Migration transitions revisited: their continued relevance for the development of migration theory

Skeldon, Ronald (2012) Migration transitions revisited: their continued relevance for the development of migration theory. Population Space and Place, 18 (2). pp. 154-166. ISSN 1544-8452

Full text not available from this repository.


This paper is a reflection on the idea of transitions as explanatory frameworks for the study of population migration. Global transitions in fertility, mortality, and urbanisation are examined as background to the idea of a migration transition and its variants. The strengths and weaknesses of a transition approach to migration are outlined, focusing on the diffusion of a demographic process across space and through time. The concepts of ‘mobility’ and ‘migration’ transitions are assessed with the benefit of hindsight. In order to enhance the explanatory power of such transitions, I argue that they need to be linked with other economic, social, and political processes that are also diffusing in space and time. Agrarian, health, and gender transitions are briefly considered in this context, as is the whole question of migration and development. While no single pathway through any migration or developmental transition exists, it nevertheless needs to be accepted that a retreat to total relativism is counterproductive. The paper concludes by arguing that a transitional framework, which allows migration systems to be linked to wider socio-economic change, provides a fertile environment in which to generate future theories of migration.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: transitions; migration theory; mobility; demographic change; socio-economic change
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > Geography
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation
Depositing User: Ronald Skeldon
Date Deposited: 04 Jul 2012 09:17
Last Modified: 28 Mar 2019 14:48
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/39754
📧 Request an update