Impacts of Globalisation on International Migration

Globalisation and Migration

  • Globalisation has led to extensive movements of capital, goods and people which has impacted migrations rates and traditional definitions of sovereignty.
  • International migration changes the ethnic composition of populations which, although creating diversity, changes attitudes to national identity.
  • Globalisation has changed economic systems at a global scale as demand for labour has changed. This has encouraged rural to urban migration, such as in China, and international migration between countries, such as from the UK to Australia.
  • For instance, the UK had a skills shortage of plumbers in 2004 which was filled by Polish immigrants under the EU Free Movement of People Agreement.
  • However, trends have now changed and there is a worry that British citizens are outcompeted by skilled European immigrants who work efficiently and demand less pay.
  • Between 3 to 4% of the global population live outside their country of birth but this proportion varies greatly between countries because of governmental policies which regulate international migration.
  • For example, Australia, Singapore and Japan have policies relating to international migration based on the levels of engagement immigrants make to the global economy.
  • The pattern of international migration is always changing as the population grows and interacts. Environmental, economic and political events, such as war, natural
  • disasters and financial crises affect the source areas of migrants and their destinations. This produces flows of voluntary economic migration, refugees and asylum seekers.


Causes of Migration

  • Migrants move for economic benefits, such as finding work, or to re-join family members. Other reasons involve the displacement of refugees due to conflict and poverty in the source region, but these are fewer common causes of migration. In 2016, there were 169, 846 migrants crossing the Mediterranean with 620 deaths. It is these alarming cases which often catch media attention.
  • It is suggested that economic efficiency is maximised when goods, capital and labour can move freely across international borders, but this poses challenges for national identity and sovereignty.
  • Migration can however cause inequality as some regions may have an abundance of skilled immigrants, thus having an efficient labour force, whilst others may not.
  • The Zelinksy Model of Migration Transition claims that as a country develops, the type of migration changes.
  • In more developed states, there is a rise in international migration which increases global hub cities such as New York and deepens interdependence with elite migration as Australia have a point system to decide who enters the country.
  • There are large migrant flows from India to the UAE and the Philippines to Saudi Arabia.


Consequences of     International Migration

  • Migration changes the cultural and ethnic composition of states which can spark tension between migrants and natives. Tensions result from the differences in perceptions of social, cultural and demographic impacts of migration. For example, there is tension in the USA about Mexican migrant flows over the border.
  • There are variations in the ability of people to migrate across national borders according to levels of skill, income, opportunities, age and the presence of border controls.