International Handbook of Urban Policy, Volume 3
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International Handbook of Urban Policy, Volume 3

Issues in the Developing World

Edited by H. S. Geyer

This important Handbook reveals that most urban growth takes place in the less developed world and much of it represents over-urbanization – that is, urbanization in which most migrants cannot effectively compete for employment, cannot find adequate shelter and do not have the means to feed themselves properly. Yet, compared to rural poverty, urban poverty is widely regarded as the lesser of the two evils.
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Chapter 4: The Mobility of Labour and Capital: The Urban Implications of Changing International Trends

J.J. Klink


J.J. Klink Introduction The scope of this chapter is on the relation between cities, international labour migration and development. We will claim that, although the issue of international labour migration has for decades been widely debated, and also continues to feature prominently on the agenda of policymakers, there is a surprising blind spot within the academic research. More specifically, our argument will concentrate on the relative absence of an approach that links cities and international labour migration. One the one hand, the bulk of the development literature has focused on the net impact of labour migration on the sending and receiving countries, thereby limiting the analysis mainly to the national level. Consequently, and with a few notable exceptions, cities have been neglected in this debate. On the other hand, the more recent academic research on the role of cities in the global economy has stressed aspects of capital mobility and the increased volume and intensity of trans-border informational flows. Simultaneously, at least until quite recently, however, surprisingly little in depth research is undertaken that links cities with the issue of increased international mobility of labour. Following the introduction, this chapter is divided in five sections. In the first, we will analyze the relative absence of urban areas in the literature on development and international labour migration. Thereafter, we will argue that the theoretical debate on cities and globalization has by and large sidestepped the issue of international labour migration. In the third section, we will briefly analyze the recent proliferation...

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