Talking across Borders: Successful Re-entry in Different Strands of Re-entry Literature

Publication Date: 
13 February 2019
Publication Language: 
Appearing in: 
International Migration

The processes of re‐entering a society after an international move have been studied in several fields. In this article, we argue that the existing differences in conceptualizations of a “successful re‐entry” for different returning groups are created by particular social, political or theoretical ideas about mobility, which lead to biases in the understanding of re‐entry processes and influence support practices for returning groups. A critical analysis of the conceptualization of successful re‐entry of two extreme cases of returning people who both play to the interests of institutions that seek successful re‐entry, namely returned refugees and asylum seekers on the one hand and repatriates on the other, enables us to bring these assumptions to the fore. Our analysis reveals how the permeation of economic and spatial understanding and the absence of temporal and relational understanding distorts insights into re‐entry processes and creates blind spots in support practices for returning populations.