14-18 September 2009
Migration and Mobility
National Responses to Cultural Diversity
Globalization has made international migration easier in many respects. The cost of travel has dropped; information about opportunities in destination countries has increased; the incentives to migrate are high, partly as a result of such increased information flows. These incentives are shared by those with the skills that are sought by destination countries as well as by those who do not possess them, or who migrate for other reasons, for instance as refugees, asylum-seekers, or family dependents. As a result of such different push-pull dynamics between sending and receiving countries, we see both “legal” and “illegal” migration flows throughout the world.
On balance, more countries are now accepting migrants, most often for temporary work, but sometimes for permanent residence. Not that long ago many countries in the West denied the need for immigration. This sentiment has now largely passed as labour supplies in these countries are being stressed by retirements and low fertility rates. Migrants are now being seen as providing part of the answer to how countries can maintain their economic prosperity.
However, migration not only introduces new workers into a labour force but also new people into a society. The globalization of migration means that newcomers to our societies are often from culturally, ethnically, and racially diverse backgrounds and long-term migration means that our cities are becoming more diverse.
Return to the list <<<<<