Migration truly is a global phenomenon. Moreover, even in the current challenging economic environment international migration flows of all types are robust. Against this backdrop this chapter executes several tasks. First, it assesses the benefits and costs of each of the four major migration streams: labour, secondary, irregular, and humanitarian migration. Second, it posits a course along which the contemporary politics and policies of migration and immigrant settlement tends to proceed. Finally, it evaluates the appropriateness of framing the phenomenon of contemporary migration within the paradigm of securitization. The central thesis of this essay is that the purported global ‘crisis of migration’ is less of an objective, unrelenting, and universal emergency of unavoidable and unwelcome migration outcomes than it is a subjective, episodic, and selective set of challenges mostly founded upon unrealistic and/or contradictory migration expectations. The pertinent questions posed by contemporary migration and immigrant settlement patterns therefore are not why migration occurs, why do countries tolerate unwanted migration, and how do migrants precipitate societal and/or state insecurity; instead, they are: why don’t more people migrate, why do most migrants settle in relatively few countries, and why are migrants almost universally cast as a threat to states and societies?
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Anthony M. Messina
Edited by Felicity Thomas
Migration is now firmly embedded as a leading global policy issue of the twenty-first century. While not a new phenomenon, it has altered significantly in recent decades, with changing demographics, geopolitics, conflict, climate change and patterns of global development shaping new types of migration. Such movement involves an increasingly diverse group of people, as well as shifting countries of origin, transit and destination in what is often a complex, multi-staged and at times lengthy process. This introductory chapter examines these changes and sets out the main themes underpinning the Handbook. The book is organised into six main sections: theories and models of migration; rights and deservingness; vulnerability and precarity; specific healthcare needs and priorities; healthcare provision; and transnational and diasporic networks. The chapters in the book are, in turn, underpinned by three common themes: (1) the intersectional nature of migration and health; (2) the broad neoliberal context within which many experiences of migration and health take place; and (3) the need to move beyond a ‘one-size fits all’ approach to health and healthcare to recognise how subjective perspectives, priorities and responses feed in to ideas about, and experiences relating to, health, treatment seeking and care.
This chapter examines the tangled question of continuity and change from the point of view of the observance of mobility. The diverse changes in Mediterranean mobility since the upheavals of January 2011 constitute a topic worthy of particular attention. However, an effort has to be made to comprehend the transformed understandings of continuity and change, which are sometimes found in sharp opposition to each other but which also find connections and relations between each other. This work brings at least five different questions together in dialogue: (1) the use of categories. Can the terms ‘refugee’ and ‘irregular migrant’ continue to be used as they were in the past? Globalization studies have suggested new challenges regarding the blurring of such categories. Agamben (1995) has also worked on differentiating the classic idea of the refugee from the question of human rights; (2) forms of continuity. Authors like de Hass and Sigona (2012) talk about a continuity: ‘it is rather unlikely that the revolutions will dramatically change long-term migration patterns’; (3) challenging borders. Authors working on EU borders have identified a rupture in how the Arab Spring has forced the regulation parameters of the EU’s internal borders to change (see, for example, the various programmes in Italy after the Tunisian upheaval); (4) forms of cross-border circulation. Authors working on the Syrian humanitarian crisis have shown how cross-border circulation enhances new humanitarian structure models, especially concerning Turkish borders; and (5) re-scaling. Do cities like Istanbul conform to the kaleidoscope of these post-2011 changes and continuities?