Contemporary Labour Migration, May 12-13, 2010


Contemporary Labour Migration Conference 12th -13th May, 2010

Paper presentation sessions will be held in the Moore Institue Seminar Room

Moore Institute Seminar Room click for location

Wednesday 12th May
10:30: Registration, Moore Institute
12:00: Light lunch 
13:00: Paper Session 1
15:00: Tea/coffee break
15:20: Plenary Lecture: Professor Adrian J. Bailey, University of Leeds and Hong Kong Baptist University. Title: Recession, Labour Migration, and Europe's Transnational Turn
16:20 - 16:35: Break
16:35: Paper Session 2
18:35: Wine Reception
19:30: Conference Dinner (by ticket only)

Thursday 13th May
08:30: Paper Session 3
10:30: Coffee/tea break
10:50: Paper Session 4
12:50: Lunch (included in conference fee)
14:00: Paper Session 5
16:00: Concluding Session/Business meeting

Welcome and Introduction to the Conference

Increased movement of population, nationally and internationally, has become a defining feature of the last thirty years, entitled by Castles (1993, 2009) as the ‘Age of Migration’. At an international scale, both voluntary and involuntary movement has been associated with the changing distribution of employment opportunities in an increasingly globalised economy and also with both peaceful and violent political change in many areas of the world. The focus of this conference is on voluntary labour migration and the conference is designed to attain a better understanding of the flows, contributing factors and impacts in areas of origin and destinations and thereby contribute to the growing body of evidence and theory associated with the phenomenon.

The international and national dimensions of migration are addressed through the medium of a number of key themes which are attracting particular research attention currently: (i) transnational migration as a distinctive expression of international migration; (ii) labour market change as an influence on and product of contemporary migration; and (iii) the experience of labour migrants in the wider source and destination societies.

Many international migrants live their lives between areas of origin and destination in series of engagements made possible by improved information and communications technologies and reduced costs of travel. The opportunities for frequent contact, return visits and the transfer of remittances are now greater than at any stage in the past when migration overseas often represented a permanent break with the home country. Return migration has also become more marked in the wake of recent recessionary conditions in Europe as Professor Adrian Bailey describes in his Plenary Lecture which discusses contingent aspects of transnational migration. A number of other conference papers also address dimensions of transnational migration.

National, regional and local labour markets influence the destinations to which migrants move internationally and nationally because of the employment opportunities that they provide. The relationships between labour markets and migration are, however, mediated in complex ways through cultural, economic, political and social structures. Papers explore relationships between migration, labour markets and the intervening factors in European and non-European contexts.

Study of the experience of labour migrants and their families in the host society is necessary in order to inform understanding of migration more fully. National and local attitudes towards immigrant workers, the opportunities that are available to attain their aspirations, their capacities to do so, and the support structures and services available, are all pertinent. There are also illegal and exploitative dimensions associated with international labour migration which official regulatory bodies may fail to control effectively. A number of papers address related themes.

The submitted papers are wide-ranging in their geographical remit whilst having a particular focus on the European Union. It is hoped that the issues raised by the papers and the opportunities for discussion during the conference will contribute to both theory and research practice relating to contemporary labour migration in national and international contexts.


Organisers: Darren Smith, Loughborough University, Mary Cawley, Marie Mahon, Valerie Ledwith, NUI Galway


Conference Schedule: Day 1

Wednesday 12th May


10:30-12:00:  Registration, Moore Institute, NUI Galway

12:00: Light Lunch, Moore Institute

12:45: Welcome and Introduction

Mary Cawley (NUI Galway) and Darren P. Smith (Loughborough University)


Session 1:  Internal and Transnational Migration

Chair: Mary Cawley (NUI Galway)

13:00-13:30     Changing Geographies of A8 Migrants in Scotland during the Recession

Allan Findlay, David McCollum, Geography, School of Social and Environmental Sciences, University of Dundee


13:30-14:00     Immigrants in the Labour Markets and Experiences of a Diverse Work Community in Finland  

Elli Heikkilä, Institute of Migration, Finland, Aini Pehkonen, University of Eastern Finland


14:00-14:30     Scalar Contestations in Skilled Migration Legislation: the European Blue Card

Micheline van Riemsdijk, University of Tennessee


14:30-15:00     Inter-Regional Migration in a Transition Economy: the Case of China

Tony Fielding, Centre for Migration Research, University of Sussex


15:00-15:20     Refreshment break


15:20-16:20     Guest Lecture: Recession, Labour Migration, and Europe’s Transnational Turn

Adrian J. Bailey, School of Geography, University of Leeds and Hong Kong Baptist University


Chair: Darren P. Smith, Loughborough University


16:20-16:35     Break


Session 2: Immigration and the Labour Market

Chair: Allan Findlay, Dundee University

16:35-17:05     Recent Migration Trends and the Irish Labour Force

Emma Quinn, Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin


17:05-17:35     Latvian Migration Waves to the United Kingdom and Ireland

Zaiga Krisjane, Elina Apsite, Department of Geography, University of Latvia



17:35-18:05     The Realization of Segmentation in the Irish Context: Nature of the Inequality of Immigrants in the Irish Labour Market

Siobhan McPhee, Geography, Planning and Environmental Policy, University College Dublin


18:05-18.35     Migration to Small Towns and Rural Areas: Polish and Lithuanian Immigrants in Ireland

Mary Cawley, School of Geography and Archaeology, NUI Galway


18:35-19:15     Wine Reception, Moore Institute. All participants are welcome to attend.


19:30               Conference Dinner (by ticket only)


Conference Schedule: Day 2

Thursday 13th May

Session 3: Immigrants and the Wider Society 1

Chair: Adrian Bailey, University of Leeds and Hong Kong Baptist University


08:30-09:00     Sex Trafficking to Ireland and the Trafficking/Migration Nexus

Eilis Ward, School of Political Science and Sociology, NUI Galway


09:00-09:30     Trafficking for Forced Labour in the Context of the Exploitation of Migrant Workers in Ireland

Gillian Wylie, Deirdre Coghlan, International Peace Studies, Irish School of Ecumenics-Trinity College Dublin


09:30-10:00     Scripting the Labour Migrant in Ireland: a Critique of the Discursive Construction and Reception of Labour Migrants in ‘Elite’ Televisual Space

Sharon Leahy, School of Geography and Archaeology, NUI Galway


10:00-10:30     Stages in the Remitting Process: Brazilian Migrants in Ireland

Garret Maher, School of Geography and Archaeology, NUI Galway


10:30-10:50     Refreshment break


Session 4: Changing Labour Markets and Migration

Chair: Valerie Ledwith, NUI Galway

10:50-11:20     The Implications of Economic Crisis for Labour Migration and Regional Labour Markets: Perspectives from the UK

Anne E. Green, Institute for Employment Research, University of Warwick


11:20-11:50     The ‘Death’ of Labour-Motivated Family Migration in the UK?

Darren Smith, Department of Geography, Loughborough University


11:50-12:20     Opportunities and Challenges Facing Return Migrants in Rural Areas: an Exploratory Study

Maura Farrell, Marie Mahon, John McDonagh, School of Geography and Archaeology, NUI Galway


12:20-12:50     Migration to Rural Areas: Social Integration through Community?

Jane-Ann O’Connell, Geography, Planning and Environmental Policy, University College Dublin


12:50-14:00     Lunch, Moffett’s Restaurant, NUI Galway

Session 4: Immigrants and the Wider Society 2

Chair:  Marie Mahon, NUI Galway

14:00-14:30     Transcending Cultural Differences: the Role of Language in Social Integration

Ruth McAreavey, School of Planning, Architecture & Civil Engineering, Queen’s University Belfast


14:30-15:00     Rites and Rights of Access: The Impact of Parental Occupation and Education on Student Aspiration

Valerie Ledwith, Kathy Reilly, School of Geography and Archaeology, NUI Galway


15:00-15:30     Health Implications of the Celtic Tiger ‘New Irish’ for the ‘Old Irish’

                        Dennis Pringle, Department of Geography, NUI Maynooth


15:30-16:00     ‘A word in your ear’: the Role of Migrants in the Migration Process

Frank Murray, Researcher and Community Development Worker, Gort Community Resource Centre, County Galway


16:00               End of Conference