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“Migration History in World History” – Studies in Global Social History

A book cover

The book “Migration History in World History – Multidisciplinary Approaches” is edited by Jan Lucassen, Leo Lucassen and Patrick Manning.

Migration is the talk of the town. On the whole, however, the current situation is seen as resulting from unique political upheavals. Such a-historical interpretations ignore the fact that migration is a fundamental phenomenon in human societies from the beginning and plays a crucial role in the cultural, economic, political and social developments and innovations. So far, however, most studies are limited to the last four centuries, largely ignoring the spectacular advances made in other disciplines which study the ‘deep past’, like anthropology, archaeology, population genetics and linguistics, and that reach back as far as 80.000 years ago. This is the first book that offers an overview of the state of the art in these disciplines and shows how historians and social scientists working in the recent past can profit from their insights.

It contains four different contents:

A: Historical approaches
. Migration history: multidisciplinary approaches. (Jan Lucassen, Leo Lucassen, Patrick Manning)

B: Biological Approaches
. Population genetics and the migration of modern humans (Homo sapiens). (Peter de Knijff) . A brief introduction to geochemical methods used in assessing migration in biological anthropology (Shomarka Keita)

C: Linguistic approaches
. Prehistoric migration and colonization processes in Oceania: a view from historical linguistics and archaeology (Andrew Pawley)
. Linguistic testimony and migration histories (Christopher Ehret)
. The archaeo-linguistics of migration (Patrick McConvell)

D: Anthropological approaches
. Ancient immigrants: archaeology and maritime migrations (Jon M. Erlandson)
. The family factor in migration decisions (Jan Kok)

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

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“Exceptional People: How Migration Shaped Our World and Will Define Our Future”
Ian Goldin, Geoffrey Cameron & Meera Balarajan

Winner of the 2011 PROSE Award, Sociology & Social Work, Association of American Publishers
Featured as a “Page-turner” and one of the Best Books of 2011 in Politics and Current Affairs, The Economist

Few things will affect our future more than migration. A new book provides one of the best analyses of its costs and benefits.

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 looks at the profound advantages that such dynamics will have for countries and migrants 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’ recommendations for the future are the book’s most important contribution to the field of migration studies. Goldin, Cameron and Balarajan put forward a convincing case for the long-term advantages of migration, and argue that governments should do more to reap the benefits of such shifts rather than seeking only to control their borders. Migration should not be seen as a problem, they contend, but rather an inherent characteristic of globalisation. In future, they propose, states and international organisations should extend transnational rights, encourage migrants’ social and economic progression, promote and extend the legal migration framework, fight xenophobia, discrimination and abuse, and enhance the process of data collection.

Their calls for open borders, the freer movement of people and the creation of a global institution to manage migration are not without controversy. But in a work that is an essential read for anyone with an interest in the subject, their arguments are buttressed by a deep understanding of the past, a comprehensive engagement with the present and a clear vision of the future.

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