Successful collaboration begins with a shared language, hence the need for a glossary. This joint effort of contributors from several teams ensures, on the one hand, terminological and conceptual coherence across not only our theoretical approaches, but also the qualitative case studies and quantitative research conducted in OPPORTUNITIES. On the other hand, our glossary facilitates communication between the academic side of the project and the fieldwork conducted by NGOs, uniting our teams working from Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ghana, Italy, Mauritania, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania and Senegal.

For more information about the Structure and Objectives of the Glossary, click here...)

As a noun, risk is defined as a situation involving danger or “([e]xposure to) the possibility of loss, injury, or other adverse or unwelcome circumstance” (see the entry in the Oxford English Dictionary). Risk as a verb means ‘to endanger; to expose to the possibility of injury, death, or loss; to put at risk” (see the entry in the Oxford English Dictionary). In both senses a ‘risk’ situation implies the chance of a potential loss.

Note that risk is different from uncertainty, which describes a situation in which you are not certain about future outcomes. Migration involves various risks as well as uncertainty in relation to questions of travel/route, income, unemployment at destination, poverty, cultural shocks, discrimination, etc. (for further discussions of risk in migration studies see the respective entries provided by the International Organization for Migration Williams and Balaz 2012).

⇢ see also Migration

References and further reading:

The International Organization for Migration. 2021. “Migration and Risks.” IOM: International Organization for Migration. URL:

Williams, Allan, and Vladimir Balaz. 2012. “Migration, Risk, and Uncertainty: Theoretical Perspectives.” Population Space and Place 18.2: 167–180.

Category: A

Work Package: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8