Call for Papers/Submissions* MMN Conference: "Measuring Migration: How? When? Why?"

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Call for Papers/Submissions*
MMN Conference: "Measuring Migration: How? When? Why?"

  • Nuffield College, University of Oxford | Hybrid format | Thursday 9 - Friday 10 June 2022
  • Submission deadline: Tuesday 15 February 2022, 5pm GMT via this Microsoft form
  • Download this call for papers here.

The University of Oxford’s Migration and Mobility Network and Nuffield College invite academics, researchers, policy experts, activists, artists, practitioners, and other stakeholders to present original research during the conference “Measuring Migration” which will take place in person and online (hybrid model) on Thursday 9 and Friday 10 June, 2022 at Nuffield College (University of Oxford). We particularly welcome submissions from early career researchers, postgraduate students, non-academics, and all that are typically underrepresented in academic conferences.


* We use the word 'submissions' along with 'papers' to encourage participants—particularly those presently outside of academic institutions—to present their work in forms outside of a traditional journal paper.




This conference seeks to explore the idea of “measuring” migration, to the extent that is possible, using a variety of methods from interdisciplinary perspectives. We aim to explore the ethics and implications of what it means to track migratory flows, and we discuss when this might be appropriate and why these data are helpful/harmful.


This conference is particularly relevant and timely in light of the many facets of social change. The COVID-19 pandemic has, for many, changed the means of and reasons for migration, and the pandemic has also changed the way researchers have had to collect migration data. Further, advances in fields, such as digital demography, have changed the methods that are used to analyze and visualize data. However, with these burgeoning methods and data, there are increased concerns about data protection and privacy: For example, there are manifold implications for ethics around the use of AI or digital trace data. This conference hopes to bridge these ideas—changing social realities, advances in data and methods, and need for ethical approaches—across different branches of migration research.


The conference will have 5 overarching topics for the 10-15 minute presentations:

  1. How do we measure migration? Methods and advancements:  In this panel, we are interested in methods that measure migrant stock/flows and mobility. Presentations may include (but are not limited to) those that use digital trace data, geolocation data, demographic surveys, population registers, and other forms of documentation.
  2. When should we measure migration? Ethical considerations of data collection and harm mitigation: In this panel, we are interested in understanding motivations and appropriate circumstances for data collection on migration/migrants. We want to throw into question the default assumption that more data is always better, and we hope to collect a panel of presentations that questions the bounds of ethical data collection around migration.
  3. What are the implications of measuring migration? Policies and implementation: In this panel, we are interested in the policy implications of measuring migration. What happens when we have migration counts? What are these data used for? Presentations for this panel should reveal evidence of the practical consequences of having sound methods in migration studies.
  4. How do we represent migration? Developments in data visualization: In this panel, we are interested in data visualization for migration. How should we convey population flows and counts? Are there differences in visualizations for internal/international migration? What types of data are most conducive to which kinds of visualizations?
  5. How has COVID-19 affected migration and mobility? Crisis and measurement: In this panel, we are interested in COVID-19 and the way that this has changed the migration landscape, and thus produces methodological challenges. How are the research questions in the pandemic different/similar to those before (or perhaps, after) the pandemic? Are there specific issues relating to measurement that might change from this period?

The conference aims to generate interdisciplinary between and among academics, researchers, practitioners, activists, and all other stakeholders and critical thinkers. Therefore, we invite abstracts from all levels and disciplinary perspectives including, but not limited to, Anthropology, Computer Science, Cultural Studies, Data Science, Demography, Development Studies, Economics, Environmental Studies, Geography, History, Human Sciences, Journalism, Languages, Law, Linguistics, Medicine, Political Science, Psychology, Public Health, Public Policy, Socio-Legal Studies, and Social Policy, Sociology.



Confirmed speakers include: Cris Beauchemin (Institut National d’Études Démographiques); Mina Fazel (Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford); Ridhi Kashyap (Department of Sociology, University of Oxford); Isabel Ruiz (Department of Economics, University of Oxford); Nikola Sander (Federal Institute for Population Research., BiB); Olivier Sterck (Department of International Development, University of Oxford); Carlos Vargas-Silva (Centre on Migration Policy and Society, University of Oxford)

Confirmed discussants include: Will Allen (Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford); RB Bhagat (International Institute for Population Sciences); Matthew Gibney (Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford); Madeleine Sumption (Migration Observatory, University of Oxford); Francesco Rampazzo (Leverhulme Centre for Demographic Science, University of Oxford); Funda Ustek-Spilda (Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford)


To provide a submission, use this Microsoft form, which will ask for a 250-500 word abstract/presentation descriptions and a 100-word speaker bio. This form is due by 5pm GMT on Tuesday 15 February, 2022. Please specify with which of the topics (see above) your presentation best aligns. The form will also ask whether the speaker hopes to present virtually or in-person and whether the speaker would like to be considered for need-based travel funding. Decisions will be communicated by Friday 25 March, 2022 via email.


We welcome submissions that are not based on an abstract/academic paper, particularly for those whose work does not commonly take this form.



Registration details will be released in due course, once speakers are confirmed. Attendees and participants are welcome to attend individual panels as they wish. Accessibility is our priority, and due to the hybrid nature of the event, the conference will not charge a fee. We will also utilize automated closed captioning for those attending online. We would be happy to hear your ideas, and you are welcome to contact us if there are ways that we can make this conference more accessible and/or conscientious.



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