ExiTT: Exit - Transit - Transformation


The ExiTT project (in its preparatory phase from January 2018 to December 2019) prepares a large-scale research project that processually traces, documents and analyses processes of migration from origin countries, from the starting point, over the route, until integration in the destination countries and their societies from social, economic, political and cultural aspects. At the same time, it will analyse the political, economic, societal, discursive and legal transformation of the sending, transit and receiving/destination countries as well as political, economic, societal, discursive and legal repercussions by, for example, transnational relationships, re-migration, circular migration or post-migration mobility. To grasp such complex processes, it employs a research approach that is interdisciplinary, multi-local and multi-method.

The multidisciplinary research approach is intended to apply research perspectives from sociology, political sciences, psychology, geography, history, cultural sciences and economics in order to design questionnaires, to conceive the regional case studies and to carry out the data analyses. The main task of the project will be the collection and analysis of new data in multiple locations such as origin, transit, and receiving countries that will provide a unique basis to deliver evidence for the above sketched topics. The basic idea and method will follow a combination of the ethnosurvey model (Massey & Zenteno 2000) and regional case studies.

On the basis of multiple methodological approaches such as surveys, fieldwork, discourse, media and policy analyses in origin, transit and immigration countries, the ExiTT project is intended to answer questions about the causes and motives of migration decisions, about the negotiations and conditions for successful integration and participation in transit and immigration countries, and about various aspects of social, political, economic and cultural transformations in all countries involved. The results of the data generated though this mixed methods approach is intended to be collated into one comprehensive data set that – based on the model of the Mexican Migration Project – will continue to grow cumulatively over time. In addition to surveys and (qualitative) interviews with individuals (migrants as well as non-migrants) expert interviews with representatives from state and private organisations as well as observations in the field will be conducted and innovative methods like experiments will be deployed.

From the data set, there will derive a potential for research into the causes, conditions and negotiations of migration and migration routes as well as the changes in the so-called transit or host/receiving countries and their societies. At the same time, an interdependent approach will be chosen that includes in the analysis the effects of migration in the exit or origin countries. Insights into migration and integration processes from various actors and in multiple sub-systems can be expected on the basis of this data set. Labour market-specific and education-related aspects, cultural and social practices of integration, and obstacles and negative effects of disintegration could be evaluated according to target groups and, e.g., analysed in families and house-holds from the gender perspective or with regard to youths. In parallel, transformations in political structures, cultures or societies can be documented and the analysis of changes empirically grounded.

The ExiTT project is a cooperation project of the DeZIM research community.