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The chapter gives an overview of the topic and issues treated in the book. Three main arguments are presented. First, the dynamics of the refugee events of 2015 reflect the degree of globalization and transnationalization of social relations. In Syria as well as in Europe the global is becoming local and the local is becoming global. Transnational social relations are becoming more and more important. Second, since the 1990s a European refugee regime has been being developed, but its (nice) provisions for refugee protection almost collapsed in face of the organized non-responsibility of EU member states. Third, the networks of refugee- and asylum-oriented organizations and elements of a related transnational social movement compensated the ‘organized non-responsibility’ of national governments.
We introduce our topic and provide an overview of the book. We posit a clear bias in U.S. immigration policy that favored entry from Europe and, notably, from Northern and Western European countries until the enactment of the Hart-Celler Act in 1968 (i.e., the Immigration Act of 1965). Only in recent decades have there been a significant increase in the number of annual immigrant arrivals and a considerable shift in the source countries and regions of immigrant arrivals to the U.S. towards Asia, Latin American and the Caribbean, and, to a lesser extent, Africa. We contend that many recent immigrant arrivals to the U.S. have entered a country that is quite culturally dissimilar from their countries of origin. However, through acculturation there has been a movement of U.S. culture away from that of the more traditional European immigrant source countries and towards the cultures of the more recent arrivals’ home countries.
Migration has been intensifying and diversifying since the 1990s. According to the United Nations International Migration Report, there were 244 million international migrants in 2015 – 10 per cent more than only five years earlier, in 2010 (international migrants are here defined as people living in a given country who are either foreign born or have foreign citizenship). Of these, more than two-thirds (71 per cent) lived in high-income countries, while the developing regions hosted 29 per cent of the world’s total international migrant population. Socio-economic transformations such as those induced and intensified by globalisation processes are usually drivers of increased international migration. They intensify grievances and opportunities that lead people to seek better living and working opportunities in distant lands while also facilitating transport and communication. This Handbook focuses on the dynamics that link migration and globalisation processes from economic, social, political and cultural perspectives, looking at the challenges that emerge for labour markets, welfare systems, families and cultures, and institutions and governance arrangements as well as norms. This introduction discusses in detail, and with reference to the relevant literature, the interconnection between migration and globalisation, and presents the structure of the Handbook.
New Contexts and Challenges in Europe
Stefania Marino, Rinus Penninx and Judith Roosblad
The book offers an analysis of the relationship between trade unions, immigration and migrant workers across 11 European countries in the period between 1990 and 2015. This introductory chapter explains the editors’ approach to this study, which is based on the comparative framework as developed in an earlier book by Penninx and Roosblad in 2000. This framework is critically reconsidered and its validity is checked in the light of recent contextual changes. It informs the development of the main questions that will underpin both the structure and content of the 11 country cases and the comparative analysis presented in the concluding chapter. In addition, this introduction addresses relevant methodological aspects and outlines the structure of the book.