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Issues and dynamics of internal migrations in a changing world

17 dec 2019 09:00 - 18 dec 2019 18:00
Institut d'études avancées de Paris, 17 quai d'Anjou, 75004 Paris
Amphithéâtre G. Mégie, 11 boulevard d'Alembert, 78 280 Guyancourt

Seminar organized by Yorghos Remvikos, Professor, CEARC-OVSQ University of Paris-Saclay, with the support of the University of Versailles Saint-Quentin - Paris Saclay and the Paris Institute for Advanced Study.


Migrations have been a historical adaptation strategy in the face of changing environments, probably predating the emergence of our species. Today, attention tends to focus on international migrations despite the importance of internal movements, under different pressures and drivers, that we propose to explore in the seminar. We can put forward three types of migration:

  • Rural exodus, mainly an issue for the Global South, especially prominent in Africa;
  • Displacements due to armed conflicts and violence, as has been the case in Colombia, as well as Africa, for the last decades;
  • Migrations consecutive to socio-economic instability, for instance in post-soviet Russia, through new perceived economic opportunities.

Of course, on a country or regional basis, these phenomena tend to have multiple causes that need to be disentangled. If we take internal migrations as a starting point, we are interested in their driving forces, beyond the changing climate and their impacts which influence rural development, but also urban sustainability, consecutive to the difficulties in integrating the ever-growing new populations. The latter tend to establish in spaces they perceive as available, that often prove improper with changing climate conjectures, exposing them to risks of natural origin, notably floods and landslides, cumulating with man-made pollutions (deficiency of sanitation and accumulation of waste) or social deprivation, insufficient services and lack of political influence.

The vulnerability of these populations is one of the focuses of the seminar, but this has to be captured along trajectories, which may show specific features and provide explanations, beyond rational or irrational individual choices. It can be captured through mobility as a collective experience, nested in multiple local or global processes. Thus, it is not only a question of if and why populations migrate, but also how they become attracted to urban centers and end up in vast informal settlements in the periphery of cities. This has to be a transaction, between place- (or territorial) and cultural-attachment versus expectations, including symbolic ones and not simply rely on utilitarian motivations. Finally, rather than viewing these newly established populations as simply vulnerable, there are instances of community mobilizations, development of adaptive capacities and resilience building, that need to be taken into account, if a transition to more sustainable social practices is to be favored.

The theme of the seminar is multi-disciplinary and will bring together specialists from adaptation studies, demography, anthropology, economy, sociology or public health. The purpose is to blend both descriptive and interpretative approaches, in order to provide a “richer” framework for future projects. In the same way, we would like to foster a network of specialists, in different countries (at present extending to Senegal, Cameroun, Colombia, Russia or Vietnam), as potential collaborators in a future project. Finally, all communications, as well as the ensuing debate should contain valuable and strategic information, necessary for the elaboration of policies in favor of the development of sustainable and inclusive cities, as well as the integration of internally displaced populations, in a context of a global migration crisis.

This seminar is not open to the public.


Tuesday, December the 17th at the IEA, Ile Saint-Louis, Paris

9:00 welcoming of participants
9:30 Welcoming address by Jean-Paul Markus, head of the SHS department of Paris-Saclay
9:45 Introduction to the seminar by Yorghos Remvikos (CEARC)

Session 1, chair Jean-Paul Vanderlinden

10:00 "The rural exodus in Africa and more specifically in Cameroun", Hélène Camden-Kamgno (IFORD-Yaoundé)

10:50 - 11:10 coffee break

11:10 "Rural exodus, its driving forces and consequences: the informal settlements of Dakar, submitted to annual floods, as a case study", Yorghos Remvikos (CEARC)
11:30 "Displacement, adaptation and God: the case study of a group affected by a natural disaster in Colombia", Clara de la Hoz Real (CEARC)
11:45 Pressing questions around environmental and other drivers of migration

12:00 - 13:30 lunch

Session 2, chair Hélène Camden-Kamgno

13:30 "The unstable socio-economic environment as a driver of migrations and its consequences", introduction by Jean-Paul Vanderlinden (CEARC)
13:45 "Economic and demographic development of the Arctic districts of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) and improving the population life quality in the Arctic", Inga Nikulkina (University of Yakutsk)
14:30 "Hawkers group and the migrant informal economy in Ho Chi Minh City - multi scale management of migrations’ risks and opportunities", Jean-Paul Vanderlinden (CEARC)

15:00 - 15:20 coffee break

15:20 "The growing concern about internal migrations in Senegal; the point of view of policy", Moustapha Sokhna Diop, DAPMO, Senegal.
15:40 short communication to be selected

16:00 - 17:00 general discussion on socio-economic and environmental drivers of internal migrations, introduced by Jean-Paul Vanderlinden (CEARC)

Wednesday, December the 18th, Amphithéâtre Mégie, OVSQ, Guyancourt

Session 3, chair Yorghos Remvikos

9:30 "Migration processes, dynamics of belonging and differentiation of populations from the Amazon area", Luisa Fernanda Sanchez Silva (Universidad Pontificia Javeriana-Bogotà)
10:20 "Displaced by violence; internal (forced) migrations due to the civil war, the issue of integration revisited", Marina Begona Martinez Gonzalez (Universidad de la Costa-Barranquilla)

11:00 coffee break

11:20 "Migrations due to armed conflicts and violence in Africa", Hélène Camden-Kamgno (IFORD-Yaoundé)
11:50 "Displacement, violence, poverty and segregation, the Colombian youth astray", Cécile Lavergne (CLEO, Bogotà)
12:10 "To move or not to move, place attachment, arcticness and migration in Siberia", Natalia Doloisio (CEARC)

12:30 - 14:00 lunch

Session 4

14:00 - 16:00 General discussion and perspectives, including dissemination of the seminar results, introduced by Yorghos Remvikos

16:00 Meeting of key participants around networking or the emergence of a research theme and possible opportunities for a collective scientific project to be submitted

This seminar is not open to the public.


18 Dec 2019 18:00
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