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The boundaries of transnationalism: the case of assisted voluntary return migrants

Ine Lietaert (UGent) , Eric Broekaert (UGent) and Ilse Derluyn (UGent)
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Abstract
Few studies on transnationalism have focused on migrants who return to their country of origin with insufficient resources and limited mobility. This study sheds light on the transnational connections of those who went back to Georgia and Armenia from Belgium on a voluntary assisted return and reintegration programme. Using Boccagni’s (2012) analytical framework, we reveal the returnees’ interpersonal, institutional and symbolic transnational ties. Although these ties were often limited and had little effect on their daily lives, and although the migrants’ desire to participate in the transnational field rarely matched their ability to do so, they nonetheless attached great value to them symbolically and emotionally. Our findings question current conceptualizations of transnationalism and the focus on the home country as the sole context in which transnational ties should have an impact. We believe that there is a need to pay greater attention to the subjective and symbolic dimensions of the return–transnationalism field, including the relationship between integration and return migration policies.
Keywords
return migration, assisted voluntary return and reintegration, symbolic ties, Armenia and Georgia, transnationalism

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Chicago
Lietaert, Ine, Eric Broekaert, and Ilse Derluyn. 2017. “The Boundaries of Transnationalism: The Case of Assisted Voluntary Return Migrants.” Global Networks-a Journal of Transnational Affairs 17 (3): 366–381.
APA
Lietaert, I., Broekaert, E., & Derluyn, I. (2017). The boundaries of transnationalism: the case of assisted voluntary return migrants. GLOBAL NETWORKS-A JOURNAL OF TRANSNATIONAL AFFAIRS, 17(3), 366–381.
Vancouver
1.
Lietaert I, Broekaert E, Derluyn I. The boundaries of transnationalism: the case of assisted voluntary return migrants. GLOBAL NETWORKS-A JOURNAL OF TRANSNATIONAL AFFAIRS. 2017;17(3):366–81.
MLA
Lietaert, Ine, Eric Broekaert, and Ilse Derluyn. “The Boundaries of Transnationalism: The Case of Assisted Voluntary Return Migrants.” GLOBAL NETWORKS-A JOURNAL OF TRANSNATIONAL AFFAIRS 17.3 (2017): 366–381. Print.
@article{8053636,
  abstract     = {Few studies on transnationalism have focused on migrants who return to their country of origin with insufficient resources and limited mobility. This study sheds light on the transnational connections of those who went back to Georgia and Armenia from Belgium on a voluntary assisted return and reintegration programme. Using Boccagni{\textquoteright}s (2012) analytical framework, we reveal the returnees{\textquoteright} interpersonal, institutional and symbolic transnational ties. Although these ties were often limited and had little effect on their daily lives, and although the migrants{\textquoteright} desire to participate in the transnational field rarely matched their ability to do so, they nonetheless attached great value to them symbolically and emotionally. Our findings question current conceptualizations of transnationalism and the focus on the home country as the sole context in which transnational ties should have an impact. We believe that there is a need to pay greater attention to the subjective and symbolic dimensions of the return--transnationalism field, including the relationship between integration and return migration policies.},
  author       = {Lietaert, Ine and Broekaert, Eric and Derluyn, Ilse},
  issn         = {1470-2266},
  journal      = {GLOBAL NETWORKS-A JOURNAL OF TRANSNATIONAL AFFAIRS},
  keyword      = {return migration,assisted voluntary return and reintegration,symbolic ties,Armenia and Georgia,transnationalism},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {366--381},
  title        = {The boundaries of transnationalism: the case of assisted voluntary return migrants},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/glob.12141},
  volume       = {17},
  year         = {2017},
}

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