Handbook of the International Political Economy of Migration
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Handbook of the International Political Economy of Migration

Edited by Leila Simona Talani and Simon McMahon

This Handbook discusses theoretical approaches to migration studies in general, as well as confronting various issues in international migration from a distinctive international political economy perspective. It examines migration as part of a 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.
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Chapter 3: The state and the regulation of migration

Andrew Geddes and Oleg Korneev


International migration has been central to the development, consolidation and transformation of the state system on a global scale. This chapter shows how, why and with what effects international migration has been shaped by the state system. By this is meant that it is the constitution of the state system and socio-economic inequalities within and between states that play a key role in conditioning and shaping international migration. Economic inequalities and other related factors that can produce international migration are closely linked to the causes and effects of the state system. As states change – become richer or poorer, for example – then so too does international migration in its many and various forms (to work, to study, to join family members or to seek refuge, for example). To develop and explore this key aspect of the relationship between the state and the regulation of international migration, this chapter examines dynamics in Europe, North America and the post-Soviet space. These are all regions that have been shaped by international migration, but that also display differences in terms of forms of state, types of regulation, relations between states and development of supranational governance. The regulation of international migration is an area where we could expect to see powerful expression of state sovereignty evident in the controls, security and monitoring that occur at the borders of states (Arendt 1958).

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