CFP Global Labor Migration: Past and Present

Holly Hynson's picture
Call for Papers
June 20, 2019
Subject Fields: 
Diplomacy and International Relations, Labor History / Studies, World History / Studies

The Global Labor Migration Network seeks proposals for its international conference, to take place June 20-22, 2019, at the International Institute for Social History in Amsterdam.


Labor migration is a vast, global, and highly fluid phenomenon in the 21st century, capturing public attention and driving political controversy.  There are more labor migrants working in areas beyond their birth country or region than ever before.  Although scattered across the social ladder, migrant workers have always clustered, at least initially, in the bottom rungs of the working class.  Even as cross-border or inter-regional movement may beckon as a source of hope and new opportunity, the experience for the migrants and their families is often fraught with peril.  Labor migrants are vulnerable: they are exploited more easily by recruiters and employers, and are less likely to benefit from union representation.  They often face arrest or deportation when attempting to fight for their rights, and are bound to special documents that limit their ability to change jobs.  Moreover, as recent history reminds us, host-country fears directed towards labor migrants can also spark larger political movements characterized by nativist, racist, or even outright fascist tendencies.  Clearly, there is a need to combat fear with understanding and to reach for improved global regulations and standards to protect the rights and welfare of migrants alongside those of host country working people. 


Involving scholars and activists from diverse parts of the globe and drawing on a wide variety of disciplines—including history, sociology, anthropology, ethnic studies, women and gender studies, public health, law and public policy—the global summit will bring attention to one of the world’s most pressing issues, generate scholarly dialogue and new research agendas, and propose policies that can improve conditions for migrants. 


The conference will also include a range of presentation formats: brief papers, roundtables, and open conversations. Presentations on labor migration in Africa, Asia and South America are particularly encouraged.


Based on its April 2017 planning workshop, the GLMN prioritizes the following thematic areas for projected panels:

  • host country immigration policy and politics
  • sending country/emigrant relations
  • women and care-worker migration issues
  • populism, restrictionism, and anti-immigrant movements
  • refugees and asylum-seekers
  • trade unions and host worker/immigrant worker relations
  • neoliberalism/post-neoliberalism and immigration policy
  • regulatory strategies for ensuring decent work for migrant workers
  • international organizations and NGOs (U.N., ILO, World Bank, Care, Oxfam, etc.)
  • im/migrant rights activism
  • race, ethnicity, and migrant labor markets
  • free/unfree labor, trafficking, and the global migrant labor system


For more information about the conference, please visit



Applicants are encouraged to submit full panel proposals, including a chair, commentator, and no more than three papers; individual paper submissions will also be accepted. 


The submission form may be found at


The deadline for submitting proposals is 11:59 p.m. EST, July 1, 2018. If you encounter technical difficulties, please contact technical support at  For non-technical questions concerning submission guidelines, eligibilities, or submission status, please contact


Everyone on the program must register for the meeting when registration opens in the fall.


Individual Papers

Before submitting a proposal online, session organizers should collect the following information, which will be needed to submit a complete proposal:

  • Paper or presentation titles
  • Abstract or description for each presentation (up to 250 words)
  • CV
  • Correct e-mail address
  • Affiliation, city, state, and country



Sessions will last for two hours and will be limited to three speakers plus a chair and commentator. We encourage organizers to build panels that bring together diverse perspectives.


Before submitting a proposal online, session organizers should collect the following information, which will be needed to submit a complete proposal:

  • Session title
  • Session abstract (up to 250 words)
  • Individual paper or presentation titles
  • Abstract or description for each presentation (up to 250 words)
  • CV for each participant
  • Correct e-mail address for each participant
  • Affiliation, city, state, and country for each participant
  • Chair and commentator for the session


The Global Labor Migration Network welcomes proposals across disciplines on all places, periods, people, and topics.  The Program Committee encourages proposals from all scholars, whatever their institutional affiliation or status. 

Contact Info: 

Lauren Michalak and Holly Hynson

Graduate Students, Center for Global Migration Studies

University of Maryland, College Park

Contact Email: