The term China’s Great Migration refers to the period between 1978 and 2012 when more than 260 million Chinese people migrated from rural areas to the country’s urban centers. These economic migrants are the focus of “China’s Great Migration” – a new book by Bradley Gardner, who examined the role that mass relocation of people had in China’s economic miracle.
With a global increase in the number of migrants and refugees, the issue of return migration has recently received greater attention. To date, return and reintegration policies have been shaped by increasing political emphasis on migration control, and tools such as readmission agreements. But these policies rarely target sustainable reintegration.
How do states regulate migration in the face of economic forces that push them toward greater openness, while security concerns and powerful political forces push them toward closure? In his 2004 published essay “The Emerging Migration State” James F. Hollifield focuses on the efforts of states to regulate movement of people across borders. It still serves as a bedrock for migration researchers worldwide.
The ways we are in the world have changed. The world is highly global and interdependent. Many people are internal or international migrants who embrace multiple affinities and memberships. Peggy Levitt argues that migration theory needs to move away from its emphasis on integration, inclusion and the nation-state to a more transnational, interdisciplinary approach that is better suited to capture current dynamics.
Migrants often have transnational lives; engaging in the society of the country they migrated to, as well as in their origin society. Thomas Lacroix’s book, “Hometown Transnationalism”, based on 15 years of research on diaspora communities, explains the crucial role of organizations created by migrants have in an increasingly transnational environment.