15. Sep 2023 / 28 min

Development and Migration in Contemporary Asia

Arve Hansen, Marta Bivand Erdal, Jonathan Rigg

Is migration good or bad for development? How does migration affect those who leave and those who stay behind? How are rural and urban livelihoods interconnected in Asian cities? What are the likely main migration trends in Asia the coming decade? And what can you learn from studying the same village for decades?

To discuss these diverse questions, we are joined by two leading experts on development and migration in Asia, Jonathan Rigg and Marta Bivand Erdal. Drawing on extensive experience working in South and Southeast Asia, they discuss complex questions of leaving and staying in contemporary Asia, how to study migration processes and how context matters for understanding the impact of migration.

Professor Jonathan Rigg is Chair in Human Geography at the University of Bristol. He has decades of experience working on development and migration in South and Southeast Asia, focusing on issues such as rural-urban relations, livelihoods, coping and resilience, hazards and disasters and, more broadly, rural development. In 2020, he was awarded the prestigious Victoria Medal from the Royal Geographical Society for his work.

Marta Bivand Erdal is Research Professor at the Peace Research Institute in Oslo. She has done extensive research on migration processes in South Asia, as well as Norway and Poland, combining research on migration processes and transnational ties, with research on living together in culturally and religiously diverse societies. She currently leads the the ERC-funded Project ‘Migration rhythms in trajectories of upward social mobility in Asia’, studying migration and the formation of new middle classes in Karachi, Mumbai, Hanoi and Manilla.

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