and community sectors that comprise the Metropolis International community and his varied and global network of friends and colleagues. 

Jock Collins 

University of Technology Sydney

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Wondering how counter-smuggling operations impact the safety of migrants and the local dynamics of mobility? Find out by watching the full webinar.

Description

Migrant smuggling—the facilitation for profit of the entry of a person into a country other than their own—is at the core of the discourse worldwide on irregular migration, migration controls, and border security. The term ‘smuggling’, along with specific claims about its nature, has long been invoked by countries concerned about the presence of irregular migrants.  It is routine to characterize smuggling as managed by complex and cruel criminal organizations that garner staggering profits from their illegal actions. Recently, however, empirical work from several migration corridors has called into question many of these generalizations about sophisticated smuggling operations, calling for a more nuanced and bottom-up understanding of the facilitation of irregular migration. 

Although this empirical work has provided important and useful insights into the complexities of smuggling, it has neglected the impact of counter-smuggling measures on irregular migration. Counter-smuggling programs have become ubiquitous and often take the form of externalizing border controls through agreements with countries of transit. To fully understand irregular migration, we must consider the effects of counter-smuggling measures on migration patterns, on the migrants themselves, and on the societies from which they come and to which they travel. Efforts to control the smuggling services that are relied upon by many migrants can bring their own harms. The case studies now available suggest that criminalizing certain forms of migration and associated facilitation services by labelling them as ‘smuggling’ perversely fosters rather than contains clandestine mobility and exacerbates migrant victimization. Furthermore, counter-smuggling initiatives seem to create new, informal but consequential policing interactions among citizens as the responsibility to “detect” migrants travelling irregularly is extended to include bus drivers, shopkeepers, hotel owners, and ordinary citizens. 

In this webinar, we draw from examples in Europe, North Africa and the Americas to shed light on the effects of counter-smuggling operations on the safety of migrants and on the local dynamics of mobility.  

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Convenors

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Wondering how architecture and planning influence the settlement, integration, and well-being of immigrants and refugees? Find out by watching the full Webinar reply below.

Description

Among the aspects of newcomer settlement and integration that we usually emphasize such as

language, education, skills, discrimination, respect for rights, we rarely include architecture

and urban planning. And yet, if we think about what makes immigrants, refugees, and asylum

seekers feel comfortable in a new society, allows them to feel that they belong there, the built

environment is significant. Whether the homes they live in, the shops they visit, the places of

worship in which they gather, the schools they and their children attend, the spaces in which

they can socialize, the design of the buildings and their location relative to one another, all of

these affect the quality of their lives. Informal neighbourhoods in developing countries often

arise without the hand of professional architects or planners, yet bear identifiable cultural

hallmarks. Urban plans of cities in the West tend to ignore the cultural differences among

their residents, and architectural designs, whether mandated by regulations or not, tend to

reflect the mainstream populations’ preferences. But when newcomer neighbourhoods

become larger and more highly concentrated as in modern middle class suburban ethnic

enclaves or in arrival spaces for large numbers of refugees and asylum seekers, the effects of

architecture and urban plans can become acute.

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Hosted by

Metropolis International, established in 1996, is the largest cross-sectoral international

network of professionals in the field of migration, integration/inclusion, and diversity. It

provides an international platform for constructive dialogue and effective production &

dissemination of policy-relevant, socially-meaningful, and evidence-based knowledge across

the policy, research, civil society, and private sectors.

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It is with great sadness that the migration community has to unexpectedly say the farewell to Ambassador Swing, former Director General of IOM. Many of us had the pleasure to meet and listen to him at International Metropolis Conferences over the years and to work with him to improve migration governance. We considered him a friend.

Metropolis International joins the larger community in taking a moment to honour his drive, leadership and compassion in this field, and to relay the International Steering Committee's condolences and support to his family and his colleagues at IOM. 

IOM Mourns Death of Former Director-General William Lacy Swing

June 2021

Metropolis International

Prof. Jan Rath, Co-Chair 

Prof. em. Paul Spoonley, Co-Chair 

Mihaela Vieru, Senior Program Manager 
https://carleton.ca/metropolis/

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Webinar 1 — African Migration: dreams and trajectories

Date: Wednesday April 28, 2021, 15:00-16:15 WET (UTC+0)

Description

The African continent has always been a site of population mobility, due to a host of structural determinants varying from economic inequality, environmental risks, social and political conflicts, education, adventure and so forth. In some ways, the root causes of migration in Africa are exactly the same as everywhere else. 

The second webinar revolves around European and African attempts to regulate these processes. The European Union (EU) and its members states have been uneasy with African migration to the North and aims to intervene in a variety of ways, with unprecedented force, and to a certain extent in collaboration with African partners so as to contain African mobility. How do these efforts, that some see as paternalistic and exclusionist, intervene in the journeys that many Africans are undertaking?

Convenors

Speakers

Webinar 2 — African Migration: the making of the ‘responsible migrant’

Cohosted by

The Moroccan Institute of Advanced Studies (IMEA), recently established by the Mohammed V University in Rabat, Morocco has the mission to promote high-level research in the humanities and social sciences and to promote dialogue and interactions with other scientific fields. http://imea.um5.ac.ma/en/home-2/ 

Metropolis International, established in 1996, is the largest cross-sectoral international network of professionals in the field of migration, integration/inclusion, and diversity. It provides an international platform for constructive dialogue and effective production & dissemination of policy-relevant, socially-meaningful, and evidence-based knowledge across the policy, research, civil society, and private sectors.

Share this:

Webinar 1 — African Migration: dreams and trajectories

Date: Wednesday April 28, 2021, 15:00-16:15 WET (UTC+0)

Description

The African continent has always been a site of population mobility, due to a host of structural determinants varying from economic inequality, environmental risks, social and political conflicts, education, adventure and so forth. In some ways, the root causes of migration in Africa are exactly the same as everywhere else. 

Taking these well-known structural causes as a starting point, the first webinar aims to explore what individuals and families do with it. Key words then are hope and aspiration, motivations, dreams. Those who decide to move to greener pastures embark on an unknown journey into an ever changing environment full of uncertainties, risks and new opportunities. How are they able to maneuver through life and across space by circumventing social, cultural and political hurdles, and by finding the narrow path from one small opportunity to the other?

Convenors

Speakers

Webinar 1 — African Migration: dreams and trajectories

Cohosted by

The Moroccan Institute of Advanced Studies (IMEA), recently established by the Mohammed V University in Rabat, Morocco has the mission to promote high-level research in the humanities and social sciences and to promote dialogue and interactions with other scientific fields. http://imea.um5.ac.ma/en/home-2/ 

Metropolis International, established in 1996, is the largest cross-sectoral international network of professionals in the field of migration, integration/inclusion, and diversity. It provides an international platform for constructive dialogue and effective production & dissemination of policy-relevant, socially-meaningful, and evidence-based knowledge across the policy, research, civil society, and private sectors.

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