Managing migration in the UK and Spain: ideas, knowledge and policy change

Alex Balch

in Managing Labour Migration in Europe

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9780719080722
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781701805 | DOI:
Managing migration in the UK and Spain: ideas, knowledge and policy change

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This chapter analyses what a comparison of the labour migration policy in Spain and Great Britain tells us about the central question concerning the role of ideas and knowledge in policy change. The labour migration policies in both countries tended to be quite complex with ad-hoc, incremental changes made to schemes that had been built up to respond to specific, often episodic, needs and were then used for purposes other than those that they were designed for. The reframing of policy in Britain post-2000, and in Spain post-2004, was characterised by significant institutional and organisational reforms involving a redistribution of policy-making and implementing powers, chiefly between the interior, labour and education ministries, and also changes in terms of the hierarchy and location of decision making.

Keywords: labour migration policy; Spain; Great Britain; ideas; knowledge; policy change; institutional reforms; organisational reforms

Chapter.  7237 words. 

Subjects: European Union

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