The Conditions of Modern Return Migrants – Editorial Introduction

Jean-Pierre Cassarino

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There exists a basic, and too often overlooked, condition in current migration management policies, which intimately connects any person who returns home from abroad, regardless of the place of origin, social background, motivations, prospects, skills and occupational status. Beyond the plurality of return migrants’ experiences there is a primary element that needs to be taken into consideration: return preparedness. Return preparedness refers to a process which, by definition, takes place in real life, through time, and is shaped by changing circumstances (i.e. personal experiences, contextual factors in sending and receiving countries) in their broadest sense. It is not only about preparing for return. It is about having the ability, although not always the opportunity, to gather the tangible and intangible resources needed to secure one’s own return home. This thematic issue of the IJMS on the conditions of modern return migrants asks two main questions. Why do some migrants have a stronger degree of preparedness than others? How is the issue of return preparedness dealt with or taken into consideration in the framework of contemporary migration management policies? The contributors address these questions across various disciplines. 

Suggested bibliographic reference for this article: 

Cassarino, Jean-Pierre. The Conditions of Modern Return Migrants - Editorial Introduction. IJMS: International Journal on Multicultural Societies. 2008, vol.10, no.2, pp. 95-105, UNESCO. ISSN 1817-4574.

About the Guest-Editor: 

Jean-Pierre Cassarino is scientific director of the MIREM Project ( hosted at the European University Institute (EUI), Florence (Italy). He holds a Ph.D. (1998) in political and social sciences. His current research interests focus on bilateral and multilateral cooperation on migration management, particularly return and development issues. He has been doing research on migration issues, particularly on migrants’ patterns of reintegration, and has published essays and articles in several leading international journals. E-mail: jpcassarino(at)

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