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This paper considers the ways in which the dynamic nature of transit migration may be captured in categories that provide a basis for developing our understanding of the phenomenon but do not attempt to artificially pin it down. The first section re-examines common ways of categorising migrants and the second turns to existing research and activism around subjects of immigration in North Africa. The final section applies the common categorisations of the first section with the developing research considered in the second to examine the data that is available to enhance our understanding and possibilities of developing categorisations of transit migration. The conclusion sets out ways of advancing the research agenda on transit migration.

More information


Journal article


Population, Space and Place

Publication Date



18 (4)


468 - 481

Total pages



migration, undocumented migration, transit, categorisation, Maghreb