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Research Report


Roderick Parkes
Copyright Date: Jun. 1, 2016
Pages: 73
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. 5-6)
    Antonio Missiroli

    The public debate over the migrants and refugees flocking to Europe over the past twelve months has been very emotional. Their sheer number, the images of their ordeal relayed on television and in the media, and concerns about their possible impact on recipient communities have often trumped any rational consideration of the actual drivers and trends behind this crisis. Yet it is evident that we are increasingly confronted with a completely new paradigm for global migration: far from being prompted simply by a specific humanitarian crisis or inadequate border management, the recent wave is arguably just a manifestation of a...

  2. (pp. 9-12)

    If the media are to be believed, the world is facing protracted political disorder and economic decline. For the EU, this raises a spectre – of Europe remaining a magnet for the world’s downtrodden even as emerging powers overtake it economically; of refugees retaining loyalties to their home countries even as they are offered safety in the West; and of European workers having to beg for job opportunities in the world’s few functioning economies. This would be a world characterised by permanent irregular migration.

    This Chaillot Paper is based on a rather different scenario, characterised by an emphasis on political...

  3. (pp. 13-22)

    The latest annual report delivered by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is called World at War, an apt description of the current global state of affairs.² The UNHCR report paints a picture of chaos spreading worldwide. The Middle East, where war has forced 4.8 million people to flee Syria alone, is just one of many conflict-ridden regions producing large volumes of disorderly migration – indeed, in the EU in 2015, only half of all asylum-seekers came from the obvious source countries of Syria, Iraq or Afghanistan: Nigeria was the number one source country for Italy; for France...

  4. (pp. 23-40)

    In the early 1990s, wealthy industrialised economies in Europe and North America presented a vision of globalisation as an inclusive and forward-looking process: the global economy would expand and spread prosperity allowing developing economies to provide their workers with jobs close to home and, eventually, with a Western standard of living. For 25 years, the focus was thus on using trade and investment to promote job creation and equitable global development – providing emerging economies with a carrot to persuade many of their citizens to remain at home.

    Today, few states believe the global economic cake is expanding, and the...

  5. (pp. 41-66)

    When the global economy was still integrating around a Western model, wealthy countries such as those in Europe were able to manage migration with relative ease. They blocked irregular migration by intervening at source, while keeping skilled migrants moving by means of a fast-growing global transport network. It was part of a whole intricate global system of trade, investment and labour flows which promised equitable economic development. As globalisation slows and economic flows become contested, these mechanics are being challenged. Emerging economies are instrumentalising migration as part of a general bid to redirect knowledge and capital and rewrite order.


  6. (pp. 67-70)

    This Chaillot Paper has traced the apparent waning of Western power, and its effect on migration flows. Western power, when it was still in the ascendant, provided people worldwide with new opportunities to travel, but also with a better reason to stay at home. This allowed Western states to create a global cross-border economy, without risking massive irregular migration. As Western power now declines, people are seizing the means to move (and abandoning their fellow citizens to forlorn attempts at state-building). This is eating away at the mechanics of globalisation.

    The European Union is witnessing a historic shift in the...