Non-migrant, sedentary, immobile, or ‘left behind’? Reflections on the absence of migration
This paper explores the absence of migration and different frameworks for analysing it. The aim is to move beyond a sedentary perspective, which does not problematise immobility because it is considered to be the norm and therefore, not something to be explained or scrutinised. The paper starts with a discussion of the terminology denoting the absence of migration. Two opposed interpretations of different examples of the absence of migration are then presented, based on a functionalist and conflict approach, respectively. Finally, the paper discusses post-structuralist approaches, particularly addressing the role of power and hegemony in determining who does and should move. Throughout the text, various empirical cases are discussed, mainly drawn from contexts of transnational migration in West Africa.