Human Migration and Mobility

Immigration today touches the lives and economies of more people and places than ever before. The places that are affected by immigrant flows are not just countries, but cities and neighborhoods within them. Immigration is a focus of research for Drs. Marie Price and Elizabeth Chacko, who have conducted extensive work on the topic, particularly in the Washington metropolitan area, which is  a relatively new locale of immigrant settlement. Among the issues they have analyzed are  the demographic, socio-cultural, economic and political impacts of immigrant flows on cities,   immigrant entrepreneurship, ethnic, racial and national identities of immigrants, the integration of immigrants in cities the use of sports and festivals by immigrant communities to make and maintain cultural space and occupational and ethnic niches of different immigrant groups.  They obtained CIBER (Center for International Business Education and Research) Grants through GWU for their work on diasporic entrepreneurship in 2007-2008 and 2008-2009.  Working mostly on the Bolivian (Price) and Ethiopian and Asian Indian (Chacko) immigrant groups, together they have published over 20 journal articles, book chapters and reports on Washington as an immigrant destination. Read about their work in the Washington area in  GW Arts and Sciences Magazine - Fall/Winter 2010 issue:  Scholars Redefine Immigration Trends









Drs. Price and Chacko were invited as experts on a panel “Urban Policies and Creative Practices for Migrants: Inclusive Cities for All” hosted by UNESCO and UN-Habitat in Barcelona, Spain, 2011.  They were asked to prepare a monograph for the United Nations based on their expertise on immigrant inclusion in cities.  This guide, tentatively titled “Migrants' inclusion in cities: Innovative urban policies and practices"” will be completed by the end of 2011 and widely distributed to urban planners and policy makers through the United Nations and the United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) networks.  It will be available in French, Spanish and English.

Drs. Price and Benton-Short have analyzed globalization and immigration in cities around the world. In 2002 and 2005 they received grants for the GW Center for the Study of Globalization to develop their comparative urban research. In 2008, Migrants to the Metropolis: the Rise of Immigrant Gateway Cities, the book they co-edited was published by Syracuse University Press. Professor Elizabeth Chacko contributed a chapter to the book on Washington DC . They also created a website that contains information on the immigrant populations for 150 large cities in the world. 

Geography professors have also researched the relationships between migration and development.  Dr. David Rain’s book “Eaters of the Dry Season” is about circular migration in the West African Sahel.