CFP - 20 Apr 2023 | ARI Workshop on Migration and Citizenship Pathways in Asia | 21-22 Sep 2023, Singapore

  • 2023-03-15
  • Cindy


Migration and Citizenship Pathways in Asia

DATE    :    21-22 September 2023
VENUE    :    National University of Singapore & Online
LINK    :    https://ari.nus.edu.sg/events/citizenships/

Citizenship is often associated with legal and emotional membership in a political and geographic community. For migrants, membership in receiving countries—which could be temporary or permanent—is often determined by criteria such as kinship, ethnicity/race, skills, or wealth. A branch of scholarship in migration studies has primarily focused on citizenship as a lens for understanding migrant integration. Another branch has asked how diasporic citizenship might counter the integration efforts of migrant-receiving countries. Underpinning these analyses remain an assumption that there exists a singular, linear pathway towards citizenship and belonging in both the countries of origin and destination.

In contrast, there is a thinner discussion linking migration and the possibility that there could be multiple pathways towards citizenship, understanding the latter as a process that evolves across space and time, rather than an outcome or condition in a particular national space. A new focus on pathways to citizenship—the theme of this workshop—provides an instructive lens to account for how migrants navigate the uncertainties of migration and the global inequalities or opportunities that they encounter at different stages of their lives.

Focusing on pathways to citizenship is of special interest in the context of migration regimes in Asia where privileged access to permanent residency and citizenship in receiving states is usually limited to highly skilled professionals and capital-rich migrants. For the overwhelming majority of migrants in the low-skilled category, long-term settlement, family reunification and long-term integration and citizenship are often ruled out. At the same time, from the perspective of the sending nation-states, temporary migration does not necessarily connote short-term exits, and in fact may be characterised by long or indefinite duration, repetition, circularity and sometimes de facto settlement in host societies.

Directions of inquiry for papers submitted to this workshop should focus on the Asian context. They may include, but are not limited to the following:

  • How do migrants navigate their citizenship in both the countries of origin and destination when there are countervailing pressures to prove their loyalty and commitment?
  • What are the political and social strategies employed by migrants to attain and extend their rights of citizenship?
  • What are the multidirectional or multinational geographical pathways that migrants undertake across the lifecourse to improve their prospects of attaining citizenship or to retain their citizenship status?
  • What are the educational and employment pathways undertaken by migrants to achieve citizenship?
  • How do family considerations and extended familial relations shape migrants’ pathways to citizenship over the lifecourse?
  • How do axes of identity such as ethnicity/race, class, and gender determine the legal and emotional terms of citizenship, and how do migrants negotiate such parameters?

This workshop aims to extend conceptualisation of migration and citizenship pathways with reference to immigrants and diasporic citizens, as well as older and younger migrants. While the workshop gives primary focus to how the above trends manifest in Asia, it also seeks to contribute to theorisation beyond Asian cases.


Paper proposals should include a title, an abstract (300 words maximum), and a brief personal biography of 150 words for submission by 20 April 2023. Please also include a statement confirming that your paper has not been published or committed elsewhere, and that you are willing to revise your paper for potential inclusion in an edited book publication (in collaboration with the workshop organizers and other participants).

Please submit your proposal using the provided template to Ms Valerie Yeo at valerie.yeo@nus.edu.sg. Successful applicants will be notified by mid-May. Panel presenters will be required to submit drafts of papers (4,000-6,000) words by September 2023. These drafts will be circulated to fellow panelists and discussants in advance. Drafts need not be fully polished. Indeed, we expect that presenters will be open to feedback from fellow participants.

The workshop will accommodate both in-person and online participants, as needed. If possible, the Asia Research Institute will provide overseas participants with full or partial airfare as well as three nights of accommodation. Please indicate in the proposal form if you require funding support.


Prof Elaine Lynn-Ee Ho | Asia Research Institute & Department of Geography, National University of Singapore

Prof Rhacel Parennas | Sociology and Gender Studies, University of Southern California

Prof Brenda S. A. Yeoh FBA | Asia Research Institute & Department of Geography, National University of Singapore