Sixth Annual International Conference on Social Sciences Migration in Morocco and Beyond: From Local to Global Dynamics Al Akhawayn University, Ifrane, Morocco, 25-26 May 2019

Abdelkrim Marzouk's picture
Call for Papers
May 25, 2019 to May 26, 2019
Subject Fields: 
European History / Studies, Geography, Government and Public Service, Human Rights, Immigration & Migration History / Studies

Sixth Annual International Conference on Social Sciences

Migration in Morocco and Beyond: From Local to Global Dynamics

Al Akhawayn University, Ifrane, Morocco, 25-26 May 2019

Conference rationale

The sixth annual conference on social sciences in Morocco organized by Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane is scheduled for 25-26 May 2019. The conference aims to expand on concerns in Morocco and elsewhere regarding the multifaceted issue of migration. Migration is one of the unavoidable issues of our times. According to the UN’s International Migration Report, 258,000,000 individuals, or 3.5% of the world’s population, were living in countries other than their own in 2017. 25,000,000 of these were refugees. Migration is a constant thread in the otherwise erratic news cycle. It figures on the agenda of countless international organizations. The issue takes center stage in every election in the West. Populations are concerned about how it impacts national identity while policy-makers worry about its intersections with security issues. Meanwhile, social scientists the world over are studying every facet of migration, how it contributes to development and women’s empowerment, how it transforms family relations, and how it intersects with that other unavoidable issue of our times, climate change.

Morocco is as good a place as any from which to take stock of migration. Migrations from the Middle East, Europe and sub-Saharan Africa have structured its history. King Moulay Idriss I was a refugee, as were the Andalusians who contributed so much to Moroccan high culture. Captives from West Africa were brought to Morocco to cut sugar cane, and then to staff Moulay Ismail’s slave army. Hundreds of thousands of Europeans settled here during the colonial Protectorate only to leave again following independence, along with most of Morocco’s Jewish population. Rural-urban migration has marked Morocco’s demographic transition over the past three generations. The country has an equally long experience of emigration to the Global North, contributing to the Maghrebi communities found in cities across Western Europe today. There are over 4,000,000 Moroccan citizens currently living abroad. Though it long considered itself a country of out-migration, since the beginning of this century Morocco has had to come to terms with its new status as a “transit” country, indeed, even as a “destination” country. If the issue of migration has long featured in its foreign policy, particularly its relations with European countries, it is now also a feature of local politics in big cities like Casablanca, Rabat and Fez.


Conference themes

Given that some form of migration effects nearly everyone alive, that there is hardly a single family that has not experienced some form of it, that has been such a powerful shaper of societies and polities throughout history, and that its current dominance of news headlines shows no sign of abating any time soon, the conference organizers want to open the discussion to the widest range of issues possible. Consequently, the organizers invite papers that address every aspect of migration. Suggested topics for the conference include but are not limited to:

  • The history of migration
  • Migration histories, itineraries of migration
  • Migration policies and the legal framework for international migration
  • Migration and human rights
  • Visas and fences: obstacles to migration
  • Refugees and Internally Displaced People
  • Migration and family life, children and migration
  • Gendered experiences of migration
  • Migrant labor, guest workers, expatriates
  • Remittances and development
  • Brain drain
  • Migration and international security, the securitization of migration
  • Migration and climate change
  • Discourses about migration
  • Migration in national/international politics
  • Migration and integration
  • Migrant communities, first, second and third generation experiences
  • Mobility in literature, art and cinema
  • Migration, transnationalism, globalization

We encourage scholars to submit either panels or papers. Panels should tackle a given issue from different disciplinary perspectives, whereas papers will be placed in multi-disciplinary panels. Doctoral and other graduate students are strongly encouraged to submit proposals and conference presentations can be delivered in Arabic, French or English.

On Friday May 24, one day before the conference proper, Al Akhawayn University’s School of Humanities and Social Sciences will offer a workshop on research and publication strategies aimed at graduate students. The registration fee for the one-day workshop is 300 MAD.

Submission and acceptance dates

To submit an abstract or register for the graduate workshops, please access this website and fill out the on-line form. Please note that your abstract should be in pdf format for upload.

Abstracts should indicate the topic, the research question, the hypothesis and the methodology the paper plans to engage in, and should not be more than 350 words long. As conference space and time are limited, papers can have only a single author; co-authored papers will not be accepted.

  • 15 Feb. 2019: Deadline for submitting abstracts to the Scientific Committee.
  • 15 March 2019: The Scientific Committee will send notification of whether or not the proposed paper has been accepted.

Conference fees

The all-inclusive (meals and shared room for two nights) registration fee for the conference is: 500 MAD per person, 300 MAD for students.

Conference Scientific Committee

Karim Achibat, Jack Kalpakian, Driss Maghraoui, Abdelkrim Marzouk, Biliana Popova, Eric Ross, John Shoup, Catherine Therrien


Conference Organizing Committee

Rachid Daoudi, Driss Maghraoui, Abdelkrim Marzouk, Eric Ross, John Shoup

Contact Info: 

Rachid Daoudi

Assistant Program Manager

Al Akhawayn University

Ifrane, Morocco

Contact Email: