Transnationalism in an Uncertain Environment: Relationship between Migration, Policy and Theory

Christine Inglis

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The purpose of this paper is to reintroduce theory into the debate on migration policy and show its relevance for policy-makers and others seeking to understand new challenges to understanding migration and the patterns of migrant incorporation in the contemporary world where concerns about national security and identity have come to dominate so much of the debate. Key influences on the debates have involved concerns about the spread of diseases via migratory movements; cross-border criminal activities including human trafficking, the illicit drug trade and money laundering; the impact of climate change and environmental disasters; and political upheavals causing renewed refugee flows. Of particular importance have been concerns about terrorism in industrialised immigration countries. The uncertainties associated with these new challenges facing policymakers cannot easily be understood by extrapolations from older approaches to migration and migrant incorporation. In particular, the paper explores the relevance of the transnationalism paradigm to better understanding the nexus between the phenomena of migration, policy relating to the flows of people and their incorporation into new societies, and related theoretical conceptualisations in the current climate of enhanced international and domestic uncertainty and insecurity, taking the Asia Pacific region as an example.

Suggested bibliographic reference for this article :

Inglis, Christine. Transnationalism in an Uncertain Environment: Relationship between Migration, Policy and Theory. IJMS: International Journal on Multicultural Societies. 2007, vol.9, no.2, pp.185-204. UNESCO. ISSN 1817-4574. www.unesco.org/shs/ijms/vol9/issue2/art4

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