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Introduction: The Global Transformation of Borders and Mobility

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Introduction to Workers, Unions, and Global Capitalism: Lessons from India
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In migration studies, the nexus between migration and development in the global South has been meticulously debated. However, a unanimous resolution to this debate has not been found, due to the ever-changing nature of international migration. This book advances knowledge on the global debate on the migration-development relationship by documenting experiences in a number of countries in South Asia. Drawing on the experiences of global South Asians, this volume documents the impact of migration on the social, economic, and political fields in the broader context of development. It also presents a regional experience by looking into the migration-development nexus in the context of South Asia, and analyses the role South Asian migrants and diaspora communities play in the South Asian society. Contributions from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds, including sociology, anthropology, political science, international relations and economics, document the development implications of South Asian migration. Broad in scope in terms of contents, timeline of migration, and geographical coverage, the book presents empirically-based case studies involving India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Nepal and their emigrants living and working in different parts of the world. Going beyond reporting the impacts of migration on economic development by highlighting the implications of ‘social development’ on society, this book provides a fascinating contribution to the fields of Asian Development, Migration Studies and South Asian Studies.
A survey of 800 South Asian males employed in skilled or unskilled jobs in Kuwait showed the channel of migration to be a highly significant factor of migrant success. About 34% moved through friends/relatives and 50% through recruitment agents. Multivariate analyses indicate that those who came through friends/relatives earned a higher salary, found the job to fit their expectation, and were happier than those who came through agents, but more of the former came on an Azad visa which may be illegal. Personal networks are likely to encourage additional future migration and are very difficult to regulate through government initiatives.
Myron Weiner's study of the relationship between internal migration and ethnic conflict in India is exceptional for two reasons: it focuses on intercultural and interstate migration throughout the nation, rather than on merely local or provincial phenomena, and it examines both the social and the political consequences of India's interethnic migrations. Professor Weiner examines selected regions of India in which migrants dominate the modern sector of the economy. He describes the forces that lead individual Indian citizens to move from one linguistic-cultural region to another in search of better opportunities, and he attempts to explain their emergence at the top of the occupational hierarchy. In addition, the author provides an account of the ways in which the indigenous ethnic groups ("sons of the soil") attempt to use political power to overcome their fears of economic defeat and cultural subordination by the more enterprising, more highly skilled, better educated migrants. In addressing the fundamental clash between the migrants' claims to equal access to their country and the claims of the local groups to equal treatment and protection by the state, Professor Weiner considers some of the ways in which government policy makers might achieve greater equality among ethnic groups without simultaneously restricting the spatial and social mobility of some of its own people.