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11 Whitehead J. Dipl. & Int'l Rel. 21 (2010)
Managing Migration for Development: Is Circular Migration the Answer

handle is hein.journals/whith11 and id is 21 raw text is: Managing Migration for Development:
Is Circular Migration the Answer?
by Ronald Skeldon
Migration policy has long been considered the prerogative of the receiving state,
and that state alone is responsible for selecting who comes within its borders. For the
United States, where immigration has been an integral part of state building,
immigration policy fashioned a nation by design.' Today, a more nuanced
approach to migration policy has emerged: the idea that population migration can be
managed, not just for the benefit of the destination state, but also for the origin
states and the migrants themselves. Such an approach brings immigration and
development policy into an uneasy dialogue. Officials from State Departments,
Home Offices or Ministries of the Interior find themselves in discussions with
representatives from development and aid ministries or departments. Migration no
longer remains a unilateral matter but emerges as a matter of foreign policy through
bilateral and multilateral negotiation among states.
The change in the policy environment needs to be placed in the context of new
patterns of migration, demography, and economy. Changes in the technologies of
transportation and communication have meant that increased numbers of people
can move further and faster than ever before. We are certainly in an age of mobilitn,
if not migration. In 2009, only 214 million people or 3.1 percent of the world's
population crossed international borders, a relatively constant percentage over recent
decades.2 More importantly, pressures are building in two specific areas to allow
increased numbers of immigrants into countries. First, there is a demand for highly
skilled workers to service a globalizing economy, particularly in information
technology and finance. A global competition for talent has emerged among the
developed economies of the world that the recent financial crisis did not extinguish.3
Second, the aging population of the developed world generates a demand for
medical personnel that is not met locally. The result of these two pressures is an
exodus of talent that is seen to be essential for the development of the countries of
origin of the migration. A simple causation between the exodus of skilled migration
and a lack of development is difficult to sustain, as the situation is more complex and
cannot be pursued here.4 The majority view, that there is a drain of talent from the
Ronald Skeldon is a Professorial Fellow at the University of Sussex, Brighton, UK, and Senior
Research Fellow at the United Kingdom Department for International Development, London.
21
The l1biteheadJournal of Dolomagy and International Relations

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