Europe as a Global Macro-Region
Edited by Kathy Pain and Gilles Van Hamme
This chapter explores the theme of changing human mobility in the European space during the course of the past five decades. First, we review the academic literature which highlights the major theories concerning human mobility and its two main components: migration and tourism. Second, we present the results from a geographical analysis of available data on migration and tourism in Europe during the last decade in order to shed light on the significant changes that should inform European policy and spatial theorization. Up until the economic crisis of the 1970s, migratory flows were defined in the international literature as 'push-pull' in nature. Flows of population were clearly discernible between two 'poles': an attractive 'pull' dynamic, toward countries in need of additional labour, and a repulsive 'push' dynamic, from underdeveloped countries with surplus labour. These flows were not spontaneous but were the result of agreements and arrangements between countries. In parallel to economic migratory flows which, for simplicity, can be described as south-north in direction, flows of tourists were also moving in a north-south direction. But following the 1970s economic crisis up until the beginning of the first decade of the twenty-first century, economic production and the nature of work progressively changed with the introduction of new information and communications technologies (ICTs), heralding a new era of economic migration flows.In the so-called postmodern society, population flows lost their former linear characteristics, and migration for economic/employment reasons started to overlap with tourist flows.
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