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Migration, transnationalism and development

Research Migration, transnationalism and development with The Open University

In an increasingly globalised world, processes of development and social transformation are being shaped in new and important ways by transnational flows of capital, goods, ideas and people. The Open University’s international development research has a long-standing engagement with these flows, the relations they bring into being, and the social, economic, political and cultural impacts they have.

OU academics working in this area have a wide range of expertise, including on the development role of migrants and diaspora groups, everyday intercultural interaction, and the implications of migration for gender and care-roles. Building on our work on increased Chinese migration to Africa and the return migration of Indian scientists, we are increasingly interested in research on ‘South–South’ and ‘North–South’ migration and how these expanding flows might present novel development opportunities, particularly in terms of promoting inclusive growth

We have a growing number of research students working the field of migration, transnationalism and development, including on the relationship of the Chilean diaspora to homeland politics, the gender implications of Sudanese migration, the entrepreneurship of ‘returnee’ women in Nigeria and the politics and impacts of international volunteering.

Qualifications available:

PhD or MPhil


For detailed information on current fees visit Fees and funding.

Entry requirements:

Minimum 2:1 (or equivalent)

Potential research projects

  • Return migration, skills transfer and development
  • Migration, conflict and development
  • ‘South–South’ and ‘North–South’ migration
  • ‘Expatriates’ and international trade and investment
  • Migration, transnationalism and middle class formation in the Global South

Current/recent research projects

  • Migration for inclusive African growth
  • The social and political impacts of South-South migration: a comparative analysis of Chinese migrant integration in West Africa
  • Living multiculture: the new geographies of ethnic diversity and the changing formations of multiculture in England
  • A caring Europe? Gender, migration and care
  • Diffusion of knowledge through migration of scientific labour in India
  • Africans without borders: diasporic communities and development in Ghana

Further information

If you have an enquiry specific to this research area please contact:

Dr Ben Lampert, discipline Convenor
+44 (0)1908 655434

For general enquiries please contact the Research Degrees Team via the link under 'Your Questions' on the right of the page.