The Political Economy of Migration in an Era of Globalization

Samuel Martínez

in International Migration and Human Rights

Published by University of California Press

Published in print November 2009 | ISBN: 9780520258211
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520942578 | DOI:
The Political Economy of Migration in an Era of Globalization

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This chapter reviews studies conducted in major migration systems worldwide. These studies reveal that greater numbers of people cross international borders precisely because market forces now reach billions more people today than in the decades prior to the fall of Soviet-style socialism. It exemplifies the close relationship of migration and globalization, and the political contradictions that follow between the forces of openness and restriction. The economic and social transformations being wrought by liberalizing markets are the ferment pushing people to cross international borders in search of greater attainments and freedoms. The contradiction between “restrictionism”—politics and policies aimed at reducing officially authorized immigration and bringing unauthorized immigration to a halt—and global economic integration may also be observed, in microcosmic form, at ports of entry, the places where “unwanted” goods and people are to be stopped, and desired commerce and immigrants permitted to enter. Governments can do little about the penetration of markets into developing regions of the world, or about the progressive incorporation of peripheral areas into global trade.

Keywords: political economy; migration; globalization; international borders; social transformations

Chapter.  7415 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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