A long-term perspective on labour migrations and globalization: migrant agency, socio-economic frameworks, policy implications

International Congress "From the European social space to the social Europe", Salamanca, 19th to 21st Oct., 2005.

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Contents: • Migration Between Constraints and Agency: Life-Courses and Regional Inequalities • A Longue-durée Global Perspective of Europe's Desenclavement • Transeuropean Social Formations, Intraeuropean Migrations, Intercontinental Connections • The 1950s and After: Human Rights and Migration in the Face of Growing Global and Internal Disparities • European Policy-Making: Issues and Recommendations
The recently much taunted term "globalization" suggests that de-colonizing and newly industrializing societies with the working men and women pose a threat to Europe's and North America's societies as distant cheap labour and as potential in-migrants. This essay, first questions this scenario with an analytical perspective on migrant men's and women's agency. Second, use of historical memory as a resource to understand the present changes and migrations indicates that globalization began with Europe's mid-15th century colonizing outreach. Analytical reactivation of these longue-durée processes provides the frame for today's mentalities and policy-making. Third, Europeans' late 19th and 20th century mass migrations will be discussed to provide perspective on the present ones. On this basis, the essay, fourth, discusses opportunity and constraint structures in terms of human rights as well as mentalities of a "Europe in the World" from the 1950s on. In conclusion, issues of European Union migrant admission policies and of inclusion and exclusion will be approached.
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Aus: Sozial.Geschichte online 1 / 2009