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In a Faraway Country
Istituto Svizzero in collaboration with the NCCR-On the Move, University of Neuchatel, and the CNR IRPPS – Istituto di Ricerche sulla Popolazione e le Politiche Sociali

People are on the move. Although society has been shaken by the atmosphere of uncertainty brought about by the current pandemic, globalization and digitalization still act, perhaps more effectively than ever, as key drivers in making people seek out new opportunities or avert disadvantage. The reasons for moving between states, regions, or from the countryside to urban environments are manifold, ranging from necessity to personal choice. They can involve the search for better economic conditions, advantageous career prospects, or the maintenance of family connections.

The cyberspace renders job and career opportunities visible and instantly accessible to a much broader pool of available applicants, opening up employment markets to higher international competition. Public and private stakeholders compete for foreign labour while the lack of job opportunities in certain areas and sectors encourages movement to places where chances of being hired are still intact.

On the political side, previous years have seen heated debates on immigration and disagreement on the question of how the influx of migrants and refugees should be managed. At the European level, for instance, the so-called migration crisis has become a highly contested topic concerning the number of new arrivals, their distribution within the Eurozone, and the handling of migratory routes. There is however at least one other reality that in this regard rarely comes in to focus: a resurgent wave of emigration that is particularly pronounced in European countries of the South.
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