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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.

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Cover image for Global Migration

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.

Table of Contents

Volume ITables and FiguresAcknowledgmentsChapter One – Global Migration Issues: Myths and RealitiesDiego Acosta Arcarazo and Anja WiesbrockPart I: Myth: Developed countries are being swamped by migrants.Chapter Two – Migration Is Historically Normal: Europe as Source and Destination of Global Population MovementsJochen OltmerChapter Three – Why Do People Migrate? A Review of the Theoretical Economic LiteratureJessica Hagen-ZankerChapter Four – Borders as Floodgates: Contesting the Myth from Federal and Regional International Experiences in Light of EU Free MovementSara Iglesias SánchezPart 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 ExperienceRaúl Delgado-Wise, Humberto Márquez, and Selene GasparChapter Six – Migration to the Gulf States: The Political Economy of ExceptionalismPhilippe Fargues and Françoise De Bel-AirChapter Seven – "Almost a Brazilian": Gringos, Immigration, and Irregularity in BrazilThaddeus Gregory BlanchettePart III: Myth: Migration is economically negative.Chapter Eight – Is Immigration Positive for the Welfare State? The Case of SpainMaría Bruquetas-CallejoChapter Nine – Labor Migration from India to Italy: Debunking the Myth of the Undesirable Low-Skilled Migrant in the European UnionKathryn LumChapter 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 ParkinAbout the EditorsAbout the ContributorsAbout the Advisory BoardIndexVOLUME IITables and FiguresAcknowledgmentsPart I: Myth: Restrictive migration policies are effective.Chapter One – Militarization of the Mexico-U.S. Border and Its Effects on the Circularity of MigrantsDouglas S. Massey and Karen A. PrenChapter Two – Out of Sight, Out of Mind?: The Myths and Realities of Mandatory Immigration DetentionDaniel Ghezelbash and Mary CrockChapter Three – The Quest for Turkish Migration to the European Union: Exploring the MisconceptionsGözde KayaPart 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 MeasureAlan DesmondChapter Five – National Voting Rights for Permanent Residents: New Zealand's ExperienceKate McMillanChapter Six – Improving Migrants' Rights in Times of Crisis: Migration Policy in Argentina since 2003Pablo Ceriani CernadasPart III: Myth: Restrictive immigration policies promote integration.Chapter SevenMevrouw De Jong Gaat Eten: Naturalization Biases Tested in PracticeDimitry KochenovChapter Eight – Family Reunion as a Means of Integration: Has It Failed or Succeeded?Thomas HuddlestonChapter Nine – The Mythical Death of MulticulturalismTariq ModoodAbout the EditorsAbout the ContributorsAbout the Advisory BoardIndexVOLUME IIITables and FiguresAcknowledgmentsPart I: Myth: Migrant workers cannot get equal rights.Chapter One – Straight Talk about the Dynamics of Labor MigrationJennifer GordonChapter Two – Revisiting the Myth of Guest Worker Programs: The Case of MalaysiaBlanca Garcés-MascareñasPart II: Myth: Migrants are a threat to society.Chapter Three – False Narratives in the Migration Debate: Playing Games with Immigrants' Lives in GreeceAnastassia TsoukalaChapter Four – Migration Myths and Extreme Xenophobia in South AfricaJonathan Crush and Sujata RamachandranChapter Five – International Migration and Immigrant Settlement in the United StatesWei Li and Wan YuPart 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 WorldAndrew Rottas and Terri GivensChapter Seven – Promoting Circular International Migration of the Highly SkilledMetka Hercog and Melissa SiegelChapter Eight – Student Migration from India: Implications for the Origin and the Host CountriesShantanu Sarkar and Rashmi SharmaChapter Nine – Changing Dynamics of Remittance Flows and Their Impact on the Economy: The Case of PakistanHisaya OdaAbout the EditorsAbout the ContributorsAbout the Advisory BoardIndex



"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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