The complex dynamics of force and choice: Returnees' experience and community perceptions in return migration processes

PhD student: Alina Penkala
Summary: This study aims to improve the understanding of the role of force and choice in migration processes in the context of return migration to Ukraine. Both, beyond and within academia there is an existing distinction between "forced migrants" and "voluntary migrants" as those labels are used by migration management agencies. However, it is recognized that most migrants experience both elements (force and choice) in their migration decision process but little is known about how the experiences of force and choice influence their situation after the return. Moreover, this research will also examine whether members of the community where migrants return to, have certain perceptions about the forced / voluntary nature of the return of migrants, and if those perceptions influence their attitude towards returnees and the support, they are willing to offer as a consequence.
Phd in Social Work
Promoter(s): Ine Lietaert, Ilse Derluyn (Social Work and Social Pedagogy, Ghent University)
Periode of time: 2019 - September 2023