Introduction: New Perspectives on Skilled Migration
Any Freitas, Antonina Levatino and Antoine Pécoud
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Skilled migration has been the object of intense scientific and policy debates for nearly five decades. This is quite understandable, as few issues display greater complexity. Skilled migration is marked by a number of fundamental dilemmas and trade-offs, in terms, for instance, of conflicting rights to development, education, (e)migration and equality. It also often opposes political principles, ethical and political imperatives (such as global justice, individual freedom, or the control of people's mobility), as well as actors (such as states, corporations and migrants themselves). New ideas and perspectives have regularly reshaped the way skilled migration is apprehended; a few buzzwords - brain drain, gain or waste for example - have played a central role in embodying the key arguments and, in some cases, certain policy initiatives. These macro-considerations have developed along more detailed analysis, which addresses different aspects of skilled migration, with a particular emphasis on sophisticated empirical economic assessments of its impact on growth or development. In this context, contributions to this issue attempt to explore the different issues raised by skilled migration in a transversal manner. These include political implications, economic and policy impact, and ethical dilemmas. This introduction provides a short overview of the debates and of the main arguments developed in this issue of Diversities.
Suggested bibliographic reference for this article:
Freitas, A., Levatino, A. and Pécoud, A. Introduction: New Perspectives on Skilled Migration. Diversities. 2012, vol. 14, no. 1, pp. 1-17, UNESCO. ISSN 2079-6595
About the Authors:
Any Freitas holds a PhD in Social and Political Sciences (European University Institute, Florence) and a MA in International Relations (Rio de Janeiro Catholic University). She was visiting researcher at Instituto Juan March (2006), and the Centre March Bloch (2007), and worked in different organizations such as UNESCO (2008-2009), the Council of the European Union (2009), the Free University of Brussels (2009-2010). Since 2011, Any works at the European Union Institute for Security Studies, currently as Senior Programme Manager. Among her main fields of interest are international migration, social inclusion and the promotion of diversity.
Antonina Levatino is a PhD candidate and Teaching Assistant at the Department of Political and Social Sciences at Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona), holding a scholarship from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation. She is member of the MAFE-Project, of DEMOSOC and of GRITIM. In 2008 she worked in 2008 as scientific collaborator at the Centre of Cultural and General Studies (ZAK) of the University of Karlsruhe. More recently, she has been doing an internship at the UNESCO's Section on International Migration and Multicultural Policies. Her current research focuses on skilled migration, student mobility and on internationalization of higher education.
Antoine Pécoud worked at UNESCO's Section on International Migration and Multicultural Policies (2003-2012) and is a research associate at the Unité de Recherche Migrations et Société, University of Paris VII and at Migrations Internationales, Espaces et Sociétés, University of Poitiers (France). He holds a B.A. from the University of Lausanne and a Ph.D. in social and cultural anthropology from the University of Oxford. His research has focused on migration policies, immigrant entrepreneurship in Germany and the human rights implications of international migration. He co-edited Migration Without Borders. Essays on the Free Movement of People (UNESCO/Berghahn, 2007) and Migration and Human Rights (UNESCO/Cambridge University Press, 2009).Back to top