Call for papers






Migratory Policies, Participation and the Political

Guest Editors

  • Laura Oso. Profesora Titular de Universidad, Universidade da Coruña, Coordinator of the International Migrations Sociology Group (ESOMI)
  • Ana López-Sala. Científico Titular, Institute of Economics, Geography and Demography, Spanish Council for Scientific Research (CSIC)
  • Jacobo Muñoz-Comet. Profesor Contratado Doctor, Department of Sociology II (Social Stratification), UNED

Justification and content

The impact of the 2008 economic recession has meant change in Spanish migration policies during the last decade (flows, management and social integration), together with a growing process of naturalization that has led to a transformation in the political participation of migrants. In addition, there has been an increasing politicization of the "migratory discourse" in our country. This political/ migration nexus is based on four fundamental pillars:

Migration policies – flow management

The economic crisis has produced a change in the Spanish migratory cycle: from the initial increase in the number and prominence of new arrivals – accompanied by a boom in construction – the country has moved to revitalizing departures (Arango 2016). Spain has rediscovered its backpack and become a "country of emigration": many immigrants return home, or re-emigrate to other places (Ortega-Rivera, Domingo i Valls, Sabater Coll, 2016). The effects of the crisis on the labor market has led to a change in the direction of migration policies that, during the years of economic growth, had been oriented towards controlling the flows. The management of immigration had been designed to meet the demands of a dynamic labor market, but after the recession in 2008, the focus of public policies shifted to return programs, with few measures taken to address the "new emigration". In recent years, the management of flows at Spain’s external borders has also maintained its importance, not only because of the renewed increase in maritime arrivals through the western Mediterranean route, but also because of the increase in asylum applications.

Policies of social "integration"

Secondly, the initiatives on "social integration" that were adopted before the crisis have now begun to be forgotten or, at least, they have lost their earlier centrality. This is a consequence of reduced resources as a result of austerity policies, as well as the influence of a climate of regulatory and institutional atony in this matter (Arango, Sánchez-Montijano, Mahía and Malapeira, 2018). However, even in this crisis context, the settlement of immigrants has not disappeared from the political and academic debate about integration. Indeed, some new features have appeared with the arrival since 2015 of governments supporting change – for example, an increase in the number of local initiatives. Mention should also be made of measures relating to the naturalization of foreigners and the regulation of the labor market, as well as initiatives within the field of education.

The political participation of migrants in Spain

In addition, the processes of naturalization and, in general, the consolidation of the legal status of the immigrant population, have brought about changes in their political participation and, with it, the right to vote in Spain. This has happened in such a way that the political participation of immigrants, together with the development of initiatives hindering the political participation of "new emigrants", has recently attracted the attention of specialists (Bermúdez and Escrivá, 2016; López-Sala, 2017). This is a third pillar of the migration discourse.

The politicization of the migratory discourse

Finally, the impact of the recession has brought another important transformation in our country, derived from growth in the "politicization of migration" and the increasingly prominent influence of migration in public and electoral debate. On one hand, the "new emigration" of those of Spanish origin has been articulated politically as a mobilization reflecting "economic exile". On the other, the anti-immigration discourse has been adopted by some political parties, and is one of the pillars of the VOX program. This is also part of the crisis that is affecting the very structure of the European Union, questioned by Brexit and by the joint management of external borders, and pressured further by the growing involvement of governments and anti-immigration parties.

This special issue of the journal Migraciones aims to address these four pillars of the political / migration nexus. Much work has been carried out in recent years analyzing the policies of flow management, social integration, the political participation of migrants and the politicization of migratory discourse in Spain. However, neither special issues of journals nor any books published have shed light on these four areas of research that have emerged from the new configuration of migration that has appeared in Spain since the economic crisis of 2008. All this is taking place in a European context disturbed by Brexit and by the rise of "anti-immigration" discourse.



Arango, J., Sánchez-Montijano, E., Mahía, R., & Malapeira, D. M. (2018). Introducción: Inmigración y asilo, en el centro de la arena política. Anuario CIDOB de la Inmigración, 14-21. DOI:

Arango, J. (2016). New Emigration Policies Needed for an emerging Diaspora. Washington: MPI.

Bermúdez, A. y Escrivá, A. (2016). Participación política de los inmigrantes en España: elecciones, representación y otros espacios. En Anuario de la Inmigración en España (pp. 297-317). Barcelona: CIDOB. DOI:

López-Sala, A. (2017). The new emigration issue in the public and political debate in Spain. Official discourses and new forms of mobilization. In B. Glorius, and J. Domínguez (eds.), European Mobility in Times of Crisis (pp. 267-286). The new context of European South-North Migration. Berlin & Bielefeld: Verlag, Transcript. DOI:

Ortega-Rivera, E., Domingo i Valls, A., y Sabater Coll, A. (2016). La emigración española en tiempos de crisis y austeridad. Scripta Nova, XX(549). DOI:


Call for papers

The journal Migraciones is calling for papers for a special issue on Migration policies, participation and the political construction of migration in Spain. Texts will be published in English. Contributions that address any of the four axes of the monograph will be welcome:

  1. Flow management policies in Spain: articles on the reconfiguration of flow control policies in Spain as a result of the impact of the economic crisis, for example topics might include return programs, the impact of the crisis on internal and border control policies, the refugee crisis, etc.
  2. Social integration policies for immigrants in Spain: articles about local integration initiatives, naturalization, labor market regulation policies, education policies.
  3. Participation and political mobilization of migrants: studies that analyze the political participation of migrants, as well as the impact of immigration on electoral results.
  4. The politicization of migrations and the construction of an "anti-immigration" discourse: research that shows how migration has been politicized in our country, from the problematization of the "new emigration" and the discourse of "political exile", to the construction of the "anti-immigration discourse".

Authors interested in contributing an article to the special issue should submit an abstract of their proposed article in English, with a maximum length of 1,000 words. The abstract should have the following structure:

  1. 1- Objective and justification of the innovative nature of work.
    2- Methods.
    3- Results.
    4- Conclusions.

Abstracts should be sent by e-mail to Revista Migraciones before October 15, 2019.


Important dates:

  1. Submission of abstracts (October 15, 2019). There will be a selection process of abstracts based on their relevance for the special issue and the quality of the proposals received. Authors will be notified before December 1, 2019 if their abstract has been accepted for the second phase (article submission).
  2. Delivery of the first draft of the text for pre-evaluation (April 1, 2020). The first draft of the article must be submitted for pre-evaluation. At this stage some articles may be rejected, so the acceptance of the abstract does not guarantee that the article will go further in the publication process. The coordinators will give a response on JUNE 1, 2020.
  3. Review. Those articles that pass pre-evaluation will have until September 1, 2020 to be revised by the authors (following feedback provided by the coordinators of the monograph).
  4. Submission of the final version of the manuscript (1 September 2020). The second version of the manuscript, which will be sent for external evaluation, must be received by September 1, 2020. Peer evaluation of articles does not guarantee the publication thereof, since some referees may reject articles during this last phase. The result of the blind peer evaluation will be given on January 15, 2021.

Authors must commit to delivering on the dates given: the terms are not negotiable.


Submission guidelines

The articles will have a maximum length of 9,000 words and will be written in English. Only original articles or works that comply with the usual academic structure in scientific journals will be accepted: summary, keywords, introduction, theoretical framework, state of art and methodology objectives; presentation of the results and discussion thereof; final conclusions and references. Appendices will be accepted. The use footnotes is discouraged. If deemed necessary, they should be kept to a minimum.

The original texts will be sent to the journal through this website.


  1. Articles that do not strictly conform to the required editorial standards will not be accepted.
  2. The positive pre-evaluated originals will be anonymized and sent to at least two external evaluators of recognized competence in the subject area.
  3. The editorial team for the special issue and the editorial board of the journal will ultimately decide on publication of the articles and will notify the authors.

The editorial norms of the journal are available to authors on website.