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Migration, Forced Displacement, and Human Development

James Hollifield

International migration has accelerated in the post-World War II era, now approaching 300 million people who have resided outside of their country of origin for one year or more. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, or UNHCR, has identified at least 108 million forcibly displaced people, including 35.3 million refugees and more than 62 million people who are internally displaced because of conflict and other factors. Of these individuals, 76 percent live in low- and middle-income countries. In this article, I examine how nations and the international community have confronted and continue to confront the challenges of migration and forced displacement. I also explain the complicated relationship between migration, mobility, and human development, with an eye to understanding the evolution of global migration systems.

Several Thousand Refugees Travel in the Direction of Deutschland
Several thousand refugees travel in the direction of Deutschland after Slovenia builds a fence on the Croatian border.


The migration challenges of today pale by comparison with the upheavals associated with the industrial revolution, imperialism, two world wars, and decolonization. The expansion and collapse of empires resulted in genocide, irredentism, the displacement of tens of millions of people, and the radical redrawing of national boundaries.

For much of recorded history, the movement of populations was the norm. Only with the advent of the nation-state in 16th and 17th century Europe, and the imposition of the nation-state system through European imperialism, did the notion of legally tying populations to territorial units (sovereignty) and to specific forms of government become commonplace. [1]

In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, passport and visa systems developed. Borders were hardened and closed to non-nationals, especially those deemed hostile to the nation and the state. Almost every dimension of human existence—social-psychological, demographic, economic, and political—was reshaped to conform to the dictates of the nation-state. In so-called settler societies like the US, Canada, South Africa, and Australia, the creation of new states led to the displacement and dispossession of indigenous peoples and to genocide.

In the post-World War II era, international migration and mobility have been steadily increasing. According to UN data, in 2020 approximately 281 million people resided outside of their country of birth for one year or more, still only 3.6% of the global population. Emigration remains the exception rather than the rule, even though mobility has increased. Until the global pandemic of 2020, tens of millions of people crossed borders on a daily basis, which added up to roughly three billion border crossings per year. [2] The largest concentration of international migrants is in Europe (86.7 million), including Russia and the successor states of the Soviet Empire, followed closely by Asia (85.6 million), and North America (58.7 million).

International migration has accelerated in the post-World War II era, now approaching 300 million people who have resided outside of their country of origin for one year or more. 

Figure 1: International Migrants in 2020

Migration, Mobility, and Human Development

Human mobility continues to be part of a broader trend of globalization, which includes trade in goods and services (the production of goods in one country and their consumption in another), foreign direct investment, or FDI, and capital flows, greater ease of travel, and a veritable explosion of information. While trade and capital flows are the twin pillars of globalization closely connected with economic development, migration is the third pillar on which the global economy rests. Migration contributes to economic and human development by reducing global inequalities in the long term. [4] In the short term, however, we know that when less developed economies are suddenly opened to trade and investment, this can lead to a spike in internal and cross-border migration. This is what happened in Mexico, for example, with the implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, in the 1990s, which was followed by a "migration hump." [5] Trade and FDI are not substitutes for migration but complements, at least in the short- to medium-term.

Migration is a defining feature of the global era in which we live. It is in many ways connected to trade and foreign direct investment, yet it is profoundly different. People are not shirts, which is another way of saying that labor is not a pure commodity (and has not been since the abolition of chattel slavery as opposed to modern slavery ) and that individuals have rights. Unlike goods and capital, individuals can become actors on the international stage, whether through peaceful transnational communities (diaspora) or criminal networks. In the extremely rare instances when migrants commit terrorist acts, migration and mobility can be a threat to the security of states. [6]

In a time of pandemic, the movement of people can endanger public health, although it is important to note that the movement of people per se is not a threat. It is the inability of governments to identify, quarantine, test, and isolate travelers who might be infected—an expensive proposition but more effective in combating the spread of disease than blanket bans on entry.

Migration contributes to economic and human development by reducing global inequalities in the long term.

Many studies highlight the economic benefits of international migration, which in more advanced economies provides new sources of human capital and labor, more entrepreneurial activity and innovation, fewer labor market bottlenecks, and lower levels of inflation in periods of high growth. The benefits of migration outweigh the costs, according to a recent study by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The National Academies studies demonstrate a close correlation between successful immigrant incorporation, economic and social mobility, naturalization, and citizenship. [7] Immigrants bring much-needed labor and human capital, new ideas, and cultures; and, depending on the country, they quickly catch up and surpass the host country’s majority demographic in terms of income and social mobility. [8]

Conversely, emigrants often return to their countries of origin where they can have a dramatic impact on economic and political development, often becoming transnationals shuttling between countries of origin and destination, and a brain drain can turn into a brain gain. Remittances remain a vital source of foreign exchange and investment in developing countries, even though the recent COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing economic crisis jeopardized this capital flow in some countries. [9]

Notwithstanding the benefits of international migration, discontent with the movement of people across borders has been rising—along with discontent with the movement of goods and capital—in the US and Europe. During the 2016 American presidential election, Donald Trump’s campaign drew heavily on opposition to immigration, trade, and foreign investment, promoting the nationalist slogan of “America First.” Edward Alden (2017) argues that the US has failed to adjust economic and trade policies to the new reality of an automated and globalized economy. As a result, those who have lost the safety net see immigrants and trade as the cause of their economic difficulties. [10]

Forced Migration and Human Displacement

Lest we forget, not all migration is voluntary. In any given year, tens of millions of people move to escape political violence, hunger, deprivation, and the vagaries of climate change, becoming refugees, asylum seekers, or internally displaced persons. At the end of 2022, the number of people forcibly displaced surpassed 108.4 million. [11] This includes 35.3 million refugees, 5.4 million asylum seekers, 62.5 million internally displaced people, or IDPs, and 4.4 million stateless people. Two new categories of forced migrants—almost 7 million Venezuelans [12] have fled their country and more than 8 million Ukrainians [13]—have been displaced due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The fact that the IDPs represent more than half of the persons of concern to UNHCR raises several questions. Are these people moving within their country because of war and conflict, climate change, or because they can no longer survive economically where they are? UNHCR counts only those who are displaced because of conflict and repression, whereas the Internal Displacement Monitoring Center, or IDMC, includes those forced to move because of natural disasters—40.5 million across 149 countries in 2020—which does not count the Venezuelans and Ukrainians. [14] In terms of the numbers of displaced people, Venezuela has catapulted into second place, just behind Syria and ahead of Afghanistan, where the situation is dire and getting worse. Again, this does not count the displacement of Ukrainians resulting from the Russian invasion. [15] In the global context, it is important to note that the Northern Triangle countries of Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador, plus Nicaragua, do not rank in the top fifteen humanitarian emergencies in the world today in terms of the number of forced migrants.

Figure 2: Forced Migration Figures (2012-2022)

Until the war in Ukraine, 86% of forced migrants—almost 70 million people—were hosted in developing countries. Forced migration, especially in the southern hemisphere, where the ability of many states to host asylum seekers and refugees is limited, feeds the narrative of a global migration crisis that is destabilizing countries and entire regions. Wars and violence in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Myanmar, and elsewhere continue to feed the growth in numbers of forced migrants. 

One recent and rapid exodus of people from their country of origin was the movement of Rohingyas from the Rakhine State in western Myanmar into neighboring Bangladesh. The European Union, and particularly Germany and Sweden, struggled to cope with waves of forced migration—almost 1 million asylum seekers arrived in Germany in 2015 alone. Because of its complexities, migration of all types poses a challenge for individual states, regional integration processes like the EU or NAFTA, and the international community as a whole.

Forced migration also presents a legal conundrum. Identifying forced migrants (those driven out of their homeland) requires states and the international community to distinguish between political refugees and economic migrants, parsing the motives for migration. To complicate matters, in wealthy states, this must be done on a case-by-case basis, using the international legal definition of a refugee: “someone who is unable or unwilling to return to their country of origin owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion.” [17]

Figure 3: Mapping the World’s Refugee Population
Figure 4: Global Distribution of Refugees

Hence, refugee status for individuals in the West is de jure, whereas the status of refugees in many Asian, African, and Latin American states is de facto, meaning large groups of people are granted refugee status even in countries that have not signed or fully ratified the 1951 Refugee Convention, often leaving millions in camps where they languish in legal limbo—a waste of lives, labor, and human capital.

Signatories of the Refugee Convention are not required to admit asylum seekers or refugees, but they must give individuals a hearing until their status is determined. States cannot legally send these individuals back to the country from which they have fled. This is the principle of non-refoulement, and it only applies when an individual has fled their country of origin, crossed an international border, and can claim asylum under the terms of the Refugee Convention. [20]

That said, non-refoulement has become customary international law, which is why some states that host large refugee populations—including Turkey, Colombia, Pakistan, Uganda, Lebanon, and Jordan—admit groups of people, but without determining the refugee status of every individual. In contrast, most countries in Europe and North America apply strict standards for granting asylum with individual adjudication, and they often deport asylum seekers to countries with highly repressive governments riven with conflict.

Displacement per se—whether because of civil war, poverty, deprivation, desperation to survive and to improve one’s life chances, natural disasters, or climate change—does not automatically qualify an individual for asylum and refugee status.

Migration and Economic Development 

The challenges notwithstanding, migration can be win-win-win: First, for migrants who move and achieve higher incomes; second, for the destination countries that receive low- and high-skilled labor; and third, for the origin countries that receive remittances from returnees, development assistance from diasporas, and skills and investments from return migrants. The clearest winners are migrants who benefit from higher wages and new skills acquired abroad. The money they send home increases family income and often improves education and health care outcomes in migrant families, according to the World Bank. [21] 

Destination countries that admit migrants increase employment and aggregate demand through multiplier effects, as when the availability of migrants creates or preserves jobs for local workers. Origin countries that receive remittances and the return of more skilled workers can experience faster economic growth. The greatest gains from voluntary migration involve low-skilled workers. The reason is simple: the gaps in wages and opportunities between countries are largest for low-skilled workers. A study by Michael Clemens and his colleagues found that the average wage gains of low-skilled workers who move to the US—even after adjusting for the higher living costs in the US—were 4 to 10 times. Low-skilled workers who earned an average of $400 a month in Mexico earned $1,600 a month in the US, and some of those earning $200 a month in Vietnam earned $2,000 a month in the US. [22]

Migrants can increase their incomes by up to 10 times after crossing national borders, providing a powerful incentive to move. In fact, the $4,500 average per capita income in the 170 poorer countries in 2015 was only a tenth of the $42,000 average in the 30 wealthier countries. [23] Jagdish Bhagwati, Michael Clemens, and others have estimated that the world GDP, $78 trillion in 2015, could double if large numbers of low-skill migrants moved from poorer to richer countries and found jobs, increasing their incomes by 5 or 10 times. According to Clemens (2011), rich countries that prevent international migration leave “trillion-dollar bills” on the sidewalk. [24] Others argue that billions of people would have to move and find jobs without displacing natives for world GDP to rise as projected. If migrants introduce the attitudes and cultures that keep their countries of origin poor into destination countries, there could be a decrease in global GDP, a reminder that mass migrations are not cost-free and may bring unanticipated consequences. [25]

The 2004 report of the Global Commission on International Migration and the 2009 Human Development Report of the United Nations Development Programme, or UNDP, highlighted the benefits of economic migration for low-skilled migrants and their countries of origin. These studies conclude that rich countries should open their doors to low-skilled migrant workers to allow more of the world’s workers to earn higher wages, send home remittances, and return with new skills and ideas that speed up development. In the mid-1990s, remittances surpassed official development assistance. At more than $429 billion in 2016, they were three times the official development assistance flows. [26] Development involves a sustained increase in a country’s per capita income. Income is only one measure of development, but growth in per capita income is the most widely used indicator to compare the level of development across countries. The UNDP’s Human Development Index adds other indicators, such as life expectancy, infant mortality, and education levels, and has a similar ranking of countries. The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals for the 2030 Agenda defined development as growth that meets the needs of current residents without diminishing the ability of future residents to satisfy their needs.

The gains from migration are less well known, but the theory is that as developed countries open their borders to immigrants or foreign workers, remittances, return migration, and brain gains will speed development in the countries of origin. 

However one defines development, when economic opportunities are similar across countries, relatively few low-skilled workers migrate despite freedom of movement, as seen within the EU, raising the question of how countries currently richer can best help to accelerate development in poorer countries. Economic development can occur through three channels: trade and investment, migration, and development assistance. The gains from trade and foreign direct investment are well understood: if developed countries open their borders to more goods and investments from developing countries, goods and capital, rather than people, will cross national borders, and trade and investment will substitute for migration over time. The gains from migration are less well known, but the theory is that as developed countries open their borders to immigrants or foreign workers, remittances, return migration, and brain gains will speed development in the countries of origin. Finally, development assistance involves money flowing in the form of grants or loans (essentially a transfer of wealth) from rich to poor countries, generating higher productivity, economic growth, and development.

The Liberal Paradox and the Dilemmas of Migration Governance

All migration, whether voluntary or forced, comes with tradeoffs. Obviously, there are costs for the migrants themselves, who leave behind kith and kin at great risk and expense, plunging into the unknown. For receiving states, there are the short-term fiscal burdens of caring for migrants and their dependents, asylum seekers and refugees, and the long-term challenges of social and economic integration. [27]

In an age of drug cartels, terrorism, and pandemic, security costs and public health risks abound, and these costs must be weighed by host societies. Of course, the sending states risk losing vital human capital (brain drain), and in a moment of regime change (as in Cuba in the 1960s, Venezuela, or Afghanistan today), the entire elite of the country (those with knowledge and the means) may rush for the exits.

In addition to deciding how many immigrants and with what skills to admit, determining who qualifies for refugee status, and how to cope with waves of asylum seekers, liberal democratic states must contend with the issue of the rights of migrants, refugees, and their families, including legalization, naturalization, and citizenship.

If liberal states trample upon civil and human rights and shirk their humanitarian responsibilities, they risk undermining the social contract, feeding the fires of nationalism and populism, and destabilizing entire regions. Likewise, if states (liberal or otherwise) lose control of their borders and migration becomes a chaotic rush through a partially open door, this can undermine rule of law and weaken the social contract.

I call this tension a liberal paradox, which pits the need for economic openness and humanitarian largesse against the need for legal closure to safeguard the institutions of sovereignty and citizenship. [28] In a world of nation-states, open borders are a nonstarter, and leaders must guard against moral hazard—the danger of inadvertently encouraging migrants to leave their countries and take long journeys at great risk in hopes of gaining asylum, being allowed to stay and settle.

Wars, instability, poverty, and desperation—driven increasingly by climate change and natural disasters—mean that forced migration and displacement touch every corner of the globe, from the Middle East and Africa to South Asia and the Americas. Not counting Ukraine, most forced migrants come from just eight countries—Syria, Venezuela, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Myanmar, Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Eritrea. Each is responsible for the flight of at least half a million people, and with the return of the Taliban, Afghanistan is moving rapidly up the charts.

On the receiving end, Europe (as in the EU), Germany, and Sweden, in particular, struggled to cope with waves of forced migration. Almost 1 million asylum seekers arrived in Germany in 2015 alone, with numbers for all EU member states gradually falling back to 416,000 in 2020. Of course, the US, too, is an important destination for asylum seekers, as tens of thousands of Central Americans, and increasing numbers of Haitians and Cubans, flee repression, violence, and poverty, most of them headed north through Mexico to seek asylum in the US. Many of the Central Americans are minors coming in search of family members who migrated to the US years—and sometimes decades—earlier.

While refugee resettlement in the US went down dramatically during the Trump administration—from an average annual intake of 70,000-80,000 to only 12,000 in fiscal year 2020—the number of migrants granted asylum increased by 24% in 2019, and the largest group of asylees in the US are from China, followed closely by Venezuela. [29]

I call this tension a liberal paradox, which pits the need for economic openness and humanitarian largesse against the need for legal closure to safeguard the institutions of sovereignty and citizenship. 

While the EU and North America face the challenge of managing large numbers of asylum seekers and determining their status on a case-by-case basis, 86% of forced migrants, excluding Ukrainians, have taken refuge in poorer countries in the southern hemisphere where the ability of states to host refugee populations is limited, and the liberal paradox does not always apply. Understanding the dynamics of displacement and forced migration in the Global South is essential for explaining the dilemmas of migration governance in the Global North. More scholars have challenged the distinction between Global North and South, noting that it is likely that human mobility in general—and intra-regional migration in particular—are underestimated for the developing economies in the Global South. [30]

Despite the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the US, which were followed by a series of bloody attacks by jihadists in Europe, the great recession of 2007-09, and the subsequent sovereign debt crisis in some European countries, liberal democracies remained relatively open to immigration in the first two decades of the 21st century. The US was admitting, on average, 1 million immigrants annually until 2019, including tens of thousands of refugees. And in 2019, roughly 2.7 million people emigrated to the EU from non-EU countries. [31]

The COVID-19 pandemic led to new restrictions on human mobility, a sharp drop in border crossings, and a general decline in immigration. Legal permanent immigration to the US dropped by 30% between FY19 and FY20, from 1,031,765 to 707,362. Other forms of immigration in the US had begun falling several years prior to this, largely due to Trump administration policies restricting Muslim immigrants, the entry of foreign students and asylum seekers, as well as slow-walking legal immigration, and dramatic cuts in the number of refugees.

Even with restrictions on migration and mobility, global economic inequality and demographic imbalances between the north and south mean that supply-push forces remain strong while demand-pull forces persist. Growing demand for low-skilled workers and competition for the highly skilled, coupled with stable or shrinking workforces, created more economic opportunities for migrant workers, as well as refugees and asylum seekers.

Transnational networks (family and kinship ties) are as dense and efficient as ever, linking sending and receiving societies, easing passage, and lowering transaction costs. Professional smugglers have thrived in this environment with tragic consequences. The International Organization for Migration, or IOM, estimates that 22,673 persons have perished since 2014 while trying to enter the EU to seek asylum, with 5,272 migrants missing in the Americas during the same period. [32]

The specter of human smuggling and black markets brings the legal environment for displacement and migration into sharper focus. Like any type of transnational activity, migration does not take place in a legal or institutional void. Governments are deeply involved in organizing and regulating it, and here is where the liberal paradox comes into sharp relief.

Rights for migrants and refugees are rooted in the legal and constitutional protections guaranteed to all members of liberal societies. Thus, establishing a claim to residence on the territory of a liberal state increases an individual migrant’s chances of being able to remain and settle.

Deportation or repatriation typically are difficult. Once extended, (civil and human) rights have a very long half-life. They become institutionalized and hard to roll back.

Rights for migrants and refugees are rooted in the legal and constitutional protections guaranteed to all members of liberal societies. Thus, establishing a claim to residence on the territory of a liberal state increases an individual migrant’s chances of being able to remain and settle.

It is in this context that four factors drive migration policymaking: security, cultural and ideational concerns, economic interests, and rights. National security, along with the institutions governing sovereignty and citizenship, compete with economics (markets) and rights in a multi-dimensional and multi-level political game. We can see immediately how migration politics touches every dimension of human activity, including the procedural or distributional dimension—who gets what, when, how, why, and at whose cost—the legal or statist dimension, involving issues of governance and legitimacy; and the ethical or normative dimension, which revolves around questions of citizenship, justice, and participation.

Politics and policy, like economics, involve preferences, interests, and tradeoffs. But unlike economics, where the emphasis is on scarcity and efficiency, in politics, the primary emphasis is on power, influence, and authority, with strong ethical and normative overtones concerning justice, membership, and citizenship. In a free market, the allocation of scarce goods and resources takes place according to the logic of the marketplace (the price mechanism), that is, the interaction of supply and demand. The exercise of power, however, takes place in the ideational, legal, and institutional confines of political systems.

In typical times, the migration debate focuses on markets (numbers) and rights (status) and the trade-offs required to manage the interplay between them. How many immigrants should a nation admit, and with what skills? Should migrants be temporary (guest) workers, should displaced people be granted temporary protection, and should migrants be allowed to settle and get onto a path to citizenship?

Yet as pressing as markets and rights may be, cultural concerns also come strongly into play. Questions about ethnic characteristics and integration (and security) are politically more salient today in liberal societies than markets and rights.

Like any type of transnational activity, migration does not take place in a legal or institutional void. Governments are deeply involved in organizing and regulating it, and here is where the liberal paradox comes into sharp relief.

In times of war and pandemics, the dynamic of markets and rights gives way to culture, security, and public health concerns. Finding equilibrium (compromise) in policy is more complicated and the liberal paradox more acute. For instance, the September 11 terrorist attacks and subsequent attacks in Europe in the early aughts, shifted the focus to migration’s national security dynamic with fear of Islam as a deep cultural subtext. 

Not only do wealthy states face migration policy dilemmas and trade-offs. Some less developed countries have transitioned from being nations that send migrants to those that are transit and/or receiving states. [33] Turkey, Morocco, and Mexico are cases in point. For instance, net migration from Mexico to the US has been negative since 2007, with more than two million Mexicans returning home in the past decade, and Mexico now must deal with the exodus of Central Americans, Haitians, and Venezuelans, many of whom will remain and settle in Mexico.

Figure 5: The Dilemmas of Migration Governance

The four-sided dilemma (depicted in the chart above) is made more complex because migration control has important foreign policy implications. The movement of people affects international relations and security (and vice-versa) in myriad ways. The EU and three successive US administrations (Obama, Trump, and Biden) learned that it is impossible for a state to manage international migration unilaterally simply by sealing or closing its border. International cooperation is required.

Migration and International Relations

In the 1990s, international migration moved decidedly from the realm of low-level politics and domestic governance, especially labor market and demographic policies, to the realm of high-level politics and problems affecting relations between states, including war and peace.

Human displacement—driven by events ranging from Russia’s war in Ukraine to conflicts in the crescent of instability from West Africa through the Middle East to South Asia—moved migration to the top of the foreign policy and geopolitical agenda. Governments recast migration control as a problem of national (and international) security. Moreover, international organizations, such as the UNHCR and IOM, have come under pressure to help states manage forced migration and displacement. [35] The policymaking game shifted from the national to the global level. Sovereign states must cooperate with each other and coordinate migration policies, as we can see in the migration strategy of the Biden administration. This dynamic in international relations is particularly evident in both North America and Europe.

The relaxation of internal borders in Europe (the Schengen process) and the refugee policy turmoil of 2015-16 created a crisis of governance in the EU, putting more pressure on member states to adopt common visa and asylum policies and leading the European Commission to propose a new Migration and Asylum Pact. But the EU Council and Parliament have been slow to adopt and implement the pact, and some states in Central and Eastern Europe (the so-called Visegrád Group) resist burden or responsibility sharing that would redistribute asylum seekers within the EU.

Human displacement—driven by events ranging from Russia’s war in Ukraine to conflicts in the crescent of instability from West Africa through the Middle East to South Asia—moved migration to the top of the foreign policy and geopolitical agenda. 

In strategic interactions over the issue of migration, international cooperation is difficult. Figure 7 highlights the inadequacies of global migration governance compared to trade and finance.

Why has no international migration regime emerged to complement the Bretton Woods regimes for trade (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, or GATT, and World Trade Organization, or WTO), finance, and development (International Monetary Fund, or IMF, and World Bank)? The answer lies in collective action problems. 

Migration governance often is unilateral and done on an ad hoc basis. The payoff from international cooperation in the area of unwanted labor migration is negative, and opportunities for defection from a global migration regime are numerous. The possibilities for monitoring, enforcing, or developing some core principles of non-discrimination (as in WTO) are minimal at this point, and there is little or no reciprocity. Thus, states have a strong incentive to free ride on other states’ efforts, and international migration of all types poses a challenge for individual states, as well as for regional organizations like the EU, NAFTA, Mercosur, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and for the international community as a whole. [36]

Figure 6: A Typology of International Regimes

Global Migration Governance and the Logic of Collective Action

To account for the logic of why international cooperation to manage migration is so difficult, I use a game-theoretic term, the prisoner’s dilemma, whereby the two participants’ rational strategy to maximize individual payoffs creates a worse outcome than another possible outcome that would be better for both. This interaction captures why international cooperation is difficult under anarchy: in the absence of enforcement mechanisms to punish defections, states can give into a temptation to defect unilaterally, and there is little basis for trust. The point is that states have an individual incentive to defect, which leads to an outcome of mutual defection even though both would be better off with cooperation. Thus, the prisoner’s dilemma provides the micro-foundations for realist theories of international relations, which argue that states will approach international relations as a zero-sum game, thus making international cooperation extremely difficult, if not impossible. This logic is especially salient in global migration governance. [38]

On the other hand, international cooperation is more likely if interactions occur repeatedly with the same partners. [39] In this situation—commonly known as the repeated prisoner’s dilemma—participants find their best interest to be cooperating in every period if future payoffs are valued highly enough. This is the so-called shadow-of-the-future, and it forms a basis for cooperation in all facets of world politics. In this way, the likelihood of cooperation is increased through deepening economic interdependence, building international institutions, and spreading liberal democracy. The repeated prisoner’s dilemma lays the micro-foundations for liberal theories of international relations. Interdependence and constant strategic interactions produce common interests and therefore increase the likelihood of cooperation among states. [40]

The prisoner’s dilemma provides the micro-foundations for realist theories of international relations, which argue that states will approach international relations as a zero-sum game, thus making international cooperation extremely difficult, if not impossible.

Institutions, then, both international and domestic, can mitigate the effects of anarchy, and as a result, there is an opportunity for positive-sum, mutually beneficial cooperation. [41] Even under anarchy, international institutions help states to promote cooperation by creating the expectation of repeated interactions across time and with multiple partners, defining norms (standards of acceptable behavior), providing information about activities of other states, and creating linkages across policy dimensions. [42] This logic of cooperation suggests that states will seize opportunities to cooperate over time and across issues if each state trusts that the other states see the virtues of cooperation. If a powerful state accuses its allies of defection and free riding, the shadow-of-the-future based cooperation would not work, and the chance for international cooperation will diminish. Hence, the logic of the repeated prisoner’s dilemma suggests that the America First foreign policy of the US under the Trump administration made international cooperation more difficult.

Migration Interdependence and International Cooperation

Migration interdependence**—defined as the mutual dependence of populations in a migration system that leads to greater economic and socio-political integration—has been growing throughout the post-World War II era. However, little has been written about it in the field of migration studies, whether in the economics or the politics of migration. [43] As with any form of interdependence, migration affects the international division of labor and can drive comparative advantage, altering factor prices and intensities à la Heckscher-Ohlin—nations trade on the basis of the costs of the factors of production (land, labor, and capital), and the basic inputs of production. Having access to additional supplies of labor through immigration can reduce the costs of labor and shift comparative advantage. But migration interdependence is not just an economic phenomenon; it involves social and political remittances and can lead to the creation of diaspora. [44] Here, I develop a measure and explain its implications for migration governance and the broader fields of migration studies and international relations.

The concept of interdependence is well-known in international relations, going back to the classic work of Keohane and Nye (1977), and, more recently, works by Simmons (2003) and McDonald (2009). Derided by structural realists as overly idealistic and celebrated by liberal institutionalists as a pathway to peace and prosperity, the theory of complex interdependence stresses the importance of commercial liberalism in international relations. The theory predicts that international trade and investment lead to the diffusion of hard (or military) power and the creation of international regimes and institutions that help to lock in the openness of economies and societies and shift the focus away from the classic balance of power. As early as Kant’s essay on Perpetual Peace (originally published in 1795), liberals argued that open societies and economies could lead to a more peaceful and democratic world order. Migration scholars seem to understand this instinctively, and some have even argued that there is a causal relationship between liberal migration policies, remittances, and democracy. [45]

Like trade and investment, migration is a force driving interdependence between regions and states. One way to measure migration interdependence is to compare remittances as a percentage of GDP and migrant stock as a percentage of the population of states. This produces an ‘L-Curve’ (Figure 8) and shows that states tend to fall on one of two poles, either sending or receiving, with some states in the transition category. [46] Like trade, migration interdependence is dynamic, and the rate at which it changes—as states shift from receiving to transition or transition to sending—varies significantly. It is correlated with the rate of economic and political development and mirrors a state’s willingness and ability to manage migration for strategic gains. [47] On the sending side, states like the Philippines and Nepal have used emigration as an explicit development strategy, while others like Japan have limited the flow of immigrants and the rights given to small classes of migrants (low-skilled labor, university students, and temporary high-skilled workers and trainees) that are allowed into the country. [48] On the receiving side, a country like Canada, using its points system, promotes immigration as a strategy for national development, seeking to bring in highly skilled immigrants to boost the human capital stock. [49]

In general, states cluster in terms of change in migrant stock and remittances as a percentage of GDP, with quite a few states in transition as immigrants and/or remittances have increased over time. This increase could be the result of a deliberate state policy (Figure 8) or it could be the result of the state’s inability to control migration flows, as in the case of a sudden influx of asylum seekers and refugees—something Europe is experiencing now with Ukrainians. [50]

Moreover, the movement of countries along these axes over time illustrates the degree of change in migration interdependence. While Mexico’s overall change in migrant stock has increased significantly, Guatemala’s has increased at a far lower rate, a consequence of the outflow of people from Guatemala and inflow of Central American immigrants into Mexico, making the two states interdependent. While some developing countries like the Philippines, Bangladesh, and Morocco, are dependent on remittances as a source of capital, the nations of immigrants, like the US, Canada, and Australia, along with countries of immigration, like Germany, France, and other West European nations, are receiving societies dependent on immigration for economic and demographic growth. [51]

Figure 7: Migration Interdependence and the L Curve
Figure 8: Evolution of States on the L Curve (2005-15)

To maintain economic openness, states are compelled to cooperate in the management of flows of goods, capital, people, and services and to pursue regional club goods and global public goods. Public goods are non-rivalrous and non-excludable, whereas club goods are non-rivalrous but excludable. The former have no competitors and, once created, can be consumed by all, whereas the latter have no competitors, but consumption is limited to members of the club. [52] Hence, there is a close association between interdependence, cooperation, and global governance. Increasing international migration is one indicator of interdependence, and until the pandemic of 2020, it showed few signs of abating. [54] Despite increasing migration interdependence, global governance of migration is weak. Migration interdependence varies significantly from one region to another. North America and Europe are among the most migration interdependent regions in the world, with the Middle East not far behind. [55] Will Japan and Asia follow this international trend toward greater migration interdependence and regional integration? Will we see more migration interdependence and cooperation in managing migration or less in the wake of war and pandemics? The most prominent example of the first strategy for promoting migration interdependence at the regional level is in Europe, where migration and mobility take the form of a club good—free movement for nationals of EU member states within the EU space.

As the logic of the iterated prisoner’s dilemma suggests, one of the principal effects of economic interdependence is to compel states to cooperate. As the international market for skilled and unskilled labor grows, pressures to create an international regime will increase. I identify two ways in which states can overcome collective action problems in the absence of a multilateral process that builds trust and reciprocity and thereby helps to overcome asymmetries: (1) through the centralization of regulatory power and pooling of sovereignty (as in the EU), and (2) persuasion and “tactical issue linkage.”

One of the principal effects of economic interdependence is to compel states to cooperate. As the international market for skilled and unskilled labor grows, pressures to create an international regime will increase.

We already have seen an example of the first regional strategy in Europe. The EU and, to a lesser extent, the Schengen and Dublin regimes, were built through centralization processes and pooling sovereignty. This was easier to do in the European context because of the symmetry of interests and power within the EU and the existence of an institutional framework (the various treaties of the EU). It is much more difficult to centralize control of migration in the Americas or Asia, for example, where the asymmetry of interests and power is much greater, and levels of political and economic development vary tremendously from one state to another. Different from the EU, it is unlikely that regional trade regimes like NAFTA, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, or the Trans-Pacific Partnership (now the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership) will lead quickly to cooperation in the area of migration. [56] Nevertheless, the regional option—multilateralism for a relevant group of states where migration governance is a club good—is one way to overcome collective action problems and begin a process of centralization of regulatory authority.

Most international schemes have had a long gestation period, beginning as bilateral or regional agreements. It is unlikely, however, that an international migration agreement could be built following the genesis of international organizations such as the WTO, IMF, and the World Bank, which provide a certain level of multilateral governance for the other two pillars of globalization. In the area of migration governance, it is difficult to fulfill the prerequisites of multilateralism: indivisibility, generalized principles of conduct, and diffuse reciprocity. The norm of non-discrimination (equivalent to the most-favored-nation status) does not exist, and there are no mechanisms for punishing free riders and no way of resolving disputes. In short, as depicted in Figure 7, the basis for multilateralism is weak, and the institutional framework is not well developed. However, this has not prevented the international community from moving forward with a Global Compact for Migration, built around the principle of “safe, orderly, and regular migration.” The challenge, of course, will be to convince the most powerful states, especially the US, to support a multilateral process for global migration governance. For the moment, the US and other powerful countries are moving in exactly the opposite direction—nationalist and unilateral.

With the asymmetry of interests and power between developed (migration receiving) and less developed (migration sending) countries, suasion, including financial incentives, is the only viable strategy for overcoming collective action problems, whether at the regional or international level. This game follows several steps. The first step is to develop a dominant strategy, which can be accomplished only by the most powerful states, sometimes using international organizations to persuade or coerce smaller and weaker states. From the standpoint of recipient countries, the orderly movement of people, defined in terms of rule of law and respect for state sovereignty, should be the principal objective of the powerful liberal states. From the standpoint of the sending countries, migration for development, taking advantage of rents, remittances, and returns (brain gain), or circular migration, should be the guiding principle of an international migration scheme. [57] Then, the second step is to persuade other states to accept the dominant strategy. This will necessitate tactical issue linkage, which involves identifying issues and interests not necessarily related to migration and using these to leverage, compel or coerce states to accept the dominant strategy.

This is, in effect, an international logroll.

Such tactics will have only the appearance of multilateralism, at least initially. Tactical issue linkage is central in negotiations between the US and Mexico over NAFTA (United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA, if it is ratified) and over refugee flows from Central America. Likewise, migration management figured prominently in negotiations between the EU and neighboring states, especially EU candidate countries in the Western Balkans and Turkey. [58] The third step for developed countries is to institutionalize this process. The long-term benefits of such a strategy for recipient countries are obvious. It will be less costly to build a multilateral migration regime than to fight every step of the way with every sending state, relying only on unilateral or bilateral agreements. Multilateral processes may entail some short-term loss of control and sovereignty in exchange for long-term stability and orderly migration based on rule of law. The payoff for sending states is greater freedom of movement for their nationals, greater foreign reserves and a more favorable balance of payments, increased prospects for return migration, and increases in technology transfers.

Thus, it is potentially a ‘win-win-win’ for sending and receiving countries and the migrants themselves.

However, changes in the international system with the end of the Cold War have altered this game in several ways. First, it has made defection easier. Since the 1990s, states have had more incentives to free ride by not cooperating with neighboring states in the making of migration and refugee policies. Second, the new configurations of interests and power in the post-Cold War world make it more difficult to pursue a multilateral strategy for managing international migration. In recipient countries, internationalist coalitions of the left and the right have broken apart. [59]

Instead, increasing polarization and politicization over immigration and refugee issues have led to nationalist coalitions of the far left and the far right. Yet liberalization and democratization in formerly authoritarian states have dramatically reduced the transaction costs for emigration. Initially, this caused panic in Western Europe, where there was a fear of mass migrations from East to West. In the early 1990s, headlines screamed, “The Russians are Coming!” Even though these massive flows did not materialize, Western states began to hunker down and search for ways to reduce or stop immigration. The time horizons of almost all Western democracies are much shorter because of these changes in domestic and international politics since the end of the Cold War. The terrorist attacks of the 2000s and 2010s have exacerbated these fears, and migration and mobility are perceived by many states to pose a threat to national security. 

If, as seems likely, the US and the EU defect from international cooperation over migration and refugee flows, such defections would alter the equilibrium outcome, making migration costlier in political terms to all states and to the international community, and the economically virtuous process of increased exchange and mobility and gains in human development would be reversed. International cooperation on migration depends on how the more powerful recipient countries manage migration, whether they will pursue an aggressive strategy of multilateralism or revert to unilateralism and beggar-thy-neighbor policies.

Increasing polarization and politicization over immigration and refugee issues have led to nationalist coalitions of the far left and the far right.

To avoid a domestic political backlash against immigration, some powerful states must take the short-term political heat for long-term political stability and economic gain, much as Angela Merkel and Germany did in the face of the refugee crisis of 2015–16. However, the asymmetry of interests, particularly between developed and developing countries and short-term political considerations are too great to permit states to overcome problems of coordination and cooperation. Thus, even as states become more dependent on trade and migration, they are likely to remain trapped in a liberal paradox, needing to be economically open and politically closed for decades to come. [60]

Prospects for Migration, Mobility, and Human Development

Migration is a fundamental feature of the interdependent world in which we live. Will the increase in migration be a virtuous or a vicious cycle?

The populist and nativist backlash against migration, building over decades in the major receiving countries, together with the COVID-19 pandemic, led many states to close their borders in 2020, severely curtailing migration and mobility. If the political and cultural backlash persists and the pandemic leads to further closure of societies and to more nationalism, the international system is likely to descend into greater anarchy, disorder, and war.

Human and economic development will suffer, and global inequalities will rise. Nationalism has surged to the fore, setting the stage for more conflict as new power blocs emerge and multilateralism and international cooperation recede. It is too early to say with certainty whether these developments in world politics will lead to the ‘end of liberalism.’ [60]

Clearly, however, the international liberal order is under stress, democracies are turning inward, and open, liberal societies are closing. Yet, rising levels of human displacement—associated with conflict, poverty, deprivation, and climate change—require a response from the international community, especially wealthy countries. To say that my neighbor’s house is on fire but it is not my responsibility is a recipe for disaster.

Migration is a fundamental feature of the interdependent world in which we live. Will the increase in migration be a virtuous or a vicious cycle? When properly managed, migration can lead to greater openness, wealth, and human development.

Can powerful states find ways to manage migration for human development, while securing migrant rights and remaining attentive to various forms of human displacement? Perhaps migration requires true global management under the auspices of the United Nations, following the outline of the Global Compact for Migration and Global Compact on Refugees. Though non-binding, these compacts provide frameworks for improving international cooperation in managing migration and in finding solutions for refugees who will otherwise be confined to protracted displacement and camps.

The international liberal order is under stress, democracies are turning inward, and open, liberal societies are closing. Yet, rising levels of human displacement—associated with conflict, poverty, deprivation, and climate change—require a response from the international community, especially wealthy countries. To say that my neighbor’s house is on fire but it is not my responsibility is a recipe for disaster.

As a close observer, I am not sanguine about the prospects for building a system of global migration governance. The asymmetry of interests between the Global North and Global South remains too great. Politics in the Global North have taken a decidedly nationalist and illiberal turn. For this reason alone, we must make the best of the international legal framework and organizations that currently exist. A global refugee system exists that should be able to address forced displacement in and from Afghanistan, Syria, Venezuela, Ukraine, and other countries. The pressing issue for the international community is how to retool and strengthen the system so that it functions more effectively when there are multiple disasters and humanitarian crises with so many people forcibly displaced and few immediate prospects for durable solutions.


* The Economist (July 13, 2017) summarized the argument for mass migration doubling world GDP, which rests on the assumption that migrants would neither increase unemployment nor change the institutions that led to growth in rich countries after their arrival and settlement. The article dismisses worries about more crime, wage depression, crowding, and changing culture but argues politics could remain unaffected by restricting the right of newcomers to vote.

** A simple Google search reveals only a handful of references, mostly related to a research group that I started in 2017, which produced a new book, Understanding Global Migration (Hollifield and Foley 2022). One of the contributors, Gerasimos Tsourapas (2018), took up the challenge of investigating the link between MI and migration governance.



[1] Hollifield, James F. “The Emerging Migration State.” International Migration Review 38, no.1 (2004): 885-912.

[2] Deutschmann, Emanuel, Etorre Recchi, and Michele Vespe. “Estimating Transnational Human Mobility on a Global Scale.” EUI Working Paper RSCAS 2019, no. 30 (April 2019).

[3] United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2020). International Migrant Stock 2020.

[4] Clemens, Michael A. “Why Today’s Migration Crisis Is an Issue of Global Economic Inequality.” Center For Global Development, August 2, 2016.

[5]  Philip L. Martin. “Economic Aspects of Migration.” In Caroline B. Brettell and James F. Hollifield, eds. Migration Theory: Talking Across Disciplines. New York:  Routledge, pp. 130-159.

[6] Nowrasteh, Alex. “One in a Billion Chance a Year of Being Killed by a Chain Immigrant in a Terror Attack.” Cato Institute. December 12, 2017.

[7] Blau, Francine D. et. al. “New Report Assesses the Economic and Fiscal Consequences of Immigration.” National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

[8] Bevelander, Pieter, and James F. Hollifield. "Managing migration in modern welfare states: One-size policy does not fit all." In Handbook on Migration and Welfare, edited by Markus M.L. Crepaz, 13–44. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2022. doi: 10.4337/9781839104572.00007.

[9] The World Bank. “World Bank Predicts Sharpest Decline of Remittances in Recent History.” April 22, 2020.

[10] Alden, Edward. Failure to Adjust: How Americans Got Left Behind in the Global Economy. Rowman & Littlefield. 2016.

[11] UNHCR. “Global Trends Report 2022.” June 14, 2023.

[12] Interagency Coordination Platform for Refugees and Migrants (R4V). “Refugees and Migrants from Venezuela.” June 11, 2023.

[13] “Ukraine Emergency. ”UNHCR. 2023.

[14] "Global Report on Internal Displacement 2021." Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre. Accessed May, 2023.

[15] "Refugee Data Finder." UNHCR. Accessed June 14, 2023.

[16] Armstrong, Martin. "Number of forcibly displaced people worldwide from 2000 to 2021." Statista. May 22, 2023.

[17] 1951 Refugee Convention. Geneva, July 28, 1951. United Nations Treaty Series, vol. 189, no. 2545, pp. 137-219.

[18] Fleck, Anna. “Mapping the World’s Refugee Population.” Statista. June 20, 2022.

[19] Refugee Data Finder, June 14, 2023.

[20] 1951 Refugee Convention, Ibid.

[21] World Bank. 2005. “Remittances in Europe and Central Asia: Size, Distribution, and Impact.” ECA Migration Study, Europe and Central Asia Region, World Bank, Washington, DC

[22] Clemens, Michael, Claudio Montenegro, and Lant Pritchett. 2009. "The Place Premium: Wage Differences for Identical Workers across the US Border." HKS Faculty Research Working Paper Series RWP09-004, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

[23] “Moving for Prosperity: Global Migration and Labor Markets.” World Bank, 2018. 

[24] Clemens, Michael A. "Economics and Emigration: Trillion-Dollar Bills on the Sidewalk?" Journal of Economic Perspectives 25, no. 3 (Summer 2011): 83-106.

[25] Borjas, George. Immigration Economics. Cambridge: Mass. Harvard University Press, 2014.  Collier, Paul.  Exodus:  How Migration Is Changing Our World. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015.

[26] World Bank. "Remittances to Developing Countries Decline for Second Consecutive Year." Press release, April 21, 2017.

[27] Bevelander, Pieter, and James F. Hollifield, Ibid.

[28] Hollifield, James F. Immigrants, Markets, and States. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1992.

[29] Monin, Kira, Jeanne Batalova, and Tianjian Lai. "Refugees and Asylees in the United States." Migration Policy Institute, May 13, 2021.

[30] Ingleby, David, Ann Singleton, and Kolitha Wickramage. "New Chinese Migration Modalities." International Migration, vol. 58, no. 3, June 2020, pp. 177-195. May 9, 2019. doi:10.1111/imig.12582.

[31] Migration and Migrant Population Statistics, March 2023.

[32] “Missing Migrants Project.” IOM. June 20, 2023.

[33] Hollifield, James F., and Neil Foley. Understanding Global Migration. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2022.

[34] Hollifield, James F. “The Dilemmas of Migration Governance.” 2023. Digital image.

[35] Martin, Susan F., and Elizabeth Ferris. “Leading by Example: US Refugee Policy at Home and Abroad.” Washington, DC: Wilson Center, 2023.

[36] Hollifield, James F., François Héran, Philip L. Martin, and Pia M. Orrenius. Controlling Immigration: A Comparative Perspective, Fourth Edition. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2022.

[37] Hollifield, James F. “A Typology of International Regimes.” 2023. Digital image.

[38] Waltz, Kenneth N. Theory of International Politics. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1979.  Also, James F. Hollifield and Hiroki Takeuchi. “Economic Analysis in Political Science.” In The Sage Handbook of Political Science, edited by Dirk Berg-Schlosser, Bertrand Badie, and Leonardo Morlino, 1st ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Inc, 2020, pp. 64-82.

[39] Axelrod, Robert. The Evolution of Cooperation. New York: Basic Books, 1984.

[40] Ikenberry, G. John. 2011. Liberal Leviathan: The Origins, Crisis, and Transformation of the American World Order. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

[41] Keohane, Robert O. 1984. "After Hegemony: Cooperation and Discord in the World Political Economy." International Organization 36 (2): 463-495.

[42] Martin, Lisa L., and Beth A. Simmons. 2001. Theories and Empirical Studies on International Institutions. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

[43] Brettell, Caroline B., and James F. Hollifield, eds. 2023. Migration Theory: Talking across Disciplines, 4th edition. 2023.

[44] Lacroix, Thomas, Peggy Levitt, and Ilka Vari-Lavoisier.  2016. “Social remittances and the changing transnational political landscape.” Comparative Migration Studies (2016) 4:16.

[45] Escribà-Folch, Abel, et al. "Remittances and Democratization." International Studies Quarterly 59, no. 3 (September 2015): 571–586.

[46] Hollifield, James, and Rahfin Faruk. "Governing Migration in an Age of Globalization." In Migration on the Move: Essays on the Dynamics of Migration, edited by Carolus Grütters, Sandra Mantu, and Paul Minderhoud, 118–151. Immigration and Asylum Law and Policy in Europe, vol. 42. 2017.

[47] Hollifield, James F. 2004, 2012. Ibid.

Hollifield, James F. and Neil Foley. 2022. Ibid.

[48] Chung, Erin. "The Developmental Migration State in East Asia." In Understanding Global Migration, edited by James F. Hollifield and Neil Foley, 127-151. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2022.

[49] Reitz, Jeffrey G. 2022. "Canada: Continuity and Change in Immigration for Nation-Building." In Controlling Immigration: A Comparative Perspective, edited by James F. Hollifield et al., 123-167. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

[50] Hollifield, James F. "Driven Out." The Wilson Quarterly, Fall 2021. Accessed June 26, 2023.

Hollifield, James F. "WQ Dispatch: War, Displacement, and Ukrainian Migration in Europe." The Wilson Quarterly, March 2022.

[51] Hollifield, James F., François Héran, Philip L. Martin, and Pia M. Orrenius. Ibid.

[52] Authors’ calculations using data from UNDESA and World Bank. Source: Hollifield, James, and Rahfin Faruk. "Governing Migration in an Age of Globalization." In Migration on the Move: Essays on the Dynamics of Migration, edited by Carolus Grütters, Sandra Mantu, and Paul Minderhoud, 118–151. Immigration and Asylum Law and Policy in Europe, vol. 42. 2017.

[53] Authors’ calculations using data from UNDESA and the World Bank. Source: Hollifield, James, and Rahfin Faruk. "Governing Migration in an Age of Globalization." In Migration on the Move: Essays on the Dynamics of Migration, edited by Carolus Grütters, Sandra Mantu, and Paul Minderhoud, 118–151. Immigration and Asylum Law and Policy in Europe, vol. 42. 2017

[54] Buchanan, James M. 1965. The Calculus of Consent: Logical Foundations of Constitutional Democracy. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press.

[55] Chung, Erin A., James F. Hollifield, and Yunchen Tian. Forthcoming. “Migration Interdependence in East and Southeast Asia.” International Relations of the Asia Pacific.

[56] Tsourapas, Gerasimos. 2018. Ibid.

[57] Adamson, Fiona and James F. Hollifield. 2022. “Is Turkey Like Mexico? Migration Interdependence and Regional Migration Diplomacy in Europe and North America.” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association. Montreal, Canada, October, 2022.

[58] Hollifield, James F., Philip H. Hunt, and Daniel J. Tichenor. 2008. “Immigrants, Markets, and Rights: The United States as an ‘Emerging Migration State.’”  Washington University Journal of Law & Policy.  27: 7-44.

[59] Hollifield, James F. 1992. Ibid

[60] Hollifield, James F. 2021. “General perspectives on membership: citizenship, migration and the end of liberalism,” in Marco Giugni and Maria Grasso, Handbook of Citizenship and Migration. London:  Edward Elgar, pp. 101-117.

About the Author

James Hollifield

James Hollifield

RAFDI Working Group Co-chair; Global Fellow;
Professor of Political Science and Director, Tower Center SMU
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Refugee and Forced Displacement Initiative

The Refugee and Forced Displacement Initiative (RAFDI) provides evidence-based analyses that translate research findings into practice and policy impact. Established in 2022 as a response to an ever-increasing number of people forcibly displaced from their homes by protracted conflicts and persecution, RAFDI aims to expand the space for new perspectives, constructive dialogue and sustainable solu­tions to inform policies that will improve the future for the displaced people.  Read more