The common conception of transnationalism and migration is heavily influenced by the onslaught of news and media reports. Pictures of overloaded boats and debates over asylum laws; videos of armed border guards and debates over immigration quotas; images of women in head scarfs and debates over integration.

Migration, however, is a much more complex issue than these snapshots would suggest.

Researchers at Stockholm University are studying the strategies that migrants of all kinds employ, from in-country migrants to economic migrants to ‘expats’ to asylum seekers.

Migration and cultural exchange across time



Annika Rabo, Professor of Social Anthropology points out that migration and cultural exchange is a centuries-old process not limited to the ‘Rich North’.

Dr Rabo’s work is remarkable in its depth and breadth, a quality that she shares with many other researchers within Transnationalism & Migration. Central to her work are analyses of government, policies, bureaucracies, citizenship (in the wider sense) and classifications. This has led her to investigate such varied subjects as irrigation projects, family law, educational policy, and civics curricula.

Transnational networks and safety nets



Erik Olsson, Professor of Social Anthropology and lead for the Migration Cluster, researches the strategies that migrant communities use to support each other and shape identity.


Drs Rabo and Olsson are collaborating on a project entitled “Service and welfare in transnational space,” funded by the Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation. They are investigating the formal and informal social support networks in migrant communities, focusing on Assyrians/Syriac migrants to Sweden and Swedish migrants to Spain.

Through these investigations, they hope to not only to clarify the issues facing different types of migrants, but also to create policies, laws and recommendations that address the specific concerns of transnational populations.

Life unfolds elsewhere



Bengt Karlsson, Professor of Social Anthropology, studies in-country migration, focusing on indigenous people migrating from rural Northeast India to large urban centres.


He began his research on indigenous rights, focusing on issues of land and subsistence forms, but soon became interested in the numbers of young people leaving the countryside for opportunities in the cities.

Migration & Transnationalism addresses what we take with us and what we leave behind. The profile area is highly diverse and collaborative, including history, human geography, language, law, anthropology, and media, among many others. It is a study of globalisation, flows and networks – of resources, people and ideas.