Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Migration 101 Episode 10

Episode 10: Is migration good, bad, or normal? 

  • Migration is normal, not a problem to be solved.
  • It has always been part of human experience, a fundamental feature.
  • Everyone's ancestors at some point moved from rural areas to cities (urbanization, industrialization, modernization).
  • Without migration, there would be no cities, and no industrialization.
  • Migration is driven by societal changes such as the structure of the labor market.
  • People move to be with family, to find appropriate work for their skills, etc.
  • We forget that migration is a fact of human existence and start believing that we can control it with changes in migration policy. We can't control it.
  • Development/change = > migration

Recommended Reading
Hein has collated much of the material covered in this course in this blog post, titled Human Migration: Myths, Hysteria and Facts. If you prefer video, watch his inaugural lecture at Maastricht University.
With the increasing generation of wealth (in the form of economic growth), continued urbanisation is inevitable, this paper argues. There is, however, a lack of evidence to suggest that urbanisation per se leads to economic growth.
Are you teaching a unit related to migration, or do you think you’re up for exploring more? This is a list of documentaries, youtube videos, online projects, and resourcescompiled by Hein and his network of migration researchers.
This resource bank, compiled by the UK’s Migration Museum project, is excellent and searchable by age and topic.
Visit the International Migration Institute’s paper series for 132 free downloads of state-of-the-art migration research.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Migration 101 Episode 9

Episode 9: Want More or Less Migration? Here's What to Think About 

  • Look not only at migration policy; look at your entire economic and labor market policy.
  • Economic liberalization and more restricted immigration are opposites. You cannot have both.
  • Unskilled migrant workers fill a real demand for unskilled labor in many countries.
    • Childcare workers and domestic workers form a large proportion of unskilled labor. A country that does not provide good childcare and eldercare to its citizens cannot stop immigration of foreign workers willing to take those jobs that citizens do not want. If a society wants less immigration, it needs to rethink its childcare and eldercare policies.
  • It's difficult to force people to do work they don't want to do. Certain jobs are seen as degrading, and citizens do not want to do them, but migrants will. Again, you need to look at the entire economic and labor market, not just the migration policy.
    • Morocco: Moroccan graduates no longer want agricultural jobs. Sub-Saharan migrants are beginning to take over those jobs. Employers find them more motivated and more willing to work hard.
  • An open, liberal society creates a destination for migrants, both "desirable" (skilled, educated) and "undesirable" (unskilled, uneducated); and there will always be jobs for unskilled workers.

Recommended Reading
Why do we often like migrants but not immigration? The web-based polling firm YouGov explores in this article.
This research blog article   explores the impact of restrictions to migration on the economy.
This post-US election opinion piece argues that we’ve entered a post-globalisation era, with flows of capital and people slowing. If migration is the outcome of domestic and global policies, is this really the conversation we should be having?
Development economist Michael Clemens explains why today’s migration crisis is an issue of global inequality – read or watch his analysis here.
According to the executive summary of this UN report, declining populations in the industrialised world presents migration as an opportunity for economic renewal.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Six Impossible Ideas (after Brexit)

1. Suzi Hall, architect-ethnographer: Are Migrants City-Takers or City Makers?

  • Part 1, What can an ordinary street tell us about modern diversity?
  • Part 2, Why is Rye Lane important for the economy?
  • Part 3, From Rye Lane to the Big Picture
2. Alex Manning, prof. of economics at LSE: Do Migrants Take Away Jobs?
  • Part 1, Will a migrant take away your job? (not likely)
  • Part 2, Will a migrant take your job (again)?
  • Part 3, Thoughts on migration policy
3. Chandran Kukathas, prof of government at LSE, Do Borders Affect Your Freedom?
  • Part 1, What do open borders really mean?
  • Part 2, What is the price of your control?
  • Part 3, What are the dangers of collective control? Dr Kukathas explains how building walls to keep people out actually result in curtailed freedoms for the people within the country; for example, employers are forced to hire only legal immigrants or citizens, when it might be better for them to hire others. 

4. Ruben Andersson, Associate Professor of anthropology at Oxford University: Should borders separate or connect?

  • Part 1, Thinking of borders as points of connection (as opposed to points of separation)
  • Part 2, Will deals like the one with Turkey reduce migration? (no; migrants will simply change their route for one that is more dangerous, but as long as the conditions for migration exist, they will continue to mkigrate)
  • Part 3, Let's talk about solutions (legal alternatives like humanitarian visas?)

5. Myria Georgiou, Deputy Head of LSE Media and Communications: Can the media make us more welcoming?
  • Part 1, How did European press cover the refugee crisis? (with empathy, but the refugees themselves are not heard--especially the women)
  • Part 2, How did the press coverage change over time? (It took drownings to really get the attention of the press, which then focused on the humanitarian crisis. After the Paris attacks, a more militaristic focus on the threat to Europe posed by the migrants.)
  • Part 3, How does coverage differ between countries and regions in Europe? (Western European media are "bipolar" or divided in their approach, but they see the problem as solvable, while Eastern European media feel the need to "protect Europe" from the migrants.)
6. Dominik Hangartner, Associate Professor at LSE Government: European Attitudes to Asylum-Seekers
  • Part 1, Results from a pan-European experiment: (1) respondents favor asylum-seekers who are not an economic burden but will actually contribute to the economy (doctors, teachers...); (2) there is a heft anti-Muslim bias; (3) respondents preferred to grant asylum to those fleeing war or persecution over those fleeing poverty. 
  • Part 2, Costs of a slow asylum process: migrants whose process look longer were less likely to find a job when finally granted asylum. Nations can save lots of money by speeding up the process. 
  • Part 3, How does citizenship affect integration? Not surprisingly, Hangartner found that naturalized migrants were much more integrated into the society years later than those who had been rejected for citizenship, who still felt marginalized. Two surprises: (1) the huge magnitude of this effect and (2) the benefits of naturalization are largest for the most marginalized groups

Migration 101 Episode 8

Episode 8: How effective are borders in keeping people out? (Not very. Nations secure borders to keep people out, but often the effect is the opposite; people who did not intend to settle permanently opt to stay on the "safe" side of the border and then try to bring their families in as well. For example, before the 1991 Schengen agreement, Moroccan workers traveled back and forth easily between Spanish jobs and Moroccan homes/families. Since 1991, a million Moroccan migrants and families have settled in Spain. The new border security has made traveling back and forth too expensive/risky, so people decide against their own will to settle permanently.

Recommended Reading
Hein’s blog post on the inability of European governments to act together to regulate a shared border system, and another post where Hein describes the effect of visas, linking to original research.
A key part of Europe’s border is its coast guard. Watch this short documentary on the Italian effort to save the lives of those making the crossing.
A journalistic investigation into the human and financial cost of 15 years of “Fortress Europe”.
A report on the costs of Europe’s border industry from the UK’s Overseas Development Institute, arguing that Europe must shift from an emphasis on deterring migration towards a pragmatic approach to manage it better.
What do we know about circular migration? A report from the Migration Policy Institute.

Check out this episode from our other course, Six Impossible Ideas (after Brexit), where Oxford anthropologist Ruben Andersson tells us his view on the border control industry and offers picks for further reading.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Migration 101 Episodes 6 - 7

Episode 6: Can we "fix" poorer countries to keep people from emigrating? (Actually, development can speed up movement rather than slowing it, by giving people more opportunities to move and better infrastructure to move on. Middle- to higher-income countries like the Philippines, Mexico, Turkey, Morocco and Tunisia have a large proportion of emigrants. The poorest countries, like those in sub-Saharan Africa, have the lowest emigration rates.)

Episode 7: Who are we allowing in? Who are we trying to keep out? Professionals and students and their families are actually more welcome than before. Those who are considered undesirable are (1) refugees and (2) low-skilled migrants. But refugees are going to come anyway, and even though European countries deny that they need low-skilled labor, they in fact do need them in agriculture, construction, catering, and child- and elder-care. Basically, current policies are further privileging already-privileged migrant groups. We are creating a global class system: if you have the right degree and enough money, it's pretty easy to migrate,

Recommended Reading
Check out this map to see how EU countries have opened their borders to refugees, as per their labour needs at the time.
This Bloomberg article on Spain’s massive labor shortage (of a certain type), despite 5 million unemployed.
An individual is three times more likely to be admitted to Harvard than to be admitted to the U.S. as a refugee, says Embrace Refugees, a project on the grueling asylum application process.
Even Japan, a long-time foe of immigration, is coming around to a selective policy for a certain type of worker, says this article from The Japan Times.
This case study from Hein’s book The Age of Migration further explores the decisions Japan must make, concerning migration policy.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Migration 101 Episodes 4-5

Episode 4: Will Climate Change Lead to More Migration? (There is no evidence for this. During floods and hurricanes, people tend to go very short distances to escape and return home as soon as they can. Very poor people without resources to move are trapped where they are, like the New Orleans poor people who died in the Katrina event.)

Episode 5: How much does migration change receiving societies?  (Not very much, because migrants tend to be powerless--unlike the colonial migrants from European countries that took over civilizations in the Americas, Africa, and Asia, armed with their superior technology. These days, migrants are the ones who are likely to be changed by migration.)

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Migration 101 Episodes 1-3

About a month ago, I signed up for a free online "course" on migration (Migration Matters: Learn About Migration in Five Minutes a Day). Then I forgot about it. It started this week. Every day, I get two emails: one with a short video lecture by Hein de Haas, a Dutch migration scholar. There are also resources and readings available. If you do it all, it's definitely not five minutes a day! But even just watching the videos is turning out to be very educational. It takes myths about migration and turns them on their heads and reports on research showing neglected truths about migration in the world.

Episode 1: Are we living in a time of unprecedented migration? (Hint: No.)
Episode 2: How has migration to Europe changed over time?
Episode 3: How much does global inequality drive migration? (Not as much as you think!)

Monday, March 10, 2014

The History and Future of (Mostly) Higher Education - week 6

The MOOC actually ended last week, but I fell behind on both readings and lectures. I've been working on midterm reports for my own students and the final report on this year's EVO (Electronic Village Online) to be presented to the CALL Interest Section at the TESOL Convention in Portland in just 2 weeks. But tonight I finally listened to the first 5-minute segment of the Week 6 lectures. The week is going to be about institutional change.

(March 17, 2014)
Segment 2: "Making Alliances with Other Changemakers":

  • HASTAC's commitment to inclusivity and democracy in education
  • Getting away from the old university structure, which separates learners from each other and over-measures them
  • HASTAC's partners:  PhD Lab in Digital Knowledge @ Duke; the Praxis Network (expanding the role and impact of change makers in higher ed); FemTechNet.newschool.edu (enhancing the role of women in technology); THATcamps (The Humanities and Technology camps)
  • Changemakers have to "make common cause" with each other.
Segment 3: "Reinvest in Public Education"
  • Radical transformation of education, peer-to-peer education, do-it-yourself education, and exploring new kinds of education all depend on the re-funding of public K-12 education. 
  • We should support community colleges, vocational education, arts colleges--the whole spectrum of education.
  • Accessible to masses of people at low cost
  • Interesting statistics: in the US, federal/state/municipalities make $231K profit for every dollar invested in graduates (employment, taxes, no unemployment, no prison). Transformation from funding prisons to funding education. What we spend embodies our values. Do we value education?
  • Is a college degree "worth it"? A person with a degree still earns more than a person without a degree after loans are repaid.
  • Income inequality: the gap is worldwide, but the US leads the world in the spreading gap. :-( The top 1% increased their income by 275% (1979-2013); middle 60% increased by 40%; lowest 5%: flat or negative. That also correlates with college and support for public education.
  • 2012: The average child had only 6 months more education than his/her parents.
  • 450K students on community college waiting list in California alone.
  • James Duderstadt (UMich) on the declining support for public universities
  • the US is now 11th in college graduation rate
  • Income inequality: 50% of Americans in top quartile of wealth have a degree; 10% in the lowest quartile (clear correlation between education and wealth)
  • More positively: in 1862, the Morrill Act - took proceeds from federally owned land and used it as a public good (--> land grant university system). Could the sale of bandwidth be used similarly? We ALL benefit from higher education; we are already a powerful alliance to fight for increased support of public education as a public good that makes society better. Let's make sure it's worth the money we are spending on it. It's OUR future, no matter what our age.
Segment 4: