Migrant Integration in Rural and Urban Areas of New Settlement Countries: Thematic Introduction

Birgit Jentsch

Read the thematic introduction


A relatively new feature in European migration is the significant and growing impact it has had on peripheral and rural areas. In southern Europe there has been a relatively steady stream of migrants to rural areas since the 1990s, in part connected with their relatively large, labour-intensive agricultural sector (Kasimis 2005). In some northern European countries, such as Ireland and Scotland, rural areas have particularly benefited from the 2004 EU enlargement: increasing evidence suggests that the majority of migrant workers from the 2004 accession states have found employment in rural areas rather than the traditional migration centres (TUC 2004). Migration to rural and remote areas can counter depopulation trends that have afflicted those areas for decades, and can contribute to the sustainability of public and private services in rural communities. This can result in a virtuous cycle where well-serviced rural areas may be attractive to both groups, those who once left them as well as migrants. The current thematic issue of UNESCO’s International Journal on Multicultural Societies (IJMS) addresses these issues by exploring integration approaches and processes for different groups of migrants in new settlement countries at macro and micro levels. It pays particular attention to the geographical dimension of migrant integration by examining both urban and peripheral/rural contexts.

Suggested bibliographic reference for this article:

Jentsch, Birgit. Migrant Integration in Rural and Urban Areas of New Settlement Countries: Thematic Introduction. IJMS: International Journal on Multicultural Societies. 2007, vol.9, no.1, pp.1-12. UNESCO. ISSN 1817-4574 www.unesco.org/shs/ijms/vol9/issue1/ed

About the Guest-Editor:

Birgit Jentsch is senior researcher at Ionad Nàiseanta na h-Imrich (National Centre for Migration Studies), Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Isle of Skye, Scotland (UK). She has researched internal and international migration at local authority, Scottish and European level, with a particular focus on rural communities. Her recent publications have been in the areas of rural and urban youth, rural development, and culturally competent maternity care provisions for migrants. E-mail: sm00bj(at)groupwise.uhi.ac.uk


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