Migration and Development Essays

On Future Directions for Research and Policy

 This conference, which convened on February 28-March 1, 2008 in New York City, brought together researchers and practitioners from different disciplinary and experiential perspectives within the fields of migration and development.  Researchers from each field were paired to address a series of eight issues, which had been identified in consultation with the project’s International Committee for Migration and Development Research as being of central future concern for public policy.

The following links to the subsequently-revised conference presentations reflect the different perspectives of the participants and roles in each of the conference panels.

Authors of papers were asked to discuss questions they found most pressing, assess current research knowledge and methodologies available to address them, and pose priority questions for future research.  At the conference researchers and practitioners who are expert on each issue area were asked introduce and compare the points of view of each paper, and assess how these and perhaps additional approaches might together inform future research.

The revised versions of these introductions and papers of each panel complement one another in bringing different perspectives to similar and interrelated aspects of migration and development and they collectively demonstrate the value and need for interdisciplinary synthesis in identifying issues of central importance, designing future investigations, and enhancing understandings for public policy debates.



Panel 1: Reframing Migration and Development Studies

This panel focused on different theoretical approaches that have evolved within the fields of migration and development studies and how their conceptual, theoretical, and methodological differences might be made complementary in advancing understandings of how the transformative processes of migration and development are interrelated.

Introduction: Bridging the Fields of Migration and Development Studies: Seeking Complementarities between Contrasting Approaches
Josh DeWind

Development and Migration – Migration and Development: What comes first?
Stephen Castles

Relationships between Migration and Development
Gustav Ranis

Panel 2: State Policies Toward Migration And Development

These papers separately address the motivations and difficulties of states, particularly India and China, in designing policies to manage unskilled, internal migration and skilled, international migration in order to promote economic development.

Introduction: State Policies toward Migration and Development
Dilip Ratha

Returnees, Diasporas, and Failure: Can governments benefit from skilled outmigration.
David Zweig

A Discussion Paper on State Policies towards Internal Migration and Development with Special Reference to Developing Countries
Amitabh Kundu

Panel 3: Migration, Development, and Enviroment

These papers address the relationships among migration, the environment and development. The first considers the impact that internal migration has on the environment, while the second focuses on the role of environmental factors in causing migration.

Introduction: Migration, Development, and Environment: Introductory Remarks
Frank Laczko

Migration and the Environment
Michael J. White

Migration, Development and Environment
Graeme Hugo

Panel 4: Migration and Economic Globalization

The papers written for this panel take distinct neo-classical and historical-structural approaches to assess how globalization affects the relationship between migration and development; the introduction summarizes these perspectives briefly and provides an alternative political-economy perspective.

Introduction: Migration and Economic Globalization: Introductory Remarks
Raúl Delgado Wise

Migration and Economic Globalisation: Is the Labor Market Globalising?
L. Alan Winters

Migrations and the Challenge of Demographic and Economic Transitions in the New Globalization Era
Bruno Losch

Panel 5: Migrant Politics and Development

This panel considers the relationship between migration, politics and development. The first paper, by Devesh Kapur, considers an issue that has received little attention in the literature: the impact of migration on political life and institutions in the sending country. The second, by Luin Goldring, looks at the various forms of migrant political participation. The contribution by Peggy Levitt is not an introduction to the issues, but rather an essay reflecting on the importance of considering culture in research and policy focused on the relationship between migration and development.

The Political Impact of International Migration on Sending Countries
Devesh Kapur

Migrant Political Participation and Development: Re-politicizing development and re-socializing politics
Luin Goldring

Panel 6: Gender, Migration, and Development

This panel examines the ways in which migration’s relationship to development is shaped by gender. The paper by Rachel Murphy presents an analysis of the gendered nature of the migration process and its outcomes, with a focus on internal migration in China. Carolina Taborga’s paper focuses on the benefits of including a gendered analysis in policies aimed at increasing the benefits of migration, and particularly remittances, for development. The introduction, by Patricia Pessar, provides a critical review of gendered studies of migration, with suggestions for a future research agenda.

Introduction: Migration and Development: Gender Matters
Patricia R. Pessar

The Impact of Socio-Cultural Norms on Women’s Experiences of Migration and the Implications for Development
Rachel Murphy

Remittances, Migration, Gender and Development: Future directions for Research and Policy
Carolina Taborga

Panel 7: Families and Networks

The papers in this panel consider the ways in which migration affects families, with a particular focus on the implications of the separation of families resulting from migration. Valentina Mazzucato and Djamila Schans provide an overview of the research in a variety of disciplines dealing with how transnational family life affects different family members. Ye Jingzhong presents his research on the impact of internal migration in China on the families that migrants leave behind in rural areas. In her comments, Prema Kurien discusses her research on Indian migrants from Kerala.

Introduction: Migration and Development Conference Comments: Families and Networks
Prema Kurien

Transnational Families, Children and the Migration–Development Nexus
Valentina Mazzucato and Djamila Schans

Left-behind Families in the Context of Rural Labor Migration in China
Ye Jingzhong

Panel 8: Migration, Urbanization, and Development

Beginning with the close association between urbanization and development, the introduction and papers of this panel present new analyses of the roles that rural-urban and international migration and mobility have in these processes with important implications for future demographic and migration policy making.

Introduction: Migration, Mobility, Urbanization, and Development
Hania Zlotnik

Migration, Urbanization and Development
Ronald Skeldon

From Migration to Increased Mobility: The Blurring of the Rural-Urban Divide in Many Low and Middle-Income Nations
Cecilia Tacoli