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Karl Husa / Christof Parnreiter / Irene Stacher

International Migration. Introduction.

Quelle: Beiträge zur historischen Sozialkunde. Sondernr. 2/02. 32. Jg.

For a considerable time migration has been an issue at the core of public debate. From an academic perspective there is widespread consensus that migratory movements will continue in the new century and will remain one of the focal political and social challenges. At the same time, experts insist that on the one hand sound knowledge of both reasons for and course of migrations is still but insufficiently developed and on the other hand large parts of the public adhere to notions that cannot do justice to current and future constellations.
Reducing such deficits belongs to the objectives of this reader equally as broadening the geographical horizon. It seems to be essential to emphasise the circumstance that migration does not represent a European specific and that migratory movements between peripheral states and such in the centre are frequently regarded as the dominant manifestation; in reality, however, they are but one aspect of a distinctly more complex setting.
In the introduction Hödl/Husa/Parnreiter/Stacher give an overview of migration trends and the integration of more and more countries of origin and destination, respectively, into the worldwide migration system. They take a closer look at those mechanisms that trigger migration as well as the manifold forms migration may assume. Also, it is made clear that international migration is getting ever more complex: Most states that play an important role in international migration are not confronted with one type of migration alone but with a broad range of different forms of migration, from "classical" migration with permanent character, via (mostly temporary) forms of labour migration, chain migrations in the shape of family reunifications to refugee movements. The quantitative leap that has come about in the wake of globalisation finds expression in both the number of migrants as well as the number of migratory activities in the regions affected (no matter whether as an area of destination or origin).
The American sociologist Douglas Massey presents a political economy of migration. He takes as his theme the role of the state in the context of processes of migration and critically analyses political measures designed to control migration. Douglas Massey puts forward proposals for new forms of migration policy and its regulation.
Karl Husa and Helmut Wohlschlägl concern themselves with the emergence of Southeast Asia as the most recent and currently most dynamically growing system of labour migration and its causes. The present system of labour migration in Southeast Asia is considered mainly as the outcome of several subsequent phases of the globalisation process, which started in Southeast Asia as early as in the second half of the Nineteenth century. The second focus of the paper is an analysis of the volume, the spatial pattern and the various forms of international labour migration in contemporary Southeast Asia. Finally the question is discussed to what extent the "Asian Crisis", which started in 1997, has influenced the volume and direction of labour migration flows within the region as well as the national migration policies.
Christof Parnreiter's article seeks to explore migratory movements between Mexico and the USA as well as US immigration policy. Thereby, restrictive immigration control is examined and called into question, as it coincides with an intensification of market relations.
Heinz Faßmann and Rainer Münz deal with EU enlargement and future East-West migration in Europe. All relevant empirical findings on migration potential in Eastern Europe are presented. At the same time, for us this is also about possible consequences of migration between old and new EU states. There is a direct connection with the development of the labour market and an indirect connection with the demographic development.
The situation in Austria is sketched by Albert Kraler and Irene Stacher, who describe the development of migratory and refugee movements and migration policy. This contribution contains a short outline of migratory and refugee movements from the mid-19th century until into the nineteen sixties and the "guest worker period" of the sixties and seventies. Furthermore, the article treats the crystallisation of new migratory patterns in the nineteen nineties, the structural features of new migrants and their positioning on the Austrian labour market. The issue of political refugees and expellees as well as the most essential developments in Austrian migration policy are equally addressed.


(English Version: Stefan Menhofer, 2002)


Quelle: Beiträge zur historischen Sozialkunde. Sondernr. 2/02. 32. Jg
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