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The Migration Systems Approach Revisited. A Theoretical Proposal for the Study of the Migration System of Latin America and the Caribbean


The aim of this article is to revisit the origins, development, limits and potentialities of the migration systems approach. We will formulate a theoretical proposal that, when analyzing the conformation, feedback and reconfiguration of migratory systems, considers the role of the structure, of the meso factors (such as institutions or groups) and of the migrant agency (individual and collective). We start the analysis from a critical dialectical perspective that establishes a link among the elements of the system with its structural conditions, as well as recuperates the migrant agency, mainly in its collective dimension. Our proposal will be applied to the study of the migration system of Latin America and the Caribbean in the period 1970-2018. The proposal will go beyond a mere description of the main features of the system and its subsystems, to explain what are the elements that condition its stability and evolution. We will also highlight more than the classical elements of the system, the weight of structural conditions as well as the resistances and strategies developed by migrant collectives.

Migration Systems; Latin America and the Caribbean; structure; migrant agency

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