Handbook of Migration and Globalisation

    This handbook analyses the multifaceted linkages between two of the most important socioeconomic phenomena of our time: globalisation and migration. Both are on the rise, increasing in size and scope worldwide, and this book offers the essential background knowledge and tools to understand how population flows shape, and are shaped by, economic and cultural globalisation.

    Author: Anna Triandafyllidou
    Cheltenham, Glos: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2018
    ISBN: 9781785367502

    Reviewed by Mehmet Akif Şentürk
    Doctoral Researcher Department of Education at Brunel University London

    7 January 2020

    With technological development, interconnectedness between people and communities has advanced greatly. As a consequence, forced and voluntary migration and movement in the global world has become easy (Wilding, 2006). Immigration and emigration have diversified and intensified in terms of origin, destination, reasons and driving factors over the last two decades. Many studies across a wide range of disciplines including sociology, geography, politics and economics, have attempted to describe migration and the process of globalisation (Chao 2019; Ferreira 2019). Establishing connections between countries and people has become straightforward, and therefore, globalisation has rapidly spread both in developed and undeveloped countries. Interconnectedness provides new space for social, political and economic activities across borders, as a result of which distant lands might be affected by local events elsewhere. The field of globalisation and migration studies is growing, and at the same time, the need for understanding the connection between these two interdisciplinary terms has increased.

    In this context, Anna Triandafyllidou provides a collection of works on globalisation and migration. The handbook not only discusses recent problems about migration, their impact and relation to globalisation, but also offers an in-depth analysis of the key issues, their triggers and potential solutions to emerging theoretical problems in this recently intensified topic. The Handbook (2018) presents a state-of-the art review of the most debated themes in this broad research area. The book also provides comprehensive definitions of migration and globalisation, how to manage them; what impacts they have and what they are driven by. Therefore, this shows that trading and migration have common ground when it comes to understanding globalisation because globalisation makes to transport goods easy like wealth through two different destinations. Similarly, people wish to migrate in order to acquire wealth and increase their and their families’ quality of life. Furthermore, another unique approach is that it includes climate change and cultural perspective of globalisation as a dynamic of migration debates.

    Instead of succumbing to the academic inclination of merely proposing a scholarly description of the link between globalisation and migration, the handbook discusses the underlying impact of migration on globalisation, and of globalisation on migration. According to the handbook, the “dangerous liaisons” between globalisation and migration may have a stratifying effect on four areas of human activity; politics, economy, culture and family life. Therefore, the term “dangerous liaisons” is used to describe a potentially hazardous relationship between globalisation and migration. Therefore, the way of a thematic analysis of this complicated field simplifies the understanding of the relationship between globalisation and migration not only for scholars in the field but also for the members of the public. The Handbook conceptualised four areas of the human experience; governing (politics), economy, culture and family life. These represent the four main drivers of human movement, given that individuals generally move in search of economic benefits, security and a better quality of life for themselves and their offspring. Therefore, through such thematic analysis, Triandafyllidou provides an introduction to the field where the individual is the central focus in global migration scholarship.

    This handbook provides five main chapters which deal with crucial aspects of the relationships between globalisation and migration. In the first chapter, the handbook outlines local and global governance of migration and addresses the needs of universal migrants’ rights framework (chapters by Atak). Furthermore, it is claimed that there is an overlap between the objectives of international organisations and the states’ interest of protecting their citizens’ rights. And generally, powerful states influence international organisations decisions. This raises the question: “What is the purpose of these organisations if they are going to prefer people of powerful states’ rather focus on migrants’ rights?”. The chapter has no answer to such questions. Another unique methodological contribution of the chapter is that it provides geographical analysis not only of commonly discussed locations like Europe but also Latin America and Southeast Asia (chapters by Acosta Freier, Kaur, Geddes).

    Although the following chapters target the economic dimension, the relationship between migration and trade, the answer to one essential question remainsunclear: “why and how is peoples’ movement considered problematic when the movement of goods is okay?” Following the economic impact of migration on the host country and the country of origin, the case studies of India, North Africa and Europe, as well as the current refugee crisis in the EU- Mediterranean context, shows that the potential positive impact of migration to the host country is subject to local governing strategies. However, this empirical literature has the limitation of non-generalisability because of the diversity of the context of migrants. The book identifies this gap in the literature and reiterates the need for greater empirical studies in the field of migration and migrants’ contribution to the host and home countries. The third and fourth chapters provide another unique feature of the book. The content explores not only migrants who migrate between nations but also between regions and continents. Furthermore, it considers climate change as one of the latest forces leading to the movement of people, and one that will probably lead fundamental discussions on the impact of climate change on movement.

    The fifth and the final chapter of the Handbook turns its attention to culture and the impact of international migration on the family life of immigrants. Immigrants’ lives are undoubtedly affected by the dominant culture of the host country. By being a member of ‘transnational families’, they import their culture as an essential aspect of quality of life for their family. In the increasingly globalised world with rapidly developing information and communication technologies (ICT), caring for family members who live far away from their breadwinner has become easier than in the past (Wilding, 2006). Finally, the last chapter by Meinhof reviews how the cultural elements of artistic practices, such as music, travel with migrants and builds a bridge between the cultures.

    This overarching Handbook deserves its place as a primary reference for researchers, scholars as well as policymakers dealing with migration and globalisation. It is because the handbook not only provides westerncentred references and an overview, but also makes further contribution by offering an essential paradigm for interdisciplinary and international studies, by providing Chinese, Indian and Eastern European knowledge and scholarly traditions.In light of its succinct overview of the literature, the Handbook of Migration and Globalisation can be considered an essential reference for scholars in the convoluted field of migration studies all over the world.


    Chao, I. N. Y. (2019). THEMATIC ARTICLES: ECONOMIC MIGRATION IN THE AGE OF GLOBALIZATION: Globalisation and Migration: Is the World Transforming into a Borderless One?. Journal of Identity and Migration Studies, 13(1), 2-155.

    Ferreira, S. (2019). Towards Migration Governance. In Human Security and Migration in Europe’s Southern Borders (pp. 9-29). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

    Wilding, R. (2006). ‘Virtual’ intimacies? Families are communicating across transnational contexts. Global networks, 6(2), 125-142.

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