International Migration as a Tool in Development Policy: A Passing Phase?
Article first published online: 18 MAR 2008
© 2008 The Population Council, Inc.
Population and Development Review
Volume 34, Issue 1, pages 1–18, March 2008
How to Cite
Skeldon, R. (2008), International Migration as a Tool in Development Policy: A Passing Phase?. Population and Development Review, 34: 1–18. doi: 10.1111/j.1728-4457.2008.00203.x
- Issue published online: 18 MAR 2008
- Article first published online: 18 MAR 2008
This essay examines the recent emergence of migration and development as a major area of policy concern. The focus up to now has been almost entirely upon international migration, which accounts for the minority of people who move. A consensus has emerged that migration can be managed so as to promote development, and the essay critically assesses three of the major areas of concern: remittances, skilled migration, and the diaspora. While welcoming the growing acceptance that migration is no longer seen as negative for development, the essay cautions against essentializing migration and placing too great a responsibility upon migrant agency at the expense of the institutional change necessary to bring about development. Internal as well as international migrations will need to be integrated into any development framework, and it is further argued that these migrations are essentially a consequence of development. Planning for migration as an outcome rather than a cause of development is likely to provide a more balanced policy approach.