The Globalisation of migration

Article English OPEN
Milan Mesić (2002)
  • Publisher: Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies
  • Journal: Migracijske i Etniĉke Teme (issn: 1333-2546, eissn: 1848-9184)
  • Subject: migration | globalisation | brain gain | diaspora | citizenship | post-national society | Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration | JV1-9480

The paper demonstrates that contemporary international migration is a constitutive part of the globalisation process. After defining the concepts of globalisation and the globalisation of migration, the author discusses six key themes, linking globalisation and international migration (“global cities”, the scale of migration; diversification of migration flows; globalisation of science and education; international migration and citizenship; emigrant communities and new identities). First, in accordance with Saskia Sassen’s analysis, the author rejects the wide-spread notion that unqualified migrants have lost an (important) role in »global cities«, i.e. in the centres of the new (global) economy. Namely, the post-modern service sector cannot function without the support of a wide range of auxiliary unqualified workers. Second, a critical comparison with traditional overseas mass migration to the USA at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries indicates that present international migration is, perhaps, less extensive – however it is important to take into consideration various limitations that previously did not exist, and thus the present migration potential is in really greater. Third, globalisation is more evident in a diversification of the forms of migration: the source area of migrants to the New World and Europe has expanded to include new regions in the world; new immigration areas have arisen (the Middle East, new industrial countries of the Far East, South Europe); intra-regional migration has intensified. Forth, globalisation is linked to an increased migration of experts and the pessimistic notion of a brain drain has been replaced by the optimistic idea of a brain gain. Fifth, contemporary international migration has been associated with a crisis of the national model of citizenship. Sixth, the interlinking of (migrant) cultural communities regardless of distance and the physical proximity of cultural centres (the deterritorialisation of identity), as well as a hybridisation of cultural patterns, bring into question old notions of separate cultures in delimited areas. To sum up, the discussion of the mentioned themes supports the fundamental thesis of the paper, i.e. that international migration is a constitutive part of the process of globalisation.
Share - Bookmark