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Global Migration

Old Assumptions, New Dynamics

by Diego Acosta Arcarazo and Anja Wiesbrock, Editors


Even in an age of mobility, 97 percent of people stay in the country where they were born.

Print Flyer

May 2015


Pages 791
Volumes 3
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Current Events and Issues/International
  Current Events and Issues/Society

This three-volume work exposes myths and debunks misinformation about global migration, an issue generating emotional debate from the highest levels of power to kitchen tables across the United States, Europe, and worldwide.

Many don't realize that migration has been a central element of global social change since the 15th century. Unfortunately, misconceptions about the 3 percent of world citizens who do choose to migrate can be destructive. In 2008, riots broke out in South Africa over workers from neighboring countries. Today's rising tensions along the U.S.-Mexican border are inciting political, social, and economic upheaval. In the EU, political fortunes rise and fall on positions regarding the future of multiculturalism in Europe.

Relying on fact, not rhetoric, this three-volume book seeks to inform readers, allay fears, and advance solutions. While other reference works tend to limit their scope to one country or one dimension of this hot-button issue, this book looks at the topic through a wide and interdisciplinary lens. Truly global in scope, this collection explores issues on all five continents, discussing examples from more than 50 countries through analysis by 40 top scholars across 8 disciplines. By exploring the past, present, and future of measures that have been implemented in an attempt to deal with migration—ranging from regularization procedures to criminalization—readers will be able to understand this worldwide phenomenon. Both the expert and the general reader will find a wealth of information free of the unsustainable claims and polarized opinions usually presented in the media.

To view the introductory chapter of this book, visit


  • Offers the university student or interested lay reader a broad and accessible introduction to key questions on migration issues in 50 countries spanning 5 continents
  • Presents cutting-edge research drawn from the eight academic perspectives of law, economics, politics, sociology, demography, geography, anthropology, and history to allow the activist, journalist, or specialist to discuss the issues more thoroughly
  • Dispels numerous common myths surrounding migration, providing more depth and perspective than what is usually presented in the media
  • Supplies the broad scope, accessibility, and utility to serve nearly every audience, making this three-volume work an ideal choice for libraries seeking to purchase one reference work on immigration
  • View the introductory chapter of this book at
Author Info

Diego Acosta Arcarazo, PhD, is senior lecturer in European and migration law at the University of Bristol, UK. He holds a doctorate in EU migration law from King's College University, London, UK, and he previously lectured at the University of Sheffield. His published works include The Long-Term Resident Status as a Subsidiary Form of EU Citizenship and EU Security and Justice Law.

Anja Wiesbrock, PhD, is a senior judicial advisor at the Research Council of Norway. She has previously worked as an assistant professor in EU Law at the Department of International and European Law of Maastricht University, Maastricht, the Netherlands. Her published works include Legal Migration to the European Union and The Greening of European Business Under EU Law: Taking Article 11 TFEU Seriously.

Their book has benefited from the input of an advisory board composed of UN Rapporteur on the Rights of Migrants François Crépeau; the former UN rapporteur, Jorge Bustamante; and five key migration scholars: Professors Aderanti Adepoju, Binod Khadria, Wei Li, Kees Groenendijk, and Andrew Geddes. The contributors are leading scholars from five continents in eight different disciplines.

Topic Centers

Volume I
Tables and Figures
Chapter One – Global Migration Issues: Myths and Realities
Diego Acosta Arcarazo and Anja Wiesbrock
Part I: Myth: Developed countries are being swamped by migrants.
Chapter Two – Migration Is Historically Normal: Europe as Source and Destination of Global Population Movements
Jochen Oltmer
Chapter Three – Why Do People Migrate? A Review of the Theoretical Economic Literature
Jessica Hagen-Zanker
Chapter Four – Borders as Floodgates: Contesting the Myth from Federal and Regional International Experiences in Light of EU Free Movement
Sara Iglesias Sánchez

Part II: Myth: Migration only takes place from developing to developed countries and serves as an escape from poverty.
Chapter Five – Ten Myths about Migration and Development: Revelations Involving the Mexico—United States Experience
Raúl Delgado-Wise, Humberto Márquez, and Selene Gaspar
Chapter Six – Migration to the Gulf States: The Political Economy of Exceptionalism
Philippe Fargues and Françoise De Bel-Air
Chapter Seven – "Almost a Brazilian": Gringos, Immigration, and Irregularity in Brazil
Thaddeus Gregory Blanchette

Part III: Myth: Migration is economically negative.
Chapter Eight – Is Immigration Positive for the Welfare State? The Case of Spain
María Bruquetas-Callejo
Chapter Nine – Labor Migration from India to Italy: Debunking the Myth of the Undesirable Low-Skilled Migrant in the European Union
Kathryn Lum
Chapter Ten – The Myth of Benefit Tourists and Welfare Magnets: A Relationship between Social Welfare and Free Movement in the European Union?
Sergio Carrera, Katharina Eisele, Elspeth Guild, and Joanna Parkin

About the Editors
About the Contributors
About the Advisory Board

Tables and Figures
Part I: Myth: Restrictive migration policies are effective.
Chapter One – Militarization of the Mexico-U.S. Border and Its Effects on the Circularity of Migrants
Douglas S. Massey and Karen A. Pren
Chapter Two – Out of Sight, Out of Mind?: The Myths and Realities of Mandatory Immigration Detention
Daniel Ghezelbash and Mary Crock
Chapter Three – The Quest for Turkish Migration to the European Union: Exploring the Misconceptions
Gözde Kaya

Part II: Myth: Restrictive policies toward migrants are inevitable.
Chapter Four – Regularization in the European Union and the United States: The Frequent Use of an Exceptional Measure
Alan Desmond
Chapter Five – National Voting Rights for Permanent Residents: New Zealand’s Experience
Kate McMillan
Chapter Six – Improving Migrants’ Rights in Times of Crisis: Migration Policy in Argentina since 2003
Pablo Ceriani Cernadas

Part III: Myth: Restrictive immigration policies promote integration.
Chapter SevenMevrouw De Jong Gaat Eten: Naturalization Biases Tested in Practice
Dimitry Kochenov
Chapter Eight – Family Reunion as a Means of Integration: Has It Failed or Succeeded?
Thomas Huddleston
Chapter Nine – The Mythical Death of Multiculturalism
Tariq Modood

About the Editors
About the Contributors
About the Advisory Board

Tables and Figures
Part I: Myth: Migrant workers cannot get equal rights.
Chapter One – Straight Talk about the Dynamics of Labor Migration
Jennifer Gordon
Chapter Two – Revisiting the Myth of Guest Worker Programs: The Case of Malaysia
Blanca Garcés-Mascareñas

Part II: Myth: Migrants are a threat to society.
Chapter Three – False Narratives in the Migration Debate: Playing Games with Immigrants’ Lives in Greece
Anastassia Tsoukala
Chapter Four – Migration Myths and Extreme Xenophobia in South Africa
Jonathan Crush and Sujata Ramachandran
Chapter Five – International Migration and Immigrant Settlement in the United States
Wei Li and Wan Yu

Part III: Myth: Migration always harms the prospects of developing countries by causing a brain drain.
Chapter Six – High-Skilled Migration: A New Way Forward for Europe, the United States, and the World
Andrew Rottas and Terri Givens
Chapter Seven – Promoting Circular International Migration of the Highly Skilled
Metka Hercog and Melissa Siegel
Chapter Eight – Student Migration from India: Implications for the Origin and the Host Countries
Shantanu Sarkar and Rashmi Sharma
Chapter Nine – Changing Dynamics of Remittance Flows and Their Impact on the Economy: The Case of Pakistan
Hisaya Oda

About the Editors
About the Contributors
About the Advisory Board



"The strength is in the breadth of the offerings, providing discussion about the reasons for and results of migration, and the high quality of writing. . . . This will be a fine addition to reference works on migration. Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate, research, and professional collections."—Choice


Global Migration: Old Assumptions, New Dynamics is a timely and much-needed account of the complexities inherent in the constantly present but ever evolving phenomenon of international mobility. By debunking some of the all-too-numerous myths and misperceptions characterizing the migration discourse, the book provides a fresh, comprehensive, and nuanced analysis that can serve policymakers, academics, and citizens alike to challenge their old assumptions, opinions, and policy perspectives, based on the new dynamics of international migration. This volume is particularly timely, given that extremism, migrant-scapegoating, and xenophobia are on the rise: factual and accessible information about migration, such as that contained in this book, can contribute significantly to a fairer migration debate, greater tolerance of migrants, and the re-thinking of old assumptions about migration.”—Laura Thompson, Deputy Director General, International Organization for Migration

"In times of global changes in all policy areas, when global migration realities are in constant evolution, this book perfectly highlights historic developments and current questions. The significant quantity and impressive quality of authors makes this book an obligation to read."—Gabriela Abado, Acting Director General ICMPD

"Human mobility has become a much-debated issue in the politics and media in recent years. However, both often portray this complex phenomenon in extremely basic terms and in concepts that oppose two groups: those who claim that immigration is an opportunity versus those who claim that immigration is a threat. In this context, there is very little space available for a reasoned, nuanced, and scientifically-based approach that explains the phenomenon of migration in all its complexity. Global Migration: Old Assumptions, New Dynamics addresses migration myths and realities in their multifaceted and multidisciplinary dimensions. It helps readers understand the migration phenomenon and offers the opportunity to move away from overly basic or populist approaches. At a time in which immigration polarises political discourses and national elections, being able to rely on informed research to make sound decisions—as policy-maker or citizen—is sorely needed. This book makes a key contribution."—Dr Yves Pascouau, Director of Migration and Mobility Policies, European Policy Centre, Brussels; editor of the website

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