CfP: Highly Skilled or Highly Wanted Migrants?

Invitation for paper proposals to a panel on “Highly Skilled or Highly Wanted Migrants?” to be held at the IMISCOE 12th Annual Conference, Geneva, 25-27 June 2015.

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

This panel proposes to widen the focus beyond immigration authorities in order to include various actors that are in one or another way involved in the process of selecting, supporting or employing highly skilled workers. It offers an opportunity to delve into the construction of migrant categories through policy design and policy implementation.

The aim of the panel is to bring to the surface the indistinct objectives of immigration policies, and to analyse the interplay between policies, discourses and practices. More precisely, it would like to discuss the argument that the definition of highly skilled migrants depends more on how potential migrants are viewed by interest groups than on migrants’ characteristics.

Contributions using comparative or multi-method approaches are particularly encouraged. They can be theoretical or empirical, and touch upon the following questions:

  • What are the disparate interpretations of what constitutes a highly skilled migrant among involved stakeholders?
  • How are these interpretations reflected in policy design and implementation?
  • What is the role of non-governmental and private actors, considering among others multinational companies, recruitment agencies and lobby groups, in shaping discourse and practices about highly skilled migrants?
  • How do differential interpretations and practices impact different groups of migrants?

Organisers: Dr. Metka Hercog and Laure Sandoz, MA (both from the Institute of Cultural Anthropology and European Ethnology, University of Basel)

Please send the abstract of your proposed contribution by 4 January 2015 to the organisers: and  

The abstract, of a maximum 250 words, should specify the main research questions, methods and findings. The notification of acceptance will be made by 11 January 2015. We are discussing the possibility of a special issue on selected contributions.


Did you enjoy reading this? Share it with your social network.