Moving People and Knowledge

Moving People and Knowledge

Scientific Mobility in an Enlarging European Union

Louise Ackers and Bryony Gill

Moving People and Knowledge provides a fresh examination of the processes of highly skilled science migration. Focusing on intra-European mobility and, in particular, on the new dynamics of East–West migration, the authors investigate the movement of Polish and Bulgarian researchers to and from the UK and Germany. Key questions include: who is moving, how long for, and why? In addressing the motivations and experiences of mobile scientists and their families, insights into professional and personal motivations are provided, demonstrating how relationships, networks and infrastructures shape decision-making. This book provides a useful perspective on the implications of increasing researcher mobility – for both sending and receiving regions and the individuals concerned – which is necessary for the construction of future policies on sustainable scientific development.

Chapter 4: The Impact of Partnering on Migration Processes and Outcomes

Louise Ackers and Bryony Gill

Subjects: business and management, human resource management, knowledge management, development studies, family and gender policy, migration, innovation and technology, knowledge management, social policy and sociology, comparative social policy, family and gender policy, migration, urban and regional studies, migration


INTRODUCTION Traditional approaches to migration theorizing have tended to focus rather narrowly on a limited number of economic determinants and, in particular, the effect of wage differentials in shaping migration and location decisions. The emphasis on the decision has also tended to characterize migration as a one-time event, perhaps followed by a return move. In recent years, research has drawn attention to the role that a much wider range of factors play in shaping what are now conceptualized more accurately as migration processes or, in a European context, ‘mobilities’ (Wallace, 2002: 604). This might include a more holistic appraisal of economic factors to encompass living costs and expenditures and their impact on family resources. In addition to this, research has encouraged us to consider the impact that personal and family relationships and obligations might have on migration behaviour, perhaps generating resistance to the pull of economic considerations or, in other contexts, lubricating mobility. Concerns around spousal employment rights and the impact of dual career situations form the focus of an increasing body of research that reflect a move away from the individualistic and consensual male breadwinner model to acknowledge the effect of dual career relationships on migration decisionmaking (Ackers, 2004b; Bailey and Boyle, 2004; Raghuram, 2004; Smith, 2004). Boyd (1989: 640) critiques economic rationality models, which he suggests ‘emphasise the movement of people as a result of rational calculations performed by individual actors’ drawing attention to the role of partners and wives in particular’. In a...

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