MIgration, Transformation and SustainabiliTY (MISTY)

The Hugo Observatory (University of Liège), along with the University of Exeter (Consortium Lead), the University of Amsterdam, Lund University, Clark University (USA), the University of Ghana, the University of Dhaka (Bangladesh) and Eduardo Mondlane University (Mozambique),  have recently secured funding to implement a three-year project entitled “Migration, Transformation and Sustainability”. The grant was awarded by NORFACE and the Belmont Forum as part of the “Transformation to Sustainability” (T2S) programme.


Project summary:

There is unprecedented concern over migration as a negative outcome of unsustainability and insecurity. But migration has enormous transformative potential for individuals and societies. This research integrates emerging insights on migration into theories of transformation to sustainability.

Transformation theories assume static populations and fail to recognise the impacts, both positive and negative, of the movement of people which limits explanations and intervention strategies for sustainability. The objective of this research is to use theory and rigorous empirical research to expand knowledge of transformations to sustainability by incorporating migration dynamics. These specifically include: the impact of aggregate flows of people on sustainability; the individual level lifecourse dimensions of sustainability; and the governance of migration and sustainability. The research will develop a comprehensive migration-sustainability model, and develop insight on sustainability strategies at local, national and international scales.

It will build the global capacity of social science to explain and engage with migration dimensions of the sustainability challenge. The research involves an experienced consortium of social scientists from Europe, north America, Asia and Africa, building on high-level methodological innovation and ongoing deep collaboration experience among them. The research design involves modeling, observations and action research at global scales and in research sites representing the full range of so-called migration transitions. The outcome will be advances in theory and salient and workable sustainability strategies reflecting real world migration dynamics.