New perspectives on international labour migration to Europe’s rural regions
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While international migration to urban spaces has been extensively studied, there remain significant gaps in our understanding of international labour migration to Europe’s rural regions. In this chapter we locate this phenomenon within the wider, historical, and structural context, clarify key conceptual issues, and argue for a coherent multiscalar and multidimensional approach to the field, where the ongoing outcomes of labour migration emerge out of the interaction between everyday practices of actors and the dynamics of local, regional, national, European and global societal structures. A review of existing literature on international labour migration to rural regions identifies five main strands that together allow for portraying such a multifaceted picture of the very diverse phenomenon of international labour migration to Europe’s rural regions. Based on the insights from this literature, we show how the individual chapters of the edited volume together provide invaluable knowledge about the international labour migration phenomenon and its transformative powers in rural industries and rural society. The chapter concludes by identifying new directions for the scientific study of rural labour migration and policy challenges for the development of sustainable migration practices that could enhance the lives of migrants and locals in Europe’s rural regions.