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Marxist theories of migration

Migration A–Z


  1. Richard D. Vogel

Published Online: 4 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781444351071.wbeghm354

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

How to Cite

Vogel, R. D. 2013. Marxist theories of migration. The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 4 FEB 2013


Marxist theories of migration examine the relocation of people from one region or country to another in response to the economic forces at play in a specific historical context. These theories are based on historical materialism, a method of inquiry developed by Karl Marx in his early work and applied rigorously to a wide array of economic and political issues. In his unrivaled intellectual biography of Karl Marx, Isaiah Berlin observed, “He [Marx] did not regard it as a new philosophical system so much as a practical method of social and historical analysis, and a basis for political strategy” (1996: 89). Although Marx never published a comprehensive exposition of historical materialism, he summarized the basic principles quite succinctly:


  • empire;
  • class;
  • capitalism;
  • labor supply;
  • socialism