Migration in Britain
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Migration in Britain

Paradoxes of the Present, Prospects for the Future

Tony Fielding

Migration in Britain takes a fresh look at the patterns of migration at both the regional and local levels and develops new theoretical frameworks and novel methods to explain these patterns. It anticipates British society and its internal migration flows fifty years hence in the absence of climate change, and comes to judgments about how and in what ways these migration flows might be affected by climate change.
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Chapter 8: Future Migration Trends in the Absence of Environmental Change

Tony Fielding


8.1 INTRODUCTION This chapter is highly speculative. It attempts to set out the likely trends in internal migration in the UK in the absence of environmental change. For each of the categories of migration drivers discussed in the previous chapters it asks questions like: will these drivers remain as important, become less important, or become more important in the future? Will the nature of the causal relationships that result in migration change over time? Will existing trends continue, or will new trends be likely to emerge? What are the patterns of internal migration in the UK likely to be in 20 and 50 years’ time? 8.2 TRENDS IN THE ECONOMIC DRIVERS OF MIGRATION As far as the business cycle effects on migration are concerned, it is impossible to imagine that these will disappear as long as the UK remains a predominantly capitalist society. Boom and bust most certainly have not been eradicated from the system, despite the appearance to the contrary in the late 1990s and early 2000s. So periods of high mobility coincident with economic booms, and periods of low mobility coincident with recessions are to be expected. This brings us to the big issue – what system of production, exchange and consumption will dominate the UK economy over the next 20 and 50 years? To answer this question requires imagination. But this is difficult – we tend to be trapped in the present. For example, some (is this true for global climate modellers?) seem to find it easier to imagine...

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