From emigration, to immigration, and back: dynamics of the Lusophone migration system

José C. Marques, Polytechnic Institute of Leiria and CESNOVA (unit Leiria)
Pedro Góis, University of Porto and University of Coimbra

In the last twenty years the social and political production of a discourse on the absence of Portuguese emigration, and in particular, of ongoing emigration flows, contrasted with the size and social significance that this migratory movements registered during these years. Considered to be one characteristic of the past and associated with a reality marked by low levels of development, emigration could hardly fit into the dominant narrative of economic and social development during this period. Imagined as a country of the center, Portugal excluded itself from the group of countries of emigration. However, as frequently happens, facts insisted in contradicting the dominant definition of reality. Through the analysis of recent migration flows Portuguese these article seeks to present the evolution of Lusophone migration system in an integrated reading of its belonging to different migration systems. It will be argued that the European nodule of the Lusophone migratory system is currently in a undefined phase marked by the simultaneity of moments of contraction and expansion, the African and South American nodules are in a period of expansion (albeit of varying intensity) and that the configuration and the relative importance of each of these three nodules are undergoing profound and important changes.

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Presented in Session 98: Emigration and depopulation