Critical Approaches to Transit Migration Franck Düvell, Michael Collyer, Hein de Haas


This article introduces the subject of this special issue and presents the papers that follow. It traces the origins of the label ‘transit migration’ to discussions of what was called the ‘new migration’ in the early 1990s. These migrations related to the particular geopolitical context at the end of the Cold War. Though they established the pre-emptive rationale whereby concern is focused as much on potential migration as on actual movement, there have been four substantial changes since then. As the geopolitical context has changed, so has the geographies of migration, with a general shift of attention from east-west to south-north; the technological supports of migration have improved, allowing migrants easier, cheaper access to different routes; the categories of migrant have proliferated and finally similar movements may be observed all over the world though only those in the vicinity of Europe are labelled as ‘transit’. This leads us to a critical stance around the term ‘transit’ that is common to all papers in this special issue. Nevertheless, despite the problematic term, there is something worthy of attention amongst these new developments around the fringes of Europe.

Düvell, F., Collyer, M. and de Haas, H. (2012) ‘Critical Approaches to Transit Migration’, Population, Space and Place, 18(4): 407-414