Mobilization trajectories as a tool to study migration and protest intentions: An illustration from Morocco
Astrid Bodini, Evelyn Ersanilli, Jacquelien van Stekelenburg
When dissatisfied with socioeconomic and political conditions, why do some people migrate, others protest, and others do neither? While existing literature shows that migration and protest are both responses to discontent, and that migrants and protesters have similar sociodemographic profiles, the initial choice between these two behaviors and their relationship at the individual level need further investigation. In this conceptual paper we introduce mobilization trajectories, an original analytical conceptual device that allows a combined analysis of migration aspirations and protest intentions as alternative, but not always equally available, strategies that individuals can adopt when dissatisfied with socioeconomic and political conditions. We argue that mobilization trajectories as an analytical tool offers three contributions: it (1) uncovers individuals’ negotiations between multiple possible courses of action and inaction, (2) illuminates how intentions are shaped by changing socioeconomic and political conditions at home and abroad, networks, previous experiences with protest or migration, and gender, and by doing so (3) aids our understanding of why aspirations may or may not lead to actual migration. We illustrate the working of mobilization trajectories as an analytic tool for the combined analysis of migration and protest intentions with vignettes from interviews conducted in 2020 and 2021 with Moroccan youth aged 18-35.