Handbooks of Research on International Political Economy series
Edited by Leila Simona Talani and Simon McMahon
Introduction: an IPE perspective on international migration
This book discusses theoretical approaches to migration studies in general, as well as confronting various issues in international migration from a distinctive international political economy (IPE) perspective. It examines migration as part of the global political economy whilst addressing the theoretical debate relating to the capacity of the state to control international migration and the so-called ‘policy gap’ or ‘gap hypothesis’ between migration policies and their outcomes (Guiraudon and Lahav 2007; Boswell and Geddes 2011). But what do we mean by the international political economy of migration? The field of migration studies has traditionally been, and is increasingly, very crowded, with insights coming from various perspectives and academic disciplines (Brettell and Hollifield 2008). Only recently, however, have international political economy scholars provided for a systematic assessment of the questions arising from the increase of mass migration and brain drain in the global context (Boswell and Geddes 2011). It is worth noting that the chapters in this Handbook do not deal so much with the integration of migrants, what is normally called ‘immigrant policy’, but focus instead on ‘immigration control’, that is, more specifically, the conditions of entry and exit of migrants, including illegal or irregular migration (Hammar 1985). Moreover, attention will be paid mainly to economic migration and less so to political migration, although reference will also be made to European Union (EU) asylum and refugee policy, trafficking and local transformations resulting from migration.