ITHACA (Integration, Transnational Mobility and Human, Social and Economic Capital Transfers) studies the links between migrants’ integration and their transnational engagement.
Over the past couple of decades, rich empirical research in the field of transnational migration studies has highlighted that migrants engage in transnational mobility for an array of reasons, ranging from economic profit to emotional or political ties with their country of origin. They develop transnational business, trade, investments, or social and cultural programmes and circulate between their two countries.
ITHACA further explores the interconnections between the integration process and transnational mobility of migrants and aims to answer three key questions:
- To what extent, and in what ways, do integration conditions in the country of destination encourage transnational mobility?
- What are the conditions in the country of origin that may encourage transnational mobility?
- What type of transfers take place through the transnational mobility of migrants?
ITHACA focuses on economic integration and mobility conditions as factors that encourage or prevent transnational mobility. It looks at three types of transfers:
- human capital – education, skills and professional experience;
- social capital – business and civil society networks;
- economic capital – remittances and investments.
Through a comparative study, extensive fieldwork and a survey, ITHACA aims to:
- map transnational mobility flows in four migration systems (North Africa-EU; Western Balkans-EU; East Europe-EU; and South Asia-EU);
- assess the human, social and economic capital transfers generated by mobility flows;
- identify the integration policies and mobility framework conditions that foster transnational mobility and human, social, economic capital transfers;
- draw policy-relevant recommendations for the design of policies and mobility frameworks at the EU level.