Migration and development: theoretical legacies and analytical agendas in the age of rising powers

Raghuram, Parvati (2020). Migration and development: theoretical legacies and analytical agendas in the age of rising powers. In: Bastia, Tanja and Skeldon, Ronald eds. Routledge Handbook of Migration and Development. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 43–53.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315276908


The growth of the ‘Rising Powers’ has had an impact on migration: some new patterns have emerged, others have intensified, and still others have declined. This chapter explores what provocations Rising Powers pose for existing theorisations in the field of migration and development. It outlines the intellectual inheritances into which the new patterns of migratory growth and dynamism offered by the ‘Rising Powers’ intervenes. It begins by providing a broad overview of binary theories of migration and development before turning to those that go beyond these binaries and conceptualise the multiplicities of trajectories in migration and development thinking. It suggests that the effect of the existing conceptual landscape is that analyses of the Rising Powers tend to veer between theorising the Rising Powers as mid-way in both development and migration pathways or as offering new endpoints for migration streams. The Rising Powers thus raise the interesting question – are they the new middle ground of a well-known trajectory, or are they offering new pathways and outcomes for migration and development? Or can we reimagine migration and development within the context of a multipolar world? The chapter ends by offering a series of empirical and analytical questions that the Rising Powers pose for scholarship on migration and development.

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