Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

This article focuses on the assumed relation between return migration, sustainability and development, in particular the role of NGO assistance and government policy herein. It is argued that a different approach to the relation between migration and development is needed both theoretically and policywise. Theoretically the need for a transnational approach based on the everyday epistemologies of refugees and their need for a sense of belonging is highlighted. Building on this, the article emphasises the importance of defining sustainability of return through the use of the concept of mixed embeddedness, and the different factors that influence this embeddedness. Policywise the current convenient application of the Siamese twins, Migration and Development, to involuntarily return is strongly criticised. In doing so the inconsistencies in governmental policy are emphasised. Lastly, the article calls for a more cautious way of linking migration and development, both by NGOs and governments.

More information


Third World Quarterly

Publication Date



29 (7)


1411 - 1429