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Title: Spatial network structures of world migration : heterogeneity of global and local connectivity
Author: Danchev, Valentin
ISNI:       0000 0004 6346 5526
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2015
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The landscape of world migration involves multiple interacting movements of people at various geographic scales, posing significant challenges to the dyadic-independence assumption underlying standard migration models. To account for emerging patterns of multilateral migration relationships, we represent world migration as a time-evolving, spatial network. The nodes in the World Migration Network (WMN) are countries located in geographic space, and the edges represent migratory movements for each decade from 1960-2000. In the first part of the thesis, we characterise the spatial network structure of the WMN, with a particular focus on detecting and mapping mesoscopic structures called 'communities' (i.e., sets of countries with denser migration connections internally than to the rest of the WMN). We employ a method for community detection that simultaneously accounts for multilateral migration, spatial constraints, time-dependence, and directionality in the WMN. We then introduce an approach for characterising local (intracommunity) and global (intercommunity) connectivity in the WMN. On this basis, we define a threefold typology that distinguishes 'cave', 'bi-regional', and 'bridging' communities. These are characterised with distinct migration patterns, spatial network structures, and temporal dynamics: cave communities are tightly-knit enduring structures that channel local migration between contiguous countries; bi-regional communities merge migration between two distinct geographic regions; bridging communities have hub-and-spoke dynamic structures that emerge from globe-spanning movements. Our results suggest that the WMN is neither a globally interconnected network nor reproducing geographic boundaries but involves heterogeneous patterns of global and local ('glocal') migration connectivity. We examine a set of relational, homophily, and spatial mechanisms that could have possibly generated the 'glocal' structure we observe. We found that communities of different types arise from significantly different mechanisms. Our results suggest that migration communities can have important implications for world migration, as different types of community structure provide distinct opportunities and constraints, thereby distinctively shaping future migration patterns.
Supervisor: Porter, Mason ; Keith, Michael Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Spatial systems ; Globalization ; Emigration and immigration--Statistics ; Communities--Research ; Social networks--Mathematical models