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Response to Martin Seeleib-Kaiser: Migration, social policy and power in historical perspective

24 May 2019


  • Source
  • Title: Response to Martin Seeleib-Kaiser: Migration, social policy and power in historical perspective
  • Author(S): Katja Hujo
  • Date: 13 Mar 2019
  • Publication: Gobal Social Policy

Seeleib-Kaiser's key argument is that historically, migration fulfilled a social policy function: European states actively assisted their poor to emigrate (e.g. by paying their transport costs) to countries with better employment prospects, towards overseas territories in the Americas, within the British Empire or the North German Confederation.

Many of the poor embraced this opportunity and opted for migration, striving for a better life, while communities of origin and left-behind family members frequently benefitted from remittances, just as they do today. He concludes that many of the current challenges in relation to migration and social policy in Europe are not new or unique phenomena, but have precedents in history.

In this article published in the Global Social Policy Journal, Katja Hujo, Senior Research Coordinator at UNRISD, engages with his key arguments drawing on past research she conducted on the linkages between social policy and migration in the context of several United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) research projects and current debates within the United Nations.

Read the full article on the Global Social Policy Journal by Katja Hujo