CfP Sustainable Migration and Citizenship - DL March 1, 2023

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International Conference

Sustainable Migration & Citizenship


Call for Papers

With the 17 Global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) many nation-states strive to tackle man-made environmental changes as well as to improve the lives of their citizens by 2030. The SDGs aim among others at gender equality, ending poverty, and promoting sustainable cities and communities and clean energy. They are directly targeting migration only in 10.7 where human mobility is seen as a global phenomenon nevertheless falling under the states’ responsibility to ‘facilitate orderly, safe, regular, and responsible migration and mobility of people, including through the implementation of planned and well-managed migration policies’ ( However, migration is much connected to SDGs, from the ways the gaps between nation-states' economy determines the push and pull factors, to the wars and climate change that led to displacement of entire populations inside and across borders. Moreover, remittances, flow of capital and foreign investment are regulated and facilitated by SDGs’ aims of sustainable development, policies that are directly connected to and affecting human migration. Furthermore, migration research includes important questions on topics tackled by the SDGs. For example, the intertwining of migration and life on land (and land that will disappear) due to climate change is posing new questions on climate refugees.

The conference “Sustainable Migration & Citizenship” will be held at Utrecht University on April 21, 2023. It explores and investigates how migration interacts with the various understandings of sustainability. It starts from questioning how to rethink migration in terms of free movement, how to highlight a human rights approach towards sustainability and what does climate change mean for migration, minority groups, and regimes of inequality? The conference aims for disciplinary convergence by bringing together anthropologists, sociologists, political scientists, legal scholars and criminologists, development studies, IR experts, and STS scholars. Besides social scientists engaged with sustainability and human mobility, we look for contributions from the humanities, and media studies as well as from computer scientists and art creators. We attempt to develop vocabularies beyond academic affiliations and find common fields and areas of study in order to advance a critical approach to sustainable migration.


The conference welcomes research authors passionate to investigate the intersection between these two highly contested areas of policy and research: sustainability and migration. Paper proposals may focus on one or several of the following topics, without being limited to them:


  1. Political regimes & Sustainable migration
    • Restrictive policies
    • Encouraging emigration
    • Open borders
    • State sovereignty
  2. EU citizenship and sustainability goals
    • Sustainable living environment as a fundamental right?
    • A just green transition
    • Democratic participation in the green transition
    • Future generations and sustainability goals: the rights of children
  3. Sustainable cities
    • Housing
    • Urban growth
    • Infrastructures
  4. Sending/Receiving countries
    • Remittances
    • Brain drains
    • Labour vs Resources
  5. International cooperation for sustainable migration
    • Cross-border of goods, capital and people
    • Im/Emigration vs Return/Deportation
    • The European Green Deal
  6. Climate/Environmental migration
    • Disappearing shores (sinking islands, shored damage, etc.)
    • Desertification (water, food insecurity)  
    • Extreme Heat / Cold
  7. Top-down migration policies’ intervention
    • Sustainable economies
    • Natural vs Legal borders and their challenges (e.g., designing state borders by dangerous environmental intervention)
  8. Human mobility on a temporal dimension:
    • Circular migration
    • Forced migration (displacement)
    • Return (voluntary, forced)


Critical approaches to these themes are our main focus and selection pattern. Environmental topics, goals of action research, relationships between researchers and decision-makers, and the ways academics can engage in such research are contributing to set-up the stage. The conference will provide the opportunity to create a forum for feedback and discussion about future research on sustainable migration and citizenship.


Submission DL: March 1, 2023, to send the abstract of a research paper (300 words) and a short bio of the author(s). Notifications will be received no later than March 10.

Date: April 21, 2023. The full day will be devoted to presentations and discussions.

Location: Utrecht University, The Netherlands

Format: on-site workshop, 6-8.000-word papers pre-circulated on April 21, 2023

Aimed output: Edited collection

Support: partial travel grants, mainly for junior scholars.



Hanneke van Eijken, Senior Lecturer and Researcher in the Utrecht Centre for Regulation and Enforcement in Europe  | The Utrecht Centre for European Research into Family law | Research fellow at Empirical Legal Research into Institutions for Conflict Resolution | Utrecht University

Board member DAMR (Dutch Association for Migration Research)


  • Ioana Vrabiescu, Assistant Professor | Department of Organization Sciences | 

Faculty of Social Sciences | Vrije University Amsterdam

Board member DAMR (Dutch Association for Migration Research) Editor: H-Migration


  • Jeroen Doomerink, Associate Professor | Department of Political Sciences  | Research Program: Transnational Configurations, Conflict and Governance | University of Amsterdam

Board member DAMR (Dutch Association for Migration Research)



The conference is organized with and supported by the DAMR (Dutch Association for Migration Research)


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