International Organisations, Care and Migration: The case of migrant health care workers

Yeates, Nicola and Pillinger, Jane (2021). International Organisations, Care and Migration: The case of migrant health care workers. In: Martens, Kerstin; Niemann, Dennis and Kaasch, Alex eds. International Organisations in Global Social Governance. Global dynamics of social policy. Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 83–111.




This chapter focuses on international health care worker migration to illustrate shifting constellations of architectures of ideas, actors and institutions in global social governance and policy. The phenomenon of health worker migration and how the international community should respond to it is one that has long preoccupied International Organizations (IOs) (Yeates and Pillinger 2019a, b). It is the earliest case of care as an overtly institutionalized feld of global social policy, long predating IOs’ initiatives on childcare, domestic care and care of migrants. It has been an active area of global social policymaking throughout the post-WWII period. Thus, a discernible global social policy feld of health care worker migration was instituted from the outset of the United Nations (UN), developing and expanding over the ensuing decades. As the chapter shows, this global policy feld is complex, contested and dynamic. It is populated by numerous IOs and other transnational actors promulgating myriad discourses, forging international agreements and entering into partnership—some are complementary, others are competing.

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