Scientific Mobility in an Enlarging European Union
Chapter 3: Migration Processes and their Determinants: ‘Professional’ Factors
3. Migration processes and their determinants: ‘professional’ factors1 INTRODUCTION The literature on highly skilled, and indeed all forms of migration, has tended to shift in recent years from a narrow and economically focused analysis of push-pull factors, to a somewhat broader concern with migration motivations. Whilst this development quite rightly shifts the emphasis from an often rather limited analysis of the relative merits of two distinct places or positions (the sending and receiving locations), the emphasis on identifying motivational dynamics continues to characterize migration as an atemporal process and fails to capture the degree of complexity and ﬂux identiﬁed in the previous chapter. The majority of scientiﬁc migrants move repeatedly, often incorporating returns and re-emigrations in their trajectories as careers and the life-course evolve over time. Mobility of one form or another is almost always on the agenda and under constant negotiation and reﬂection. Quite often, decisions concern not only whether or where to move (or return) but, critically, for how long to stay and on what basis. Our concept of a migration decision therefore needs to encompass fully the somewhat distinct but related issues of location decision and length of stay. Even in this more ﬂuid context we need to take care in conceptualizing the decision itself: the very notion of a migration decision implies a conscious and active appraisal of situations by a rational, informed actor or actors – if we acknowledge the involvement of other actors such as family and friends and colleagues in this...
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