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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Crossing Borders: International Migration in the New Century

  • Author(s): Waldinger, Roger
  • et al.
Abstract

The unending, global controversies over population movements across boundaries have spurred a burgeoning of migration scholarship, making it an exceptionally lively field. Though recent achievements are notable, significantly deepening our understanding of the phenomenon, migration scholarship has not reached its full potential. Its central handicap stems from the field’s distinctive division of labor, with one literature situated at the point of origin studyingemigrationand the other at the point of destination studyingimmigration. This essay seeks to reorient migration scholarship away from the dichotomy between “here” and “there”. Emphasizing the inherent, ongoing connections between home and host countries, the distinctively political nature of population movements across boundaries, and the continuing importance of the national interests and identities that impede migration, I argue that such a focus can illuminate the ways in which international migration is a dilemma for democratic societies worldwide, regardless of local peculiarities.

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