Call for Papers — Decision-Making under Uncertainty: African Migrants in the Spotlight

In the context of the Swiss-Subsaharan African Migration Network (S-SAM), we’re now looking for paper contributions for a thematic issue at the open access journal Social Inclusion. Feel free to contact me for information.

Submission of Abstracts: 1-15 May 2020
Submission of Full Papers: 15-30 September 2020
Publication of the Issue: March 2021

Information: The objective of this thematic issue is to better understand how migrants decide whether to migrate and where to migrate to by considering the limited information available to them. Existing work is informed by two distinct literatures. Migration studies developed two-step models distinguishing ambitions to migrate from the capability to migrate, while contributions in economics and psychology have sharpened our understanding that we often make decisions without perfect information.

Without communication between literatures, however, we do not understand well why immigrants try to reach countries in the Global North despite seemingly impossible odds. The articles should use mostly qualitative and mixed methods to study migration decisions in countries of origin and transit, to better understand how imperfect and contradictory information affects decisions. They highlight the role of narratives and expectations, and how human biases and bounded rationality matter for ambitions to migrate, and what migrants do to maximize the capability to migrate.

Articles will focus on the initial decision to leave countries of origin—why individuals take considerable risks and often take on debt in their endeavour to reach countries in the Global North, risks that seem disproportional to the likely gains, as most immigrants never reach their destination, and many are unable to fulfil their expectations. Articles will also focus on what happens during the journey where formal and informal migration may be mixed. They explore how different narratives influence the migration journey as individuals learn more about the risks and likely outcomes. Articles focusing on student migrants in particular, a migration channel experiencing a recent surge without much attention in academia, are especially welcome. With the increasingly difficult routes across the Mediterranean, some individuals formally sign up for studies in countries such as Northern Cyprus as an intermediate destination.

Instructions for Authors: Authors interested in submitting a paper for this issue are asked to consult the journal’s instructions for authors and send their abstracts in a Word file (about 250 words, with a tentative title and reference to the thematic issue) by email to the Editorial Office (si@cogitatiopress.com). When submitting their abstracts, authors are also asked to confirm that they are aware that Social Inclusion is an open access journal with a publishing fee if the article is accepted for publication after peer-review (corresponding authors affiliated with our institutional members do not incur this fee).

Open Access:  The journal has an article publication fee to cover its costs and guarantee that the article can be accessed free of charge by any reader, anywhere in the world, regardless of affiliation. We defend that authors should not have to personally pay this fee and advise them to check with their institutions if funds are available to cover open access publication fees. Institutions can also join Cogitatio’s Membership Program at a very affordable rate and enable all affiliated authors to publish without incurring any fees. Further information about the journal’s open access charges and institutional members can be found here.

A gem from the spam folder

I got this today…

Cooperating with 6 other guest editors […] the Lead Guest Editor, has proposed a special issue titled Society, Culture and Politics in Contemporary Africa

wow,  I count 7 editors in total, that must be a big special issue…

gather together researchers in order to spread their academic experience and research findings on all topics in relation to Africa

I see, all topics in relation to Africa. Now I wonder whether they can manage with 7 editors, I mean all topics in relation to Africa.

Unfortunately, this is followed by this table:

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:
  1. Socioeconomic dynamics
  2. Culture
  1. Social mobility
  2. Tradition
  1. Politics
  2. Society

That’s a real shame, not all topics after all. Now I’m not so sure anymore, I mean they do narrow it down quite a bit (there’s hope, though, that desperate “not limited to”).

Image credit: CC-BY-NC AJC1

Extended — Swiss-Subsaharan Africa Migration Call

We have just extended the current call by the Swiss-Subsaharan Africa Migration (S-SAM) network to 16 September 2018 to give everyone more time to prepare their submission.

We aim to build and strengthen long-term partnerships between migration researchers in Subsaharan Africa and Switzerland, and we have just launched our first call for pilot studies and exchanges: https://www.unine.ch/sfm/home/formation/ssam.html

Key countries are: Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, and Uganda, as well as Côte d’Ivoire, South Africa, and Tanzania. We fund small pilot studies and exchanges for late PhD and early postdoctoral researchers. The focus is on reasons and preparations to migrate, health, and student migration.

Reminder: Swiss-Subsaharan Africa Migration Call

This is a reminder of the current call by the Swiss-Subsaharan Africa Migration (S-SAM) network. The deadline for submissions is 19 August 2018.

We aim to build and strengthen long-term partnerships between migration researchers in Subsaharan Africa and Switzerland, and we have just launched our first call for pilot studies and exchanges: https://www.unine.ch/sfm/home/formation/ssam.html

Key countries are: Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, and Uganda, as well as Côte d’Ivoire, South Africa, and Tanzania. We fund small pilot studies and exchanges for late PhD and early postdoctoral researchers. The focus is on reasons and preparations to migrate, health, and student migration.

Women’s Representation in Multi-Ethnic Countries

A new paper by Leonardo Arriola and Martha Johnson examines women’s representation in multi-ethnic countries. They focus on ministerial appointments to executive cabinets in 34 African countries. They find that fewer women are appointed to cabinets in countries where ethnic groups are more politicized. Although my research focuses on representation in national legislatives, it shows that this mechanism seems to be at work more generally. My research argues that the salience of social divisions is relevant here: sometimes gender differences are relatively more important, sometimes ethnic differences are relatively more important.

In fact, when Arriola and Johnson note that there are more appointments for women in countries where there are more women in the legislature, they hint at the above, but never make it explicit. It is encouraging to see research by others corroborating findings, especially if they use different methods and a different focus.

Arriola, Leonardo R., and Martha C. Johnson. 2013. “Ethnic Politics and Women’s Empowerment in Africa: Ministerial Appointments to Executive Cabinets.” American Journal of Political Science. doi:10.1111/ajps.12075.

Ruedin, Didier. 2010. “The Relationship between Levels of Gender and Ethnic Group Representation.” Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism 10 (2): 92–106. doi:10.1111/j.1754-9469.2010.01066.x.

Ruedin, Didier. 2013. Why Aren’t They There? The Political Representation of Women, Ethnic Groups and Issue Positions in Legislatures. Colchester: ECPR Press. ISBN: 9780955820397