ArticleBy Victor Piché, Catriona Dutreuilh
This article aims to explore the development of contemporary migration theories as reflected in some twenty founding texts brought together for the first time in a single volume (Piché V., 2013, Les théories de la migration, INED). Each text marks a major advance in the understanding of migration, its causes and its effects. Together, they bear witness to the emergence of theories which, after initially focusing on micro-individual approaches centred on cost-benefit analysis, gradually move on to incorporate macro-structural factors. Analysis of migration networks is a key component of explanatory frameworks and of studies to determine the effects of migration on economic development. A gendered approach to migration decision-making rounds off this analysis. The analytical framework developed here presents migration as a multifactorial and multidimensional phenomenon combining three main dimensions: origin and destination; micro, meso, macro and global analysis levels; economic, social and political aspects. Far from competing, these approaches each provide specific new insights. They must all be considered when seeking to explain migration or to assess migration policy.