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International Migration: Does it Lead to Development?

Archana Prasad

Edited by Brian Keeley
Academic Foundation, New Delhi, 2010, pp. 167, Rs. 495.00

Edited by S. Irudaya Rajan
Routledge, New Delhi, 2010, pp. xviii + 315, s. 695.00

Edited by K.C. Zachariah and S. Irudaya Rajan
Daanish Books, New Delhi, 2010, pp. xxxiv + 318, Rs. 650.00

VOLUME XXXIV NUMBER 9 September 2010

The three books under review deal with international migration and issues concerning the impact on the lives of the families and people migrating outside the country. Brian Keeley’s book attempts to provide an overall perspective for the study of international migration, while the other two books are on India. The India Migration Report, 2010 analyses the broad framework for international migration including its legal framework and implications whereas Irudaya and Zachariah’s book is based on the Kerala migration survey. All three books deal with the central question of the relationship between migration and development. In the main, the debates around migration and development have concentrated on the ways in which mobility contributes to prosperity and a better way of life for the migrants. It is argued that people move because they can earn more and this earning adds to their social and economic status. Though Keeley’s book is sponsored by the OECD and adds to this perspective, it tries to adopt a more nuanced approach by pointing out the challenges that face governments with regard to migration. It admits that there is no conclusive evidence to show the relationship between remittances from migrants and development and discusses the problems associated with the migrants and the need for states to take notice of them. In all this the book assumes that migration has been taking place since the historical past because it is a necessary and inevitable part of the development process.Thus the book calls ‘migration’ the human face of globalisation and attempts to show how the migration patterns can positively impact on destination countries if migrants are provided language training, mentoring and suitable employment, which is commensurate with their qualifications. By mitigating the problems of the migrants both home and destination countries can benefit.Therefore it deals largely with the different aspects of migration rather than questioning the form of uneven capitalist development that uproots people from their homes and leads to their vulnerable position in other countries. In this sense the framework provided by this book only tells us half the story which hides the exploitative aspects of global migration and leads us to a distorted understanding of the problems associated with migration and the countries from which people are forced to migrate. The perspective of the other two books under review needs to be evaluated in the context of the observations made above.It is ...

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