Following his recent move to Sydney, Professor Stephen Castles, Associate Director of the International Migration Institute (IMI), is to lead an innovative new research project: "Social Transformation and International Migration in the 21st Century". This is an exciting start to his new role at the University of Sydney, where he has taken up a Research Chair in Sociology.
The project is a natural extension of Prof Castles' work at the IMI, where he and his team of researchers helped to inform governments and international organisations about key migration issues, with the aim of developing effective governance structures and policies to cope with global migration. At times of rapid change, such as the current period of accelerated globalisation, international migration tends to grow in volume and to become increasingly important in the reshaping of societies. While policy-makers and scholars concerned with migration often see this as abnormal and inherently problematic, the starting point for this project is the assumption that human mobility is a normal part of social life. Migration is thus not just a result of change, nor a cause of change, but an integral part of social transformation processes.
In addition to his new post, Professor Castles continues to hold the position of Associate Director of the International Migration Institute. He remains actively involved in various IMI projects, and intends to return to Oxford regularly, where he will work closely with current IMI Director, Professor Robin Cohen.