Migration Studies at a Crossroads: A Critique of Immigration Regime Typologies




Boucher, Anna
Gest, Justin

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Oxford University Press


International migration and its scientific examination have reached a crossroads. Today, migrants are pursuing opportunities in new destination societies with growing economies and different forms of governance from democratic states—transformations that complicate established understandings about national immigration models and their evolution. In light of these transformations, this article reviews the field of migration studies and its sketching of immigration patterns in the contemporary period. It critically examines existing systems of classification in a way that creates space for revised approaches. In doing so, this article identifies three key limitations with existing approaches. First, existing classifications largely focus on Western states, and especially traditional destination countries. Second, existing classifications are weakened by unclear or poorly defined indicators. Finally, even those classifications with improved indicators are hindered by approaches that examine admission and citizenship/settlement regimes independently of each other, ignoring a possible migration integration policy nexus.


The Version of Record of this manuscript has been published and is available in Migration Studies, 2014. doi:10.1093/migration/mnu035. Supplementary data is available through the publisher.


Migration, Integration, Regime, Typology, Crossroads, Global


Anna Boucher and Justin Gest. Migration studies at a crossroads: A critique of immigration regime typologies. Migrat Stud first published online August 22, 2014. doi:10.1093/migration/mnu035.