Migration is a catalyst for social change. It creates spaces for interaction between migrants and communities of origin, transit and destination and provokes changes in societies’ social structures, identities, attitudes, norms and practices. In an era in which mobility patterns are becoming increasingly complex and in which nearly all countries are exposed to migration in some way, transnationalism – a process whereby people establish and maintain socio-cultural connections across geopolitical borders – is a prevalent phenomenon. As a result, more and more countries are seeking effective and innovative approaches to the social transformations brought about by twenty-first century human mobility.
In 2010, the International Dialogue on Migration (IDM) was dedicated to addressing these challenges and identifying practical solutions with regard to migration and social change, integration and social cohesion in the context of ever-denser communication, transport, and information networks. This publication is a summary of lessons learnt and effective practices that emerged from the discussions among policymakers and practitioners at two intersessional workshops held as part of the IDM on the topics of “Migration and transnationalism: Opportunities and challenges” (9 and 10 March 2010) and “Societies and identities: The multifaceted impact of migration” (19 and 20 July 2010).