Morphogénèse d'un système migratoire. Emergence(s), développement(s) et transformation(s) du système migratoire Colombie-Espagne (1988-2014)

Abstract : In 1991, 9 343 people born in Colombia were living in Spain. In 2011, this figure increased to 118 148 and reached 379 400 in 2011(1). From 1998 to 2014, the Spanish Statistics Authority Board recorded the arrival of 457 000 Colombians(2) in comparison with 130 000 departures of Colombians from the country were registered(3) between 2002 and 2014. The aim of this thesis is to analyze the arrival and departure patterns of Colombians in Spain, not relying on simplifying analytical frameworks based on reasonings in terms of attractive and repulsive factors (Ravenstein 1885; Lee 1966) or gravitational attraction phenomena (Zipf 1946). These macro-analytic models that focus more on structural determinisms rather than taking into account the individual’s mobility in its full complexity (Dureau et Hily 2009), seem to reduce the latter to the state of a particle moving from one country to the other as would a body attracted by a mass (Rosental 1999) whereas this study aspires to analyse the movement of more than half a million migrants from Colombia to Spain and from Spain to other horizons, describing these phenomena on an individual scale (Courgeau and Lelièvre 1990). We view the macro dynamical structure of the Colombian migration system in Spain as issuing from the micro dynamics which generated and reconfigured it. We analyse its emergence at the end of the 1990’s, its developments from 2000 to 2007, as well as the transformations observed since the 2008 crisis. Rather than treating migration paths independently of each other, this thesis discloses intelligible processes that relate them to each other, given that these are observable on a meso-social scale. In presenting how pioneering migrants built up the migration system, we show how, once expanded, the Spanish pole of the migration system structured the migration trails of future migrants through a feed-back effect.This thesis therefore implicitly questions the migrants’ respective contributions to structuring the migration system and conversely the role of the system in structuring individual migration trails. Using a system of multiscale observations- integrating macroscopic (census data, population registers) and individual microdata (Encuesta Nacional de Inmigrantes 2007)- combined with a multisited data base (Colombian and Spanish sources), led us to a reflection on the “morphogenesis” of a specific migration system, and a confrontation of the empirical input with proposals made in major foundational works in migration studies continually mentioned and discussed throughout this manuscript, such as works by Ernst Georg Ravenstein, Andrew Abbott or Torsten Hägerstrand. The aim of the first part is to provide the reader with a conceptual and methodological framework, which enables us to analyse and observe how a contemporary migration system can evolve. We first show how macro-analytic models fail to account for both the course of a specific trajectory and the relations of trajectories with each other, after which we aim at consolidating the notion of migration system” (Mabogunje 1970; Fawcett 1989; Kritz, Lim and Zlotnik 1992) with reference to the “self-organizing” hypothesis of the theory of Systems (Pumain, Sanders and Saint-Julien 1989; Thiétart 2000; Dauphiné 2003). A presentation of the methodological apparatus reveals how one can use quantitative data for the study of the developmemt of the Colombian migration system in Spain from 1998 to 2014, taking into account the structural effects and the complexity of individual trajectories. The second part is dedicated to the emergence of the Colombian migration system in Spain. It describes the stage of its development before the Spanish pole appeared and questions the demographic, economic and urban contexts that might have encouraged the search for better opportunities elsewhere. There is no doubt that the arrival of Colombians can be interpreted in the light of the local structures and economic situations of the two countries at the time. The analysis of spatial resources various groups of migrants were able to access at the time of their departure and that of their former life paths also reveals how adventurous the migration plans of these pioneers were when they left for a new life in Spain. The third part questions the development mechanisms of the system by discussing the Colombians’ geographic implantation, their positions in various professional sectors, as well as the migration population flow, the flow of goods, money, ideas and representations transiting from Spain to Colombia, generated by the presence of Colombians in Spain. The Colombians’ arrival patterns in certain provinces where they settled to live, and the specific types of professional sectors they entered, are analysed in the light of interactions between newcomers and readily installed migrants. The patterns produced by the migrants that led to the various population movements, are investigated in the light of solidarities and family residence geographic patterns. The last part aims at shedding light on the transformations of the Colombian migration system since 2008. The real estate and financial crisis is viewed as a “bifurcation” point (Prigogine 1997; Abbott 2009), as can be seen from the various evolution curves showing Colombian mobility to/in/from Spain. Focus is specifically drawn to the migration system’s “ramification” processes, resulting from the departure of Colombians living in Spain towards a third country. The spatial resources which migrants had access to in 2007, seem to have had an important impact on their ability to project themselves outside Spain. A close look at the destinations of the departing Colombians in terms of spatial resources locations reveals the “anisotropy” of the different migration patterns. (1) According to the Spanish census of 1991, 2001 and 2011. (2) Unless otherwise stated, by Colombian, we understand a person born in Colombia. According to the birthright in force in Colombia, any person born in Colombia benefits from the Colombian nationality. (3) Flows are measured in terms of Spanish statistical data for residential changes.
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Celio Sierra-Paycha. Morphogénèse d'un système migratoire. Emergence(s), développement(s) et transformation(s) du système migratoire Colombie-Espagne (1988-2014). Géographie. Université de Poitiers (France), 2017. Français. ⟨tel-01557465⟩

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