Call for paper

The “new mobility’s paradigm” brought unhackneyed conceptions about movement and displacement and challenged migration studies blaming their categories of analyze and methodologies for being static, bounded and therefore too restrictive to embrace the complexities of “mobility”. According to this paradigm although not all movement can be considered migration, all kinds of migration should be considered mobility. Hence, transnational displacement of scientists and researchers across the globe is better described as “transnational scientific mobility” rather than “scientific” or “scholar” migration”.

Transnational scientific mobility can be understood as the movement of scientists, Professors, researchers, post-doctorates and students across national boundaries and international institutions, laboratories, universities, think tankers and researcher centers. It has become a fundamental category for analysis both because the mobility of scientists is an indivisible part of an academic and scientific career and because it deals with the production of knowledge and information, key resources for economic and social growth in today’s world

Although the mobility of researchers is closely related to the use of personal contact networks, there have been large government investments in fomenting this type of migration through special policies for migration and institutions themselves have spurred this through exchange programs, temporary international degree programs and provisory activities for teaching and research abroad.

To go beyond the debate that scientific mobility brings up in macro terms – migration policies, geopolitics asymmetries, processes of the transfer of knowledge, brain drain, brain gain, productivity and economic gain – and revive the micro perspective, it is fundamental to understand that even though scientific mobility favours an intellectual elite it does not except them from hierarchies, exclusion and uneven power dynamics that are present. Thus, the effect of markers of difference intersection – such as race, gender, age, sexual orientation, ethnicity, nationality or religion – are also present as in any other social phenomena. Finally, it is undeniable that the so called “new mobility’s paradigm” results not only in a new approach to researchers geographic movement, but discloses certain political ideologies, choices and interests.


Based on that we raise some questions to guide our symposium: are international researchers different from regular migrants? What are the political and social implications of the “new mobility’s paradigm” to understanding scientific mobility? What does it mean be a mobile researcher nowadays? How do markers of difference – as gender, class, race or nationality – shape transnational researcher mobility? What are the effects of transactional scientific mobility on knowledge production and circulation? Do geopolitical hierarchies play a role in transnational scientific mobility? Should nation states regulate transnational scientific mobility through special policies? How does neoliberalism policies influences on scientific mobility? Are postcolonial dynamics present on transactional scientific mobility schemes?

Topics for the conference (thematic suggestions):

Topics for the conference (thematic suggestions):

Transnational scientific mobility x high skilled migration: The aim of this topic is to discuss the political and social implications of analyzing transnational displacement of researchers based on a migration approach or on the “new mobility’s paradigm” approach.

Class, race, nationality and transnational scientific mobility: The objective here is to reflect on how markers of difference shape international researchers mobility experiences

Gender and transnational scientific mobility: The guidelines of this topic is to analyze women’s experience in scientific mobility schemes, taking in account how sexism, patriarchy and androcentrism take part in these dynamics.

Geopolitics hierarchies and transnational scientific mobility: The purpose of this topic is to debate the effects of geopolitical hierarchies resulting from international economics and political asymmetries and (post) colonial relations on scientific mobility.

Knowledge production and circulation and transnational scientific mobility: Based on the discussions of brain drain, brain gain and brain circulation the goal of this topic is to think over the relation between knowledge production and circulation and scientific mobility, with a special attention paid to scientists’ country of origin perspective. 

Neoliberalism, science and transnational scientific mobility: Grounded on analyses that show a great advancement of neoliberalism in the scientific sphere, this topic targets to discuss its effects on transnational scientific mobility.

Transnational scientific mobility legal regulation: Considering that nation state is still one of the principal actors on the regulation of boundaries crossing, staying and leaving, the objective of this topic is to debate its role on scientific mobility’s schemes and dynamics.


Abstracts format: 300 words, Word, Times New Roman, 12.

Language: Português, Español, English.

Deadline: 10th of April 2015.