Translocal Development: Migration, multilocal livelihoods, and displacement
Globalization is connecting localities around the world. As a consequence, what happens in any particular locality is increasingly determined by decisions taken elsewhere. Some analysts emphasize the enabling nature of these connections, when globalization enables people to gain access to distant resources and opportunities. Others point out the exclusion mechanisms that operate in a worldwide network society or stress the hybrid nature of development under globalization. What is clear is that poverty is rearranged, but not resolved, and that conventional place-based development paradigms need re-thinking to be capable of capturing these new global conditions.
Thus, IDS researches translocal development processes: translocal rather than transnational, since the nation-state is less obviously the framework of development. Most developments take place in specific localities, linked to others by means of networks. Our approach therefore is a relational one, highlighting the flows linking localities to other parts of the globe. We are interested in how translocal development gives rise to emerging development corridors, and in the way in which developments in one place are linked to processes of change elsewhere (development chains).
Globalization results in an important role for migration and other forms of mobility in shaping opportunities for development. In our research programme, we identify and analyse (new) forms of migration – forced and voluntary – and their consequences for development in these fields:
- Migration, adaptation, and displacement in response to climate change and environmental stress, including deforestation and desertification
- Mobility in response to rapid economic growth versus crisis, with a focus on land grabbing (linked to bio-fuel crops, business parks, tourism, and so forth), settlement, and displacement
- Urbanization and rural-urban linkages in relation to livelihoods and poverty alleviation
- Governance and institutional adaptation mediating globalization pressures and local development needs
IDS research is actor-oriented (livelihood approach) and focused on strategies for sustainable development and poverty reduction.