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Global governance and the regulation of migration flows

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Abstract:

At a time when national policies on immigration are becoming increasingly restrictive no comprehensive international legal framework governing migration exists. Unlike trade and capital flows, which are subject to governance and regulation, immigration is not. Though there has been growing interest in the link between immigration and development, receiving countries often seek to use development aid to reduce immigration. A major problem is that immigration is asymmetrical: workers from the North are not interested in going to countries of the poorer South. Furthermore public opinion in the North, especially among the poorest and least educated, is increasingly hostile to immigration even if government policies, perhaps driven by organised lobbies, do not fully reflect public attitudes. Non‐cooperative policies may even be counter‐productive. Restrictive policies are often expensive, have human costs and do not necessarily work. Economists point to the benefits of immigration, though their views are not often heard.

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: 2011-11-01

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