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In a new article published in the Migration Studies journal, IMI Co-Director Oliver Bakewell puts forward a new conceptualization of migration systems as the basis for its revival.

The article 'Relaunching migration systems' by Oliver Bakewell was recently published in the Migration Studies journal. This is one of the main theoretical articles published to date, developed out of the Theorizing the Evolution of European Migration (THEMIS) project led by IMI.

The idea of the migration system has appeared time and again in various guises in both academic and policy literature on migration in recent decades. For the most part however, it has remained ambiguously defined. Despite this, Bakewell believes that the idea of the migration system remains compelling for scholars as they strive to analyse the complex array of interacting elements that define migration processes.

The author argues that while some migration scholars have attempted to keep migration systems afloat over the last few decades—with somewhat limited success—few have engaged with debates on broader social systems in the social theory literature. The article addresses the question of how the concept of the migration system can be reformulated in the light of these theoretical advances and what implications this may have for our research and analysis.