Between Cosmopolitanism and Parochialism: Return Migration of Early-Career Israeli Academics

Authors: Nir Cohen*, Bar Ilan University, Emil Israel*,
Topics: Migration, Immigration/Transnationalism, Higher Education
Keywords: Early Career Researchers; Return Migration; Cosmopolitanism; Parochialism; STEM; Israel
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/10/2021
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 4:20 PM
Room: Virtual 25
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Mobile academics have traditionally been conceived as cosmopolitan subjects who favor diversity and search for new socio-cultural and professional environments. Their return to the homeland may therefore seem a parochial choice, which narrows down their professional opportunities and limits their exposure to global resources.

This article sets to explore whether academics who return to the homeland exhibit difference in their cosmopolitan tendencies than their non-returning peers. Drawing on a sample of 223 Israeli early-career academics in STEM disciplines, it examines their cosmopolitan – or otherwise parochial – propensities and assesses its effects on their decision to return migrate. We use statistical tests to analyze the effects of cultural orientation, attachment to a national community in the country of origin and national-patriotic feelings on return propensities of academics. Our findings suggest that returnees exhibit higher levels of parochiality, compared with their co-nationals who opted to remain abroad. The latter also exhibited a higher to perform geographically broader job searches, thus confirming our hypothesis that cosmopolitan academics are more prone to new socio-cultural and professional experiences.

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