skip to content

Transnational actions of Indian migrants in Germany

Principal investigator:Dr. Carsten Butsch
Contact: Mail:
Phone: 0221 4704142
Donor: German Research Foundation, DFG
Duration: January 2015 until February 2018
Keywords: Migration, Transnationalism


Research question

Which links are created between India and Germany by people of Indian origin, living in Germany? 


The number of people of Indian origin in Germany is relatively small, compared to other migrant groups. At the end of 2014 76,000 non-resident Indians lived in Germany. Though, this number has more than doubled compared to 2000. Therefore, the group of Indian migrants shows relatively high growth rates compared to migrants from other countries. At the same time, the duration of stay in Germany is for Indian nationals much shorter than the average duration of stay by other nationalities. These figures indicate, that the Indo-German migration is highly dynamic.

This research project looks at the new cross-border linkages, which are created by Indian migrants living in Germany. In this context relevant questions are inter alia: Which cross-border relations to friends and family are maintained? How do people keep in touch with their relatives “back home”? How do these migrants change their places of settlement and their places of origin? 

Aim of the project

The project on the one hand aims at understanding, what living transnational means for persons of Indian origin. The guiding question of the project is: How far are persons of Indian origin who are living in Germany embedded in transnational networks and which transformation processes do they initiate at their places of residency and their places of origin? On the other hand the project aims at contributing conceptually to the development of the transnationalism concept. 

Synopsis of the first project phase (in German) (PDF-Download


  • Butsch, C. (2016): Transnational networks and practices of Overseas Indians in Germany. In: Internationales Asienforum 47 (3-4): 203-226.
  • Butsch, C. (2016): Leben in zwei Kulturen – transnationale Identitäten indischer Migranten in Deutschland. In: Mitteilungen der Österreichischen Geographischen Gesellschaft (158): 13-36. (free Download)
  • Butsch, C. (2016): Leben in zwei Welten. In: Meine Welt. Zeitschrift des Deutsch-Indischen Dialogs 33 (1): 13-16. (free download)
  • Butsch, C. (2016): Transnationale Handlungsfelder und Netzwerke indischer Migrantinnen und Migranten in Deutschland. In: In: Schlitz, N. und Poerting, J. (Hrsg.) Aktuelle Forschungsbeiträge zu Südasien. 6. Jahrestagung des AK Südasien, 22./23. Januar 2016, Osnabrück. Heidelberg: 33-36. (free download)
  • Butsch, C. 2015. Overseas Indians – indische Migranten in transnationalen Netzwerken. In: Geographische Rundschau. 67 (1): 40-46. (On ResearchGate)
  • Butsch, C. (2015): Transnationales Handeln indischer Migrant_inn_en in Deutschland. In: Poerting, J. und M. Keck T. (Hrsg.) Aktuelle Forschungsbeiträge zu Südasien. 5. Jahrestagung des AK Südasien, 23./24. Januar 2015, Göttingen. Heidelberg: 41-45. (free download

Further reading