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[Call for papers] N° 92 - Latin American migration in the 21st century: restructuration of places and connections

Issue guest edited Virginie Baby-Collin (Aix Marseille Université) and Violaine Jolivet (Université de Montréal)

Abstracts to be sent by: September, 15th 2018.
Articles to be submitted by:
December, 15th 2018.
Publication of special issue: 2019.


In the 21st century, international migrations are impacted by renewed forms of circulation, bifurcations, returns, but also forced (im)mobility. They operate in various political and economic contexts evolving between free circulation on one side, and securing borders and crossings on the other side. If the Mediterranean region is under the media spotlight, and has become, in recent years, the epicentre of the reflections on the globalization of movements and the national restrictions of the mobility conditions, the American continent is also a major laboratory of these contradictory dynamics, inscribed on the long-time history, and today recomposed. This issue offers perspectives from Latin America.

Global and national political and economic developments have had a major impact in recent years on the flow of mobility and examples from the continent are legion. Since the 2010 and the economic and political crisis, Venezuela, a long-standing immigration nation, has become a country of departure. In another stream, the political pacification and economic growth of Colombia favoured the return of refugees and economic migrants, especially from Venezuela and Ecuador. In the same way, traditional migratory couples are redrawn, the end of the "Cuban exception" in the US migration law is one example, and reinforces the advent of new destinations for Cuban immigrants. Also, with Mercosur, Brazil has become a new country of immigration and Argentina, a traditional regional immigration hub, has experienced considerable outflows after the major economic crisis of 2001, and then a large movement of returns in a context of economic recovery and free circulation in the Southern Cone Common Market. The recent construction of the MERCOSUR free circulation contrasts with the endless fencing of the Mexico / USA border. At the same time, Mexico's southern border is an increasingly controlled gateway for Central American migration to North America. Border regions have become transit areas with longer and longer stays [Aragon, 2008, Baby-Collin, Mercier, dir, 2012, Collyer, Düvell, Haas, 2012.].

On a smaller scale, in a post-September 11 context of intensification in US/Mexico border control, but also of strong economic growth in Europe at the beginning of the century, Spain and Italy have become preferential destinations for the Latino -Americans, and gateways to Europe. The macroeconomic crisis of 2008 has generated flows of redeployment and return from Europe and the United States, encouraged by public policies of the Latin-American countries of origin. This led to an unprecedented negative migratory balance at the US-Mexico border at the beginning of the 2010s. More recently, the Trump Administration announced the ending of temporary protection statuses for Haitian and Central American refugees, which result is an unusual number of crossings at the US / Canada border in Quebec province.

These recent reconfigurations of Latin American migrations, both intra and extra-regional, underline the crucial role of the political, legislative, social and economic context at a macro level, in the conditions of the implementation of mobility, and in the changing configurations of migration fields. These designated space travelled and structured by migrants, linking origins, stages, destinations, by relational flows, material and immaterial of various natures (Simon, 2002). Their dynamics are modified by border tensions and repressive "host" policies towards "undesirable" groups [Agier, 2014] - the undesirability of which is due to production policies of illegality [De Genova, 2010].

On a meso scale, these transformations involve a set of relational spaces, networks and forms of connections which structure, orient, channel, and animate exchanges of all kinds that construct transnational social spaces [Faist, 2010, Basch, Glick Schiller, Szanton Blanc, 1992, Pries, 1999, Lima S., Lombard J., HS Missaoui, 2017], transnational communities [Faret, 2003, Portes, 1999, Portes et al., 1999] circulatory territories [Cortes , Faret, 2009, Tarrius, 2002]. The very unequal conditions of exchange and circulation, according to the statutes (legal, socio-economic) and the origins (social, ethnic, national) of immigrants, mobilize resources and capital and give birth to spaces, networks, formal and informal economies of mobility, particularly prominent in border areas, regions crossed (transit camps, networks of solidarity or control, mafias and smugglers, transport systems ...). Points of departure and arrival of migratory flows, ethnic neighborhoods and enclaves, information networks, grassroots organizations for access to rights and urban resources, such as community-based mutual aid and exploitation networks, become connected territories [Jolivet, 2017].

The restructuration of migratory flows and circulation finally have direct consequences on the daily lives of dispersed families. In transnational lives, maintaining ties is not without the suffering and constraints of distance and multi-territorial management. Transnational communities and families [Razy, Baby-Collin, 2011, Bryceson, Vuorela, 2003] reveal the plurality of anchors and affiliations, to which states are still often deaf. The modes of regulation of social life remain institutionally inscribed in nation states that are not inclined to consider these forms of transnationalisation of everyday life, except to take advantage of them. On the one hand, sending states encourage financial remittances, while receiving states tolerate precarious and informal economic insertions. On the other hand, the increasing mobilization of diaspora votes or on the contrary the exclusion as the only alternative to political models dominated by national integration patterns of the other, leaves little room for in-between positions.

This journal issue invites us to reflect on the articulation of these different scales of analysis in order to bring new knowledge and shed light on contemporary reconfigurations of migratory flows and circulation of Latin American origin, within the Americas and the world. Proposals for articles will be able to cross these different scales or levels of reflection or focus on one of them, always insisting on the articulation of places and connections that structure migration. This call for papers questions the contemporary conditions of international mobility, not seen as a linear and unidirectional movement, but as a form of linking places or connecting territories. If the focus of this issue invites the presentation of multi-sited approaches [Marcus, 1995, Falzon, 2009], the proposed points of view and case studies may be located in the places of origin, transit or installation to the extent that they take into account the role of places and links that build mobility. Authors are invited to present the data and methods from which they construct their approach. The issue is open to the diversity of disciplinary fields of contemporary social sciences.

Procedure for submission

Articles may be submitted in French, Spanish, or English. Article submissions must contain:

  • name, last name;

  • university or research center;

  • short CV with e-mail address;

  • title of the article;

  • 350 words abstract of the article.

They must be sent to both of the special issue guest editors by September, 15th 2018 at the following e-mail address:

Authors will be informed by the Editorial Committee of the Cahiers des Amériques Latines whether their abstract has been accepted.

Full articles (45.000 letters approximately, counting spaces, footnotes, bibliography, abstracts and keywords) are to be submitted by December, 15th 2018. All articles will be double-blind reviewed; final decision regarding acceptance lies with the Editorial Committee of the Cahiers des Amériques Latines.

Publication is expected in 2019.

Please see the instructions for authors.

All articles that are not up to those standards will not be considered.


Agier, Michel (dir.), Un monde de camps, Paris, La Découverte, 2014, 350 p.

Aragón Argán, Le lien migratoire, Paris, IHEAL, 2008.

Baby-Collin Virginie, Mercier Delphine, Le Mexique dans les migrations internationales, Hommes et Migrations, n° 1296, 2012.

Bryceson Deborah Fahy, Vuorela Ulla, The Transnational Family: New European Frontiers and Global Networks, Berg, 2003, 292 p.

Collyer, Michael, Düvell, Franck, et Hein DE HAAS, "Critical approaches to transit migration". Population, Space and Place, vol. 18, n. 4, 2012, p. 407-414.

Cortes Geneviève, Faret Laurent, Les circulations transnationales : lire les turbulences migratoires contemporaines, (Collection U. Sciences humaines et sociales, ISSN 2101-7166), 2009, 248 p.

De Genova Nicholas, The deportation regime : sovereignty, space, and the freedom of movement, Durham, NC, Duke University Press, 2010.

Faist Thomas, Transnational social spaces : agents, networks, and institutions, Ashgate, Burlington, VT, 2004, 237 p.

Falzon Mark-Anthony, Multi-Sited Ethnography: Theory, Praxis and Locality in Contemporary Research, Surrey, Burlington, Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2009, 312 p.

Faret Laurent, Les territoires de la mobilité: migration et communautés transnationales entre le Mexique et les États-Unis, CNRS, 2003, 370 p.

Green Basch Linda, Glick Schiller Nina, Szanton Blanc Crisitna, Towards a Transnational Perspective on Migration: Race, Class, Ethnicity, and Nationalism Reconsidered, New York, N.Y, New York Academy of Sciences, 1992.

Green Basch Linda, Glick Schiller Nina, Szanton Blanc Cristina, Nations Unbound: Transnational Projects, Postcolonial Predicaments, and Deterritorialized Nation-States, Langhorne, Pa, Gordon and Breach, 1994, 344 p.

Jolivet Violaine, « Médias et migration. Territorialités connectées et ancrages au sein de la communauté haïtienne de Montréal (1960-2016) », Espace populations sociétés [En ligne], 2017-2 | 2017, URL : 

Lima Stéphanie, Jérôme Lombard, Hasnia-Sonia Missaoui, « Mobilités, migrations inter-transnationales et réseaux sociaux : regards croisés empiriques et méthodologiques », Espace populations sociétés [En ligne], 2017-2 | 2017, mis en ligne le 30 novembre 2017, URL :

Marcus George E., « Ethnography in/of the World System: The Emergence of Multi-Sited Ethnography », Annual Review of Anthropology, 24, 1995, p. 95117.

Portes Alejandro, « La globalisation par le bas, l’émergence des communautés transnationales », Actes de la recherche en sciences sociales, 1999, 129, p. 1525.

Portes Alejandro, Guarnizo Luis E., Landolt Patricia, « The study of transnationalism: pitfalls and promise of an emergent research field », Ethnic and Racial Studies, 1999, 22-2, p. 217237.

Pries Ludger, Migration and Transnational Social Spaces, Ashgate, 1999, 238 p.

Razy Elodie, Baby-Collin Virginie, « La famille transnationale dans tous ses états », Autrepart, 2011, n°57-58.

Simon Gildas, "Penser globalement les migrations", Projet, CERAS, 2002.

Tarrius Alain, La mondialisation par le bas. Les nouveaux nomades de l’économie souterraine, Balland, Paris, 2002.

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