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Book

Cover Global Political Economy

Edited by Nicola Phillips

Global Political Economy explores the breadth and diversity of this topic and looks at the big questions that matter today. It addresses essential topics and themes, such as poverty, labour, migration, and the environment. With a strong emphasis on ‘globalising’ the study of this subject, the text introduces the idea that it matters who is talking and writing. It explains that there are different ways of seeing the world, and that bringing together different theoretical and methodological perspectives adds to the depth and richness of understanding. In addition, chapters look at globalism and neoliberalism, finance, trade, production, health, climate change, inequality, crime, migration, and global governance.

Chapter

Cover The Globalization of World Politics

16. Global political economy  

Nicola Phillips

This chapter introduces the field of international political economy (IPE), the themes and insights of which are reflected in the global political economy (GPE), and what it offers in the study of contemporary globalization. It begins with three framing questions: How should we think about power in the contemporary global political economy? How does IPE help us to understand what drives globalization? What does IPE tell us about who wins and who loses from globalization? The chapter proceeds by discussing various approaches to IPE and the consequences of globalization, focusing on IPE debates about inequality, labour exploitation, and global migration. Two case studies are presented, the first looking at global value chains (GVCs) and global development and the second dealing with globalization and child labour.

Chapter

Cover Global Political Economy

13. Migration  

Stuart Rosewarne and Nicola Piper

This chapter explores the transition in the dominant policies and practices that have impelled the momentum in international migration as a defining feature of globalization. It begins with a brief survey of current policy priorities, before considering some dominant theories of migration. The securitization of national borders by many OECD governments has enabled the restriction of rights to migrate and privileged certain groups of migrants over others. Labour migration has come to be privileged over other forms of migration, but often involves temporary work visas and significant vulnerability for migrant workers. The global movement to protect migrants' labour rights has had generally limited impact, but with some notable successes and continued momentum. Ultimately, migration continues to be politically and socially contentious in many parts of the world, adding to the vulnerability of many migrant workers.

Chapter

Cover Global Politics

12. Conclusion Justice and the Future of Global Politics  

This concluding chapter draws together some of the themes running throughout this book to address some key issues of justice and the future of global politics. In addition to outlining the concept of global justice, it deals with two contrasting normative approaches to issues in global politics, namely, cosmopolitanism and communitarianism, taking particular note of the debates that emerged in the post-Cold War period and which have been especially important for the analysis of human rights. The chapter looks at how these approaches map onto opposing strands of thought within the English school, namely, solidarism and pluralism. It then moves on to some specific issues in contemporary global politics involving the application of normative theory—citizenship, migration, and refugees. Finally, the chapter considers issues of intergenerational justice with respect to the normative links between past, present, and future and the responsibilities these entail.

Chapter

Cover The Globalization of World Politics

16. Global political economy  

Nicola Phillips

This chapter introduces the field of International Political Economy (IPE), the themes and insights of which are reflected in the Global Political Economy (GPE), and what it offers in the study of contemporary globalization. It begins with three framing questions: How should we think about power in the contemporary global political economy? How does IPE help us to understand what drives globalization? What does IPE tell us about who wins and who loses from globalization? The chapter proceeds by discussing various approaches to IPE and the consequences of globalization, focusing on IPE debates about inequality, labour exploitation, and global migration. Two case studies are presented, one dealing with the BRICs and the rise of China, and the other with slavery and forced labour in global production. There is also an Opposing Opinions box that asks whether national states are irrelevant in an era of economic globalization.

Chapter

Cover Global Political Economy

10. The Logics of Economic Globalization  

Anthony McGrew

This chapter provides a systematic account of the causes of economic globalization. Within the global political economy (GPE) literature, economic globalization tends to be more precisely specified as ‘the emergence and operation of a single, worldwide economy’. This assists its measurement by reference to the intensity, extensity, and velocity of worldwide economic flows and interconnectedness, from trade, through production and finance, migration to information and data. Understood as a historical process, the concept of economic globalization also infers an evolving transformation or evolution in the organization and operation of the world economy. The chapter then reviews the principal theories of economic globalization, drawing upon the GPE literature. It develops a multi-theoretic account of economic globalization which captures its structural, conjunctural, and contingent causal factors. The chapter also demonstrates how this multi-theoretic framework is relevant to understanding the current crisis of economic globalization. It considers whether, in the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis, this crisis is the precursor to a period of accelerating deglobalization.

Chapter

Cover The Globalization of World Politics

13. Social constructivism  

Michael Barnett

This chapter examines constructivist approaches to international relations theory. It explores whether there is a possibility of moral progress in world politics, whether some cultures and countries are more (or less) inherently violent, and whether states are motivated by power or by ideas. The chapter also discusses the rise of constructivism and some key concepts of constructivism, including the agent–structure problem, holism, idealism, individualism, materialism, and rational choice. It concludes with an analysis of constructivist assumptions about global change. Two case studies are presented, one relating to social construction of refugees and the 2015 European migration crisis, and the other considers what it means to be a ‘victim’.

Chapter

Cover The Globalization of World Politics

26. Refugees and forced migration  

Ariadna Estévez

This chapter is concerned with the international politics of refugees and forced migration. It shows how they are produced and managed in the context of contemporary globalization. Forced migration, the chapter defines, is the compulsory mobility of people due to existing and potential threats, mostly in the Global South and East. The chapter explains that these threats are related to a variety of international issues, and highlights the fact that there is debate concerning the underlying causes, including on-going colonial legacies and existing power relations. In order to discuss forced migration, with an emphasis on the international politics of refugee legislation and law, the chapter locates the subject within the field of international relations (IR). It goes on to provide an overview of the conceptual debate, presenting a critical discussion of new ways of characterizing forced migration, along with their analytical and policy implications. It then considers how policy-makers classify various types of forced migration. Case studies look at Covid-19 and the effect the pandemic has had on asylum processing and forced migration, criminal and state violence, and corporations in Venezuela.

Chapter

Cover The Globalization of World Politics

25. Refugees and forced migration  

Ariadna Estévez

This chapter is concerned with the international politics of refugees and forced migration. It shows how they are produced and managed in the context of contemporary globalization. Forced migration, the chapter defines, is the compulsory mobility of people due to existing and potential threats, mostly in the Global South and East. The chapter explains that these threats are related to a variety of international issues, and highlights the fact that there is debate concerning the underlying causes, including on-going colonial legacies and existing power relations. In order to discuss forced migration, with an emphasis on the international politics of refugee legislation and law, the chapter locates the subject within the field of international relations (IR). It goes on to provide an overview of the conceptual debate, presenting a critical discussion of new ways of characterizing forced migration, along with their analytical and policy implications. It then considers how policy-makers classify various types of forced migration. Finally, it describes the institutions informing the international regime that governs refugees, their specific definitions of the term, and subsidiary categories.

Chapter

Cover The Globalization of World Politics

12. Social constructivism  

Michael Barnett

This chapter examines constructivist approaches to international relations theory. It explores whether there is a possibility of moral progress in world politics, whether some cultures and countries are more (or less) inherently violent, and whether states are motivated by power or by ideas. The chapter also discusses the rise of constructivism and some key concepts of constructivism, including the agent–structure problem, holism, idealism, individualism, materialism, and rational choice. It concludes with an analysis of constructivist assumptions about global change. Two case studies are presented, one relating to social construction of refugees and the 2015 European migration crisis, and the other to the ‘human rights revolution’ and torture. There is also an Opposing Opinions box that asks whether the laws of war have made war less horrific.