CfP IMISCOE Conference, 2020

The IMISCOE annual conference „Transnational Migrant Entrepreneurship: Exploring Diverse Spatial Mobilities and Connections Across the Globe” will take place on 29th June – 2nd July 2020 in Luxembourg. Organizers: Yvonne Riaño (University of Neuchatel), Laure Sandoz (University of Neuchatel), Natasha Webster (Stockholm University)

Contemporary social and technological transformations have greatly intensified the cross-border movement of people, ideas, objects and capital, thus creating new opportunities for global interconnectedness. Such profound changes generate new pathways for migrants to organize and perform their entrepreneurial activities across transnational spaces (cf Portes et al 2002). In this panel we interrogate the pertinence of long-established paradigms in migration studies to capture the complexity of spatial movements and global connections created by contemporary transnational migrant entrepreneurs. While recognising the great potential of the ‘mobilities paradigm’ (Urry 2000, Cresswell 2011) to tackle this question, we also acknowledge some remaining challenges. First, there is an unexplored potential to uncover the diversity of spatial mobilities and transnational connections created by migrant entrepreneurs beyond the spatial binary ‘country of origin and country of destination’. The multiplicity of connections with different locales across the globe and the ways and forms of connection are still poorly understood. Second, we have insufficient understanding of how social inequalities are entangled with different capacities of spatial mobility among migrant entrepreneurs, thus addressing the question of how and why some individuals become transnational entrepreneurs, whereas others do not. Third, the potential of the ‘intersectional’ perspective, which examines how gender, class, ethnicity, nationality, age, and migration experience shape the different capacities of spatial mobility of migrant entrepreneurs, has not been sufficiently addressed. This panel aims at gaining a deeper understanding of contemporary transnational migrant entrepreneurship. In order to do so, we welcome contributions that focus on one or several of the following topics:

  • The multiple spatialities of migrants’ entrepreneurial practices across local, regional and transnational geographies
  • The different kinds of mobilities embedded in migrant entrepreneurship including the mobility of objects, bodies, capital and ideas across local, regional, and transnational spaces
  • The question of how social inequalities are entangled with different capacities of spatial mobility among migrant entrepreneurs
  • The social implications of different capacities of spatial mobility
  • The role of migration and mobility policies in shaping the capacity of migrants to transform their transnational experiences of mobility into a resource for business
  • The nexus between spatial mobility and social mobility
  • The ways in which the transnational spatial practices of migrant entrepreneurs are gendered, and connected to class, ethnicity, nationality, age, and migration experience
  • New methodological approaches for exploring cross-border spatial mobilities in entrepreneurship research


We welcome abstracts of no more than 250 words including a title, your name, email, and institutional affiliation by 24 November 2019 at the latest. All files must be submitted in Word format to Yvonne Riaño (, Laure Sandoz ( and Natasha Webster ( We will inform all authors on whether their abstract is accepted for presentation before 1 December 2019. A definitive answer of acceptance of the panel by IMISCOE is expected by 1 February 2020.

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