Academic journal article Population

What Drives Onward Mobility within Europe? the Case of Senegalese Migration between France, Italy and Spain

Academic journal article Population

What Drives Onward Mobility within Europe? the Case of Senegalese Migration between France, Italy and Spain

Article excerpt

International migration is still mainly analysed as a one-time, one-way movement from an origin country A to a permanent destination B. Yet migration trajectories are often more complex, as migrants may travel through and successively settle in several countries, or engage in circular mobility. However, the factors that shape individuals' migration trajectories remain little known. In particular, even though qualitative studies suggest that multiple international moves have become a common mobility strategy (Paul 2011; Schapendonk, 2010) increasingly adopted in times of economic crisis (Cingolani and Ricucci, 2013; Sacchetto and Vianello, 2012), onward intra-European migration is still an under-researched area.

In the African migration context, for instance, qualitative research points up the increasing complexity and fluidity of migration flows and routes towards and within Europe, with a subsequent fragmentation of migrants' journeys (Castagnone, 2011; Schapendonk, 2010). Partly in response to border controls, step-by-step migration (Bredeloup and Pliez, 2005) is progressively developing as an emerging migration strategy, with transit migration playing an increasing role in migrants' trajectories. Return and circular migration patterns are also common practices (Dia, 2009; Flahaux et al., 2011). Finally, African migrants reaching Europe appear to engage in further onward remigration within the European space (Nekby, 2006; Schapendonk, 2011), although the factors driving this phenomenon remain little known (Lindley and Van Hear, 2007).

This article extends the literature by examining, in a quantitative framework, the drivers of onward mobility within Europe. In the context of this study, onward migration refers to migration from a European country to another in a two- or multi-step process. We focus on Senegalese migration between France, Italy and Spain, taking advantage of recently collected longitudinal data on migration between Africa and Europe (MAFE). It further contributes to the literature by adopting an innovative life-course approach to the study of factors driving remigration. Thanks to the retrospective nature of our data, we are able to examine how the dynamic processes of economic and legal incorporation in the country of settlement lead to onward mobility. Last, we take into account a dimension that has so far been neglected by research on stepwise mobility: the role of kin and friendship ties. While the role of ties to prior migrants has been extensively studied with respect to first international moves, we still know little about the extent and the ways in which they may influence stepwise mobility. In this analysis we examine how the location and composition of migrants' networks affects their likelihood of moving onwards to another country.

The article starts by reviewing the still limited theoretical and empirical approaches to onward migration before introducing the specific context of Senegalese international migration flows. A third section presents the data and the methodology employed, while the results are described and discussed in the last two sections.

I. Theoretical background and state of knowledge

Migration as a continuous, stepwise process

Migration research has been predominantly guided by assumptions whereby migration is a one-off move from a departure country A to a destination country B, mainly directed towards Europe (revealing a strong Eurocentric bias), entailing a permanent settlement at destination (Agunias, 2006), and involving few or no subsequent steps after arrival in Europe. Ways of theorizing and studying migration have been paradoxically informed by a desire to "fix" migration processes within a clear spatial and temporal framework, in order to make it knowable (Cresswell and Hoskins, 2006). Methodological nationalism, as "an ideological orientation that approaches the study of social and of historical processes as if they were contained within the borders of individual nation-states" (Glick Schiller, 2009, p. …

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