Working PaperPDF Available

A strategic monitoring of migration under a comprehensive approach

  • Ministry of Interior Austria
Presented at: Conference EMCSR 2016 Avantgarde, 30.03.-02.04.2016 in Vienna
Published in German: “Wissensmanagement im ÖBH” – Einführung in die
Informationslogistik als Grundlage zur Wissens- und Organisationsentwicklung Band
20/2015 p 57-74
Published in English:
- Irregular Migration Analytical Invasive Model a strategic monitoring of migration
under a comprehensive approach
Armin Vogl
Senior Migration Analyst and Expert for
Integrated Border Management and Schengen
Austrian Ministry of Interior
Copyright © 2015 by Author Name
In order to comprehensibly analyse and understand the current irregular migration wave, it is
necessary to understand the concept of a qualified migration
of plenty humans as well as
the individual, correlating, migration causing factors (Push-, Pull-Factors and socio-
psychological components) from a specific - non-legal - migratory point of view. Therefore a
specific analysing model has been created which enables the systematic survey of the
particular stations of migrants starting with the migration source country along their migration
routes up to the destination country and simultaneously taking into consideration the
developing reasons which are finally triggering irregular migration and secondary movement
(secondary migration) by redefining the concept of Push- and Pull-Factors and by connecting
systemically each factor with the relevant socio-psychological implications (factor packages)
considering the different values of each society, region or ethnic traditions and of course
the different factor packages with each other.
Migration is not a new phenomenon, but it is changing steadily and is influencing the
environment, where we live in a massive and influential way.
Migration can be defined as “the process of going from one country, region or place of
residence to settle in another” (Bhugra & Becker, 2005,p.18). Some of the migrants choose
voluntarily their destiny, others are forced to mainly because of war and violence. (Kunz,
1973; Ward, Bochner & Furnham, 2001). Motivation of migration also influences the type of
acculturation (Horgan, 2000; Porter, 2006, Mace, Atkins, Fletcher & Carr, 2005; Nekby &
Rudin, 2007; Ward et al., 2001; Berry (2005).
The classic migration theories are comprised mainly of macro economy, micro economy,
labour migration, etc. The theory of Massey et al describes partly a universal consideration of
migration triggering factors as “cumulative causation of migration”, which has been stipulated
by other authors in numerous researches and text books. According to the cumulation theory
(Massey, 1990) social processes of migration are causing processes in those countries, from
where people are willing to emigrate, which are fostering further migration. Some of the
see column "definition"
theories focus on social factors, which are influencing migration (social network theory, for
example Goes and Lindquist, 1995; Guillemot and Sandrine, 1998).
Slowly decision-making processes and the historical factor gained more momentum. De
Jong and Fawcett developed a theory of decision-making processes of migration, which
reflects on 3 phases: predisposition for migration, motivation for emigration and decision for
migration (Jong & Fawcett, 1981).
Models and methods:
The entanglement of factors leading towards a systemic diagram has not been done until
now. A more innovative and modern approach of the above mentioned cumulative causation
of migration, referring to interwoven push- and pull factors in strong relation and interaction
with the personal satisfaction with someone’s living condition (Brown and Moore, 1970)
ought to be broadened by socio-psychological factors such as “hope”.
The Subjective Expected Utility-Model (SEU) of migration (Kalter 1997: 47, Esser 1980,
Haug 2000) portrays a version of the SEU, which particularly points out the subjectivity of
expectations, but is like other migration theories - mostly aimed at labour migration.
The empiric approach of Brown and Moore (1970) divides the migration process into 2
separate decision making phases and constitutes an advancement of the “Place Utility
Concepts”. This approach could also be applied to economic migration, but provides in our
opinion - a rather narrow scope, which does not explain the development of the present
“modern” migration. The “stress adaptation projection” acc. to Wolpert (1965), Brown and
Moore (1979) and Speare (1974) does not explain in our opinion the full scope of
migration, as migration under socio-psychological aspects is seen as an adaption to the
basic conditions of the adjacencies and it is based mainly on the 3 central concepts, which
contribute to explain the migration characteristics: the Place Utility Concept, the field theory
approach and the lifecycle approach (Wolpert 1965: 161ff).
Above that Brown and Moore detected a “Stress Factor”, which could influence the migration
decision processes. Local stress factors are seen as intervening variables to assess the
Place Utility on the basis of expectations and needs. This approach has been introduced
unincisive into the migration theories and does not explain satisfactorily the
interdependencies of the cumulative migration triggering factors.
Later in the migration research history the nucleus has changed from the perception on the
individual towards a society orientated perspective. These structural theories focused on the
level of the society as such. One of those theories has been the “dual labour markets” (Piore,
1979). Others such as the “world systems theory” and the “world society approach” focused
on the forces, which affect globally. The “world systems theory” explains migration by
implication of the economic globalism, where many organisations are operating
transnationally (Wallerstein, 1974). Those theories have been criticised for neglecting the
individual decision making processes. All of those theories, no matter if based on individual,
societal or global approaches, explain migration as a consequence of “push and pull factors”.
New approaches of the scientific migration research are bringing in context the classic and
the new migration theories and acknowledge the influence of social networks on the decision
making process related to migration as essential. The “cumulative causing of migration” acc.
to Massey has been introduced into the scientific migration research.
New approaches do not try to look for common rules and principles of migration related
decision making processes (e.g. Mora and Taylor 2005). The complexity of modern migration
leads to a closer view of the context within a migration decision is being made. It is no longer
expected that human beings decide to migrate on basis of information and cost-benefit
calculation. The micro-approach tries to look for common interactions between certain
societies and their environment and how migrants are different or similar.
Those new approaches explore decisions for migration as well by using a macro-level-
approach and analyze how the macro-factors influence and cramp individual and family
decisions. These approaches challenge and question the neo-classical approach of the
“push- and pull-factors”, which sees migration as a way of balancing demand and supply of
labour in different regions. Today's explanatory approaches focus at the micro-level and in
dependency on the particular contexts of life. At the same time those approaches try to
understand how those decisions are formed by greater macro-dependencies, such like
political, economic and social structures.
Irregular Migration Analytical Invasive Model:
In order to comprehensibly analyze irregular migration, it is necessary to understand the
concept of a qualified migration
of plenty humans as well as the individual, correlating,
migration causing factors (Push-, Pull-Factors and socio-psychological components).
In the subsequent figure it is shown the individual stations of escape and emigration
explaining irregular migration in a comprehensive approach.
Figure 1: Irregular Migration Analytical Invasive Model
Starting at the migration source country (country of origin, country of refuge or other starting
point) the migrant moves either with the focus to reach the projected country of destination,
or with the focus to temporarily leave the migration source country, which has been caused
by certain drivers (Push-Factors) such as war, civil unrest, etc.
see column "definition"
Knowhow and Weiterentwicklung Vogl, analytischer Prozess Göllner, modelliert durch Peer/Pilles
The first case describes the wilful emigration (Pull-, Push-Factors
being considered) while
the second case describes a forced escape with the primary objective of returning to the
migration source country (Migration-Source-Country = Destination-Country) and the transit
country is serving as a temporary shelter. Further implications, which are negatively
influencing the well-being of the migrant at the temporary shelter, are resulting into a
reorientation of the migrant coming along with the new wish to move further. (Migration-
Source-Country ≠ Destination Country).
The early detection of the intention to migrate by identification and analysis of the relevant
Push- and Pull-Factors plus the systematic collection and monitoring of migration routes
constitute the base for a future strategic monitoring- and control-system.
According to the "Irregular Migration Analytical Invasive Model", governmental and non-
governmental stakeholders have the possibility to regulating by using different strategic,
tactical or operational measures. Foundations for those measures are implicit objectives,
which are directly (in the destination country) or indirectly (along the migration route) tried to
be achieved. Those measures should include hard and/or soft factors and in regards to their
coverage, duration, intensity and cascade arrangements should vary and respectively
complementing each other. Competing or non-necessary redundant measures can only be
avoided by having a comprehensive system image on strategic level which may lead to
implementing interlocking complementary measures, bolstering different strategies of the
involved stakeholders. Consequentially this will lead to an optimized use of resources in the
framework of migration-monitoring and -control. Specifically important are the soft measures
respectively factors, as at the moment the relevant governmental stakeholders are
implementing mainly hard measures, because of the complexity and the missing monitoring-
and control-mechanism.
The „Irregular Migration Analytical Invasive Model " enables the systematic survey of the
particular stations of migrants starting with the migration source country along their migration
routes up to the destination country. The individual stations "transit country" can be arbitrarily
augmented or diminished. By using the systemic layer "Push- and Pull-Factors", which
should be assessed separately for each station of migrants, the possibility of a systemic
survey of migration (migration, mixed migration, primary migration, and secondary migratory
movement) arises. Furthermore by integrating the "sentiments-curve", which relates the
socio-psychological component of migration and their alterable objectives to the individual
"Push- and Pull-Factors" (Factor Packages), the comprehensive approach of the complex of
problems related to migration will be visible. This approach enables as well the identification
of the most efficient packages of measures, which are divided into "Hard and Soft Measures"
and shall disclose which measures ought to be implemented in parallel in order to achieve
the best possible solution to embank mass migration.
Basic principle: Uncontrolled migration movements can only be controlled if contemplated
comprehensively and holistically.
see column "definition"
Partly taken from Kiras-application „MigSys“ (Vogl/Habe rfellner/Peer) 2015
Figure 2: Push- and Pull-Factors in German Language: (non-exhaustive) Vogl/Peer/Pilles
Socio-psychological factors linked to migration decision making:
Given the fact that almost 90% of the people who forcibly had to leave their countries of
origin - which is impressively visible in the Syrian conflict do not intent to leave the vicinity
of their motherland, it is obvious that other parameters than objective facts - as described
with the Push- and Pull-Factors - are equally influencing the decision making process on
emigration. This fact can be observed in many conflict zones worldwide, which explains that
even though currently more than 200 Million migrants are on the move in order to seek better
living conditions, only a minor fraction
(less than 1 Million) is actually seeking for asylum in
the 44 industrialized countries. This phenomenon cannot only be explained with the empiric
studies on migration which are not taking into consideration sufficiently the socio-
psychological factors on the decision for emigration and especially forcible migration.
Specially “western politics and media” insinuate that migrants seek the shelter of mainly
European countries because of the socially supported living conditions and working
possibilities. This may be the ultimate stage of the migratory process which has started within
the country of origin and ended in the above mentioned countries. Fortunately for the those
“destination countries” the numbers of people, finally managing to enter the “Western World”
do not represent the whole potential of refugees which have been forced to leave their
countries of origin because of the above mentioned obvious reasons. The unanswered
question for Syrian citizens remains: “Why are approximately 4 Million of Syrian refugees still
living in countries adjacent to Syria and are not moving or willing to move towards a
“better world?””, which should be according to the insinuations of the mainly European
belief their primary goal.
See UNHCR Asylum Trends report 2014
Valued Factor packages:
Valued factor packages define the socio-psychological value of the single push- or pull-factor
and/or the interaction of several factors for the respective people. Given the fact that different
push- respectively pull-factors do influence or exclude each other and/or are directly related
to each other requires a broader approach of systemized observation and evaluation of the
different factors.
Empiric migration studies often try to objectivize the single factors and - in case that several
push- or pull-factors are interacting emphasize on globally valid parameters due basis of
the lowest common denominator for the single reason of being measurable and comparable.
The approach of Valued Factor Packages bases on the theory that single factual events or
facts affect each person individually due to a specific perception.
This perception is based on societal behavior, education, personal experience, tradition,
societal systems, etc. All those indicators lead to a personality and society development with
normal reactions, which is different in each country or region and often tribe-based. This
can be explained by using one single example. While the Austrian perception of defending
the honor of the family (i.e. insults) is regulated in different laws and decided by courts, for
instance in northern Albania the issue is regulated directly between the two affected families
and often is resolved by fights with sometimes fatal results. The same factor insult causes
different reactions caused by different affections and societal behavior.
Combinations, interactions and/or exclusions of different factors produce the effect of a
cumulative augmentation of negative or positive affection, which explains somewhat that
single events or facts that are objectively not seen as problematic impacts have the potential
to cause oversized inexplicable - reactions.
One of the challenges of the validation of different factors or events is the specific socio-
psychological impact on the individual which is described in figure 3. This example shows the
individual affection of the specific indicators Homicide and Kidnapping.
While Homicide is not affecting the individual because of different reasons such as being
used to or homicide only happens within families or between neighbors, etc. and knowing
how to behave in his/her society in order to not being affected by this criminal act, the until
then - relatively unknown phenomenon Kidnapping occurs within the same society. The
society cannot cope with this new factor due to the fact that societal behavior is not used to
these new criminal acts and is therefore afraid and consequently affected. The cumulation
of only two detailed factors leads to the change of affection of the generic category High
Crime Rate from neutral respectively “”not affected to affected.
Figure 3: Example: Push-Factor „Crime Rate“ influenced by detailed groups and Socio-psychological
Factor „Finance:
One of the factors associated with migration concerns naturally the "being able to migrate",
meaning the financial resources to begin/continue the journey. The longer for example
Syrian refugees remain in the primary destination countries like Turkey but as well Lebanon,
the less are their financial resources, assuming that the migrants have been able to save
their valuable possessions. Given that a legal way to achieve their potential "dream
destination" de facto does not exist, they are dependent on individuals or organizations
(human trafficker), who are enable the refugees to continue their journey - but this time
illegally. Cost of which is extremely high. An onward journey without the help of human
traffickers is hardly or only with great difficulty being achieved and it is probable that only the
desperate or - to a smaller extent - "adventurous" people are willing to take the risk. The
basic principle is that those who are most likely to reach their final destination do have
sufficient resources available.
Factor „Hope
One important socio-psychological phenomenon is "Hope". At the beginning of the
emigration, one of the most relevant reasons for remaining in the vicinity of their home
country is the hope that the conflict and the violence can find a quick end, and that displaced
people will be able to return to their homeland. This can be seen - at least initially - at almost
every military conflict. People stay in the relative safety in the neighborhoods of their home
country, waiting in case that the situation has calmed down - to return there. A long lasting
example in this respect can be observed in the largest refugee camp in the world (Dadaab in
Kenya). Somali refugees remain there now for more than 2 decades. Only recently mass
exoduses but also deportations of mainly Somali refugees can be observed, due to the
effects of political decisions of the Kenyan government.
Figure 4: Relevance of Sentiments i.e. Hope
Figure 4 shows the change in the socio-psychological factor "hope" in conjunction with time
and emotionally effective events. The longer the events persist, the worse is the mood
"hope." - say “the person loses hope that positive changes will occur in his home country in
the foreseeable future". This leads then - depending on the individual eventually to the
decision to migrate conclusively or for an indefinite time.
Previous migration theories state, that migration is a reactive field of research and migration
flows can only be analysed subsequent to an already existing migration movement of
individuals. Anticipatory perceptibility of migration causing factors as well as perceptibility on
principle of probable destinations apart from the pull-factor "Diaspora" are because of their
complexity - according to those theories - hardly or not possible.
Previous studies on the subject "migration" by holistic approach do not focus sufficiently at
the scientific modern adaptation of the "Push- and Pull-Factors" in their entity. From today´s
perspective the previous studies are amendable. Single triggers of regular and irregular
(illegal) migration have partially been identified and researched individually. The level of
knowledge, that is directly relating more than one of the socio-psychological factors, which
are responsible for the decision to migrate, to the accumulation of correlating push- and pull-
factors, is not sufficient and the phenomenon of the implication of social networks have not
adequately been taken into consideration. Therefore the neo-classic approach of the "Push-
and Pull Factors" should be reassessed and put into relation with the Irregular Migration
Analytical Invasive Model” in order to be able to identify a measurable systematization.
Push-Factors cause the voluntary or forced outflow of population or individual groups
(emigration) from their home country or country of residence. In most cases (except in
extraordinary circumstances) a correlation of several factors is crucial for a qualified
emigration. The correlation of Push-Factors leads to a potential, which may promote
migration movements. Individual Push-Factors usually do not lead directly to migratory
movements. A correlation between Push-Factors, influencing the daily life of the possible
migrant and his family, plus the socio-psychological factors on each of the influencing Push-
Factors, lead to an augmentation of a migration-related threshold.
Pull-Factors are factors, which are turning the balance, in which direction the migrant will
move. Pull-Factors provoke the immigration to a specific country. Also here cumulated
potentials could favour migration. These pull factors include, for example, security, access to
the labour market, Diaspora, etc. In principle one pull factor could be sufficient, that a
particular country is selected as destination, but mostly a gathering of several factors is
Trigger events are current events, which have the potential to initialize (trigger) a migration
movement. Most often those are concrete, dramatic events which are mainly covered by the
official media. Regional restricted alleged non-relevant events, which are usually not covered
by the international media, are affecting directly the socio-psychological well-being of a
probable migrant and are therefore equally important.
Hard Measures (factors) are executive to military measures against the "illegal" migration
(e.g. fence, police interventions ...) and include as well legislation and border control.
Soft Measures (factors) are mainly political-strategic/diplomatic measures and humanitarian
action including financing mechanism.
Qualified Emigration indicates a - not just temporary - trend for emigration
Valued Factor Packages define the socio-psychological value of each Push- or Pull-Factor
on the respective human being (potential migrant). It reflects the theory, that usually each
single factor has a certain differing value for the person who is experiencing its impact,
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Argues for adapting the economists' cost-benefit approach to the study of individual migration decisions, and presents a summary two-by-two matrix in which the potential costs of migrating include such cost factors as transportation, problems of finding employment and housing, need to adapt to new surroundings; and the costs of not migrating constitute such push factors as difficulties of finding a local job, unsatisfactory family or social relationships, and political conditions. The potential benefits of migrating include such pull factors as higher pay, better employment opportunities and social services, and a more interesting life, while the benefits of not migrating may include inexpensive housing, food, and recreation, daily contact with family and friends, and assured social status. -from Editors
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Comparative analysis of out-migration, based on a panel followed from 1968 to 1979, reveals substantial ethnic differentials. Part of the variation results from group compositional differences in social class and other characteristics normally related to migration, particularly age, education and local birth. Equally important, however, are indicators of social and economic bonds. These have been re-interpreted as mechanisms that promote ethnic cohesiveness. The results suggest that ethnic groups characterized by a dense network of social and economic ties do not sponsor out-migration, which has been the emphasis of many past studies of chain migration and migrant assimilation. Rather, they deter out-migration by providing alternative opportunities within the ethnic community.
This essay examines some of the pitfalls in contemporary immigration theory and reviews some of the most promising developments in research in this field. As a data-driven field or study, immigration has not had to contend with grand generalizations for highly abstract theorizing. On the contrary, the bias has run in the opposite direction, that is toward ground-level studies of particular migrant groups or analysis of official migration policies. As the distillate of past research in the field and a source of guidance for future work, theory represents one of the most valuable products of our collective intellectual endeavor. Ways to foster it and problems presented by certain common misunderstandings about the meaning and scope of scientific theorizing are discussed.
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