The regulation of international migration in the Cold War: a synthesis and review of the literature

Bernard, S. (2023) The regulation of international migration in the Cold War: a synthesis and review of the literature. Labor History, (doi: 10.1080/0023656X.2023.2237924) (Early Online Publication)

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For a long time, research on international migration during the Cold War maintained that a rigid distinction existed between political emigration, generated by the ideological conflict between liberalism and communism, and labour migration, which was determined by transformations in the capitalist world economy. This article challenges that assumption on several grounds. It starts from the premise that the Cold War was primarily a competition between the capitalist and communist projects of development. It ascribes to this rivalry the establishment of the international system regulating migration as a terrain of ideological confrontation in the early postwar period, and its evolution into one of convergence over development strategies since the 1970s. It reviews both the literature on labour migration to/in Western Europe and the recent studies exploring how socialist Europe also relied on foreign labour recruitment to achieve development. It brings these findings in conversation with research that examines the expansion of economic cooperation between Eastern and Western Europe during the long 1970s. It shows that, in this context, the distinction between economic migrant and political refugee continued to justify the erection of wired walls, this time between an enlarging European Union and the Global South.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Early Online Publication
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Bernard, Sara
Authors: Bernard, S.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Central and East European Studies
Journal Name:Labor History
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN (Online):1469-9702
Published Online:28 July 2023
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2023 The Author
First Published:First published in Labor History 2023
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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