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In order to overcome the lack of theoretical progress in migration studies and to bridge disciplinary and paradigmatic divides, this latest working paper by Hein de Haas elaborates a conceptual framework for understanding human mobility and proposes a new typology of migration and mobility.

In the paper, Hein de Haas argues that significant theoretical progress can be achieved by conceiving migration as an intrinsic part of broader processes of social transformation and development. The paper conceptualizes migration as a function of aspirations and capabilities to migrate within a given set of perceived opportunity structures, and defines human mobility as people’s capability (freedom) to choose where to live, including the option to stay. This allows research to move beyond dichotomous and simplistic classifications of migration and forms the basis for elaborating new, theory-driven migration and mobility categories.