Exceptional People

Exceptional People : How Migration Shaped Our World and Will Define Our Future

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Throughout history, migrants have fueled the engine of human progress. Their movement has sparked innovation, spread ideas, relieved poverty, and laid the foundations for a global economy. In a world more interconnected than ever before, the number of people with the means and motivation to migrate will only increase. "Exceptional People" provides a long-term and global perspective on the implications and policy options for societies the world over. Challenging the received wisdom that a dramatic growth in migration is undesirable, the book proposes new approaches for governance that will embrace this international mobility. The authors explore the critical role of human migration since humans first departed Africa some fifty thousand years ago - how the circulation of ideas and technologies has benefited communities and how the movement of people across oceans and continents has fueled economies. They show that migrants in today's world connect markets, fill labor gaps, and enrich social diversity. Migration also allows individuals to escape destitution, human rights abuses, and repressive regimes.
However, the authors indicate that most current migration policies are based on misconceptions and fears about migration's long-term contributions and social dynamics. Future policies, for good or ill, will dramatically determine whether societies can effectively reap migration's opportunities while managing the risks of the twenty-first century. A guide to vigorous debate and action, "Exceptional People" charts the past and present of international migration and makes practical recommendations that will allow everyone to benefit from its unstoppable future growth.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 384 pages
  • 152 x 235 x 35.56mm | 709g
  • New Jersey, United States
  • English
  • 37 line illus. 14 tables.
  • 0691145725
  • 9780691145723
  • 373,378

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"A sweeping and constructive study. With a deep sense of what sort of creatures we humans are, this book takes us through millennia in the unending quest of people for development and discovery. It suggests that population movements have been the carriers of innovation from one region to others. It will change, if anything can, the way governments and international organizations view immigration policy."--Edmund S. Phelps, Nobel Prize-winning economist"Migration is not a zero-sum game; it brings great benefits to the receiving country, the sending country, and to migrants themselves. That is the clear message of the evidence from history, economics, and the social sciences more generally. This wise book assembles that evidence in a very thoughtful, careful, and scholarly way, making an enormous contribution to this crucial subject and providing fundamental guidance on one of the key issues of our times."--Nicholas Stern, London School of Economics and Political Science"In capturing the full sweep of immigration as a key part of human experience and development from the remote past to the distant future, "Exceptional People" strikes a perfect balance between sympathetic understanding of the basic motivations to migrate and hardheaded pragmatism with respect to government policy. The authors' narrative is insightful, clear-eyed, and deftly written, and will engage the attention of both experts and the interested lay audience."--Michael Oppenheimer, Princeton University"The fear of the outsider is a pervasive feature of Western culture. Yet, as the authors show so powerfully, we all owe our origins to historical migrations. Migrants are indeed exceptional people who enrich our societies and boost our economies by challenging conventional ways of doing things. This book reveals that migration is an essential part of human development and that we lose a great deal through widespread perceptions of migration as a problem. The global migration agenda proposed in this highly readable book shows how potential downsides could be reduced and enormous benefits realized."--Stephen Castles, coauthor of "The Age of Migration""In public discourse, migration may be the subject that minimizes the ratio of clarity to volume. The authors deserve high praise for joining this discussion with the quiet and clear yet firm voice that is the hallmark of economic analysis at its best."--Paul Romer, Stanford University"This clear and lively book is the most skillful articulation of the case for the liberalization of international migration. The authors consistently present migration's benefits, but do not ignore migration's costs or shy away from controversy. It makes an important argument on an important subject, and deserves to be widely read."--Kathleen Newland, Migration Policy Institute
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Table of contents

List of Illustrations and Tables ix Acknowledgments xiii Introduction 1 PART I : PAST Chapter 1: Migration from Prehistory to Columbus 11 Early Migration 12 Connecting Humanity 18 Migration and Humanity 37 Chapter 2: Global Migrations: Toward a World Economy 39 The Age of Exploration 40 Imperialism and Coercion 45 Unfree Migrations: Slavery and Indentured Labor 47 Global "Free" Migrations (ca. 1840-1914) 57 Builders of the Modern World 67 Chapter 3: "Managed" Migration in the Twentieth Century (1914-1973) 69 The End of the Liberal Period 70 The Interwar Period: Economic Decline and Regulated Migration 77 Post-WWII Migrations 85 Finding Reasons to Regulate 92 PART II: PRESENT Chapter 4: L eaving Home: Migration Decisions and Processes 97 Micro-Level: Individuals and Families 99 Meso-Level: Networks and Systems 103 Macro-Level: Demographic, Political, and Economic Conditions 109 Individual, Society, and National Influences 120 Chapter 5: I mmigration and Border Control 121 Channels and Flows of Migration 122 Economic Migration 127 Social Migration 140 Refugee Migration 147 Border Control 153 Beyond Border Controls 160 Chapter 6: T he Impacts of Migration 162 Impacts on Receiving Countries 164 Impacts on Sending Countries 178 Impacts on Migrants 193 Impacts on Societies and Migrants 209 PART III : FUTURE Chapter 7: T he Future of Migration 213 The Backdrop of Globalization 215 Supply of Migrants 219 Demand for Migrants 241 Chapter 8: A Global Migration Agenda 259 Thought Experiments 261 A Long-Term Vision of Freer Movement 265 Principles for Global Migration 270 The Need for Global Leadership 281 Notes 287 References 331 Index 359
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Review quote

This is a book of bold ambitions ably fulfilled. Mr. Goldin and his co-authors offer a history of migration, from man's earliest wanderings in Africa to the present day... After filling in the historical background, the authors give a rigorous but readable guide to the costs and benefits of modern migration. The Economist [A]n essential read ... [the authors'] arguments are buttressed by a deep understanding of the past, a comprehensive engagement with the present, and a clear vision of the future. -- Sarah Hackett Times Higher Education In Exceptional People, the authors carry out an evenhanded assessment of the costs and benefits of international migration. They find that all involved--the countries that receive immigrants, those that send them, and immigrants most of all--prosper when movement across borders is allowed without hindrance. Anti-immigration campaigners who consult Exceptional People will encounter hard-to-refute arguments that favor free movement; advocates of open borders will find in the book the data and reasoning they need to fortify their case. -- Karunesh Tuli ForeWord Reviews Goldin's conclusion is that western governments should simply accept the inevitable and open their borders, in line with economic demand--albeit within the framework of some pan-national treaty and institution. After all, as he points out, it is odd that there is no global body to oversee the movement of people, as there is with finance and trade. If that liberalization occurred, he thinks it would deliver an 'economic boost as high as $39,000bn over 25 years'. More surprisingly, he also argues that a 'tipping point' will be reached soon, which could shift the political debate. As world population levels stabilize in the next 50 years, a global labor shortage could prompt fierce competition for migrants. -- Gillian Tett Financial Times Exceptional People is an absorbing study albeit academic. It strongly advocates the need to establish a global migration agenda and clearly shows that the advantages of migration far outweigh the disadvantages: Migration Shaped Our World and Will Define Our Future. Arab News Exceptional People is an excellent book. It would make a great addition to readings lists for graduate and advanced undergraduate courses dealing extensively with migration. Its wide scope will provide plenty of ideas for new academic projects, and its conclusions invite reflection and further discussion. -- Chris Minns EH.net Migratory movements have been a persistent component of the human condition, and motivation for migration has varied considerably over time and with respect to the world's constantly shifting political and economic realities. This excellent book provides a broad history of migration... [R]equired reading for anyone interested in the future implications of this most compelling of human activities. Choice Exceptional People is packed with surprising insights... [T]his is a book of bold ambitions ably fulfilled. Daily Star
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About Ian Goldin

Ian Goldin is director of the Oxford Martin School, University of Oxford, and professorial fellow at Balliol College, Oxford. He has served as vice president of the World Bank and advisor to President Nelson Mandela, and chief executive of the Development Bank of Southern Africa. His many books include "Globalization for Development". Geoffrey Cameron is a research associate at the Oxford Martin School, University of Oxford. He is currently principal researcher with the Baha'i Community of Canada. Meera Balarajan holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge and works for a research organization in the United Kingdom. She has also worked for the United Nations, a UK government department, and a grassroots NGO in India.
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Rating details

123 ratings
3.83 out of 5 stars
5 24% (30)
4 44% (54)
3 23% (28)
2 8% (10)
1 1% (1)
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