- Open Access
The Governance of Migrant Labour Supply in Europe, Before and During the Crisis
Comparative Migration Studies volume 2, pages 385–415 (2014)
After more than two decades of policy inertia, since the late 1990s a new interest in labour migration arose across Europe and at the EU level. This translated into a new season of policy experimentation which expressed itself in very different forms across the continent. Such an uneven wave of policy change has not been interrupted by the crisis, which however has deeply altered its dynamics, propelling innovation in some countries and blocking it elsewhere. Based on in-depth fieldwork carried out in the framework of a comparative research project (www.labmiggov.eu) in six European countries (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom) and at EU level, this special issue aims at generating fresh empirical knowledge and new theoretical insights into the complexities of labour migration governance in Europe. In an attempt to go beyond a limited understanding of labour migration policies as admission of foreigners for working purposes, all the articles share a common theoretical framework based on the concept of ‘migrant labour supply (MLS) policies’. Under this conceptual umbrella, different functional equivalents of (and alternatives to) direct labour migration policies are considered.
Besides setting the broad empirical scene, illustrating the common conceptual foundations of the special issue and providing an overview of the articles’ main findings, this Introduction formulates some core arguments. It is argued that determining and constantly adjusting the composition of MLS policy mixes is a fundamental expression of states’ agency in the field of labour migration, especially in times of major economic fluctuations. I also contend that such national MLS policy mixes can be explained as country-specific attempts to find and constantly adapt ‘paths of least resistance’ meant to maximise fulfilment of labour immigration demands while minimising resistances to it.
Aja, E., Arango, J. & Oliver, J. (various years: 2007–2012). Anuario de la Inmigración en España. Barcelona: CIDOB, Diputació de Barcelona, Fundación Ortega-Marañón and Fundació ACSAR.
Arango, J. (2013). Exceptional in Europe? Spain’s Experience with Immigration and Integration. Washington D.C.: Migration Policy Institute, http://www.migrationpolicy.org/research/exceptional-europe-spains-experience-immigration-and-integration
Arango, J. (2012). Early starters and latecomers. Comparing countries of immigration and immigration regimes in Europe, in Okólski, M., (ed.). European Immigrations. Trends, Structures and Policy Implications. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, IMISCOE Research Series, 2012, http://www.oapen.org/download?type=document&docid=426531, pp. 45–64.
Awad, I. (2009). The global economic crisis and migrant workers: Impact and response. Geneva: International Labour Organization, http://www.ilo.org/actrav/what/pubs/WCMS_112967/lang-en/index.htm
Bade, K. (2003). Migration in European History. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
Baldwin-Edwards, M. & Arango, J. eds. (1999). Immigrants and the Informal Economy in Southern Europe, London: Frank Cass.
Baldwin-Edwards, M. (2012). The Southern European ‘model of immigration’. A sceptical view. In Okólski, M., (ed.). European Immigrations. Trends, Structures and Policy Implications. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, IMISCOE Research Series, 2012, http://www.oapen.org/download?type=document&docid=426531, 149–158.
Barbagli, M., Colombo, A. & Sciortino, G., eds. (2004). I sommersi e i sanati: le politiche di regolarizzazione degli immigrati in Italia. Bologna: Il Mulino, 2004.
Barrett, A. & Duffy, D. (2008). Are Ireland’s Immigrants Integrating into Its Labor Market?, International Migration Review, 42(3), 597–619.
Black, R. et al. (2010). A Continent Moving West?: EU Enlargement and Labour Migration from Central and Eastern Europe. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, IMISCOE Research.
Bloemraad, I. (2013). The promise and pitfalls of comparative research design in the study of migration, Migration Studies, 1(1), 27–46, http://migration.oxfordjournals.org/content/1/1/27.full.pdf+html
Boeri, T., Hanson, G. H., & McCormick, B., eds. (2002). Immigration Policy and the Welfare State. A Report for the Fondazione Rodolfo Debenedetti. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Bommes, M., & Geddes, A., eds. (2002). Immigration and Welfare: Challenging the Borders of the Welfare State. London: Routledge.
Bommes, M. & Sciortino, G., eds. (2011). Foggy Social Structures: Irregular Migration, European Labour Markets and the Welfare State. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press — IMISCOE Research Series.
Bommes, M. & Thränhardt, D., eds. (2010). National Paradigms of Migration Research, Göttingen: V&R Unipress, 2010.
Bonjour, S. (2011). The Power and Morals of Policy Makers. Reassessing the Control Gap Debate, International Migration Review, 45(1), 89–122.
Bosch, G., Lehndorff, S. & Rubery, J., eds. (2009). European Employment Models in Flux. A Comparison of Institutional Change in Nine European Countries. Basingstoke: Palgrave-Macmillan.
Boswell, C. (2007). Theorizing Migration Policy: Is There a Third Way? International Migration Review, 41(1), 75–100.
Boswell, C. (2008). UK Labour Migration Policy: Permanent Revolution? Working Paper CeSPI. Rome: Centro Studi di Politica Internazionale, http://www.cespi.it/WPMIG/Country%20mig-UK.pdf.
Boswell, C. (2009a). The Political Uses of Expert Knowledge: Immigration Policy and Social Research. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Boswell, C. (2009b). Selling labour migration: Democratic vs. technocratic modes of justification. Issue Paper DOC3/09, Centro Studi di Politica Internazionale (CeSPI), http://www.cespi.it/WPMIG/Issue-UK2.pdf.
Brochmann, G., & Hammar, T., eds. (1999). Mechanisms of Immigration Control: A Comparative Analysis of European Regulation Policies. Oxford: Berg.
Brochmann, G. & Jurado, E., eds. (2013). Europe’s Immigration Challenge: Reconciling Work, Welfare and Mobility. London-New York: I.B.Tauris.
Bucken-Knapp, G. (2007). Varieties of Capitalism and Labor Migration Policy, University West Preprint Series. Trollhättan: University West.
Bucken-Knapp, G. (2009). Defending The Swedish Model: Social Democrats, Trade Unions and Labor Migration Policy Reform. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.
Calavita, K. (2005). Immigrants at the Margins: Law, Race, and Exclusion in Southern Europe. Cambridge University Press.
Cameron, D. (2013), Free movement within Europe needs to be less free, in Financial Times, 26 November 2013, http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/add36222-56be-11e3-ab12-00144feabdc0.htm-l#axzz37S5Lruz0 accessed in July 2014.
Carvalho, J. (2013). British and French policies towards high-skilled immigration during the 2000s: policy outplays politics or politics trumps policy? Ethnic and Racial Studies. Available online at http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/01419870.2013.833645#.UxBrgvldXtt.
Castles, S. (1986). The Guest-Worker in Western Europe. An Obituary. International Migration Review, 20(4), Special Issue: ‘Temporary Worker Programs: Mechanisms, Conditions, Consequences’. 761–778.
Castles, S. (2004). Why migration policies fail, Ethnic and Racial Studies, 27(2), 205–227.
Castles, S. & Kosack, G. (1973). Immigrant Workers and Class Structure in Western Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Caviedes, A. (2010a). The Sectoral Turn in Labour Migration Policy, in Menz, G. and Caviedes, A., eds. (2010). Labour Migration in Europe. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 54–75.
Caviedes, A. (2010b). Prying Open Fortress Europe: The Turn to Sectoral Labor Migration. Lanham MD: Lexington Books.
Coe, N.M., Jones, K. & Ward, K. (2010) The business of temporary staffing: a developing research agenda, Geography Compass, 4(8), pp. 1055–1068.
Colombo, A. (2012). Fuori controllo?, Miti e realtà dell’immigrazione in Italia [Out of Control? Myths and Realities about Immigration in Italy]. Bologna: Il Mulino.
Cornelius, W., Martin, P. & Hollifield, J., eds. (1994, 1st ed.). Controlling Immigration. A Global Perspective. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
Czaika, M. & De Haas, H. (2013). The Effectiveness of Immigration Policies, Population and Development Review, 39(3), 487–508.
Devitt, C., (2010). The Migrant Worker Factor in labour market policy reform. European Journal of Industrial Relations, 16(3), 259–75.
Devitt, C. (2014), Ireland, in Gropas, R. & Triandafyllidou, A., eds., European Immigration. A Sourcebook, Aldershot: Ashgate.
Doomernik, J. & Jandl, M., eds. (2008). Modes of Migration Regulation and Control in Europe, Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.
Einaudi, L. (2007). Le politiche dell’immigrazione in Italia dall’Unità a oggi [Immigration Policies in Italy from the National Unity until Today], Roma-Bari: Laterza.
Esping-Andersen, G. (1990). The Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism, Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press.
Farina, F. & Tamborini, R., eds. (2008) Macroeconomic Policy in the European Monetary Union: From the Old to the New Stability and Growth Pact. London: Routledge.
Favell, A. (2001). Integration policy and integration research in Europe: a review and critique, in Aleinikoff, A. and Klusmeyer, D., eds., Citizenship Today: Global Perspectives and Practices, Washington DC: Brookings Institute/Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 349–399.
Ferrera, M. (1996). The ‘Southern Model’ of Welfare in Social Europe. Journal of European Social Policy, vol. 6, no. 1, 17–37.
Finotelli, C. (2014). Controlling Labour Migration to Southern Europe: the Case of Italy and Spain. Paper presented at Ipsa 2012, Madrid (under review for publication).
Finotelli, C. & Sciortino, G. (2009). The Importance of Being Southern: The Making of Policies of Immigration Control in Italy. European Journal of Migration and Law, 11(2), 119–138.
Freeman, G. (1979). Immigrant Labor and Racial Conflict in Industrial Societies. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Freeman, G. (1995). Modes of Immigration Politics in Liberal Democratic States, International Migration Review, 29(4), 881–902.
Galgoczi, B.; Leschke, J. & Watt, A., eds. (2009). EU Labour Migration Since Enlargement: Trends, Impacts and Policies. Aldershot: Ashgate.
Hall, P. & Soskice, D., eds. (2001). Varieties of Capitalism. The Institutional Foundations of Comparative Advantage. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Hall, P.A. & Lamont, M., eds. (2013). Social Resilience in the Neoliberal Era, Cambridge University Press.
Hancké, B., Rhodes, M. & Thatcher, M., eds. (2007). Beyond Varieties of Capitalism. Conflict, Contradictions, and Complementarities in the European Economy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Hepburn, E. & Zapata-Barrero, R., eds. (2014), The Politics of Immigration in Multi-Level States: Governance and Political Parties. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Hollifield, J. F. (1992). Immigrants, Markets and States: The Political Economy of Postwar Europe. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Holtslag, J W., Kremer, M. & Schrijvers, E., eds. (2013). Making Migration Work. The future of labour migration in the European Union. The Hague: Netherlands Scientific Council for Government Policy (WRR), http://www.wrr.nl/fileadmin/en/publicaties/PDF-Overige_uitgaven/Making_Migration_Work-web.pdf
IOM (2010). Migration and the Economic Crisis in the European Union: Implications for Policy, IOM-LINET Thematic Study. Brussels: International Organization for Migration.
Joppke, C. (1999). Immigration and the Nation-State. The United States, Germany and Great Britain. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Kindleberger, C.P. (1967). Europe’s Postwar Growth: The Role of Labor Supply, Cambridge (MA): Harvard University Press.
King, R. & Black, R. (1997). Southern Europe and the New Immigrations, Brighton: Sussex Academic Press.
King, R., Lazaridis, G. & Tsardanidis, C., eds. (1999). Eldorado or Fortress? Migration in South Europe, London: Palgrave-Macmillan.
Kolb, H. (2014) When Extremes Converge — German and Canadian Labor Migration Policy Compared, Comparative Migration Studies, 2(1), pp. 57–75.
Laubenthal, B. (2008). Two steps forward, one step back. Recent trends in German migration policy. Working Papers CeSPI, http://www.cespi.it/labour-mig-pol.html.
Laubenthal, B. (2012). Labour Migration Governance in Contemporary Europe. The Case of Germany, LAB-MIG-GOV Working Papers, Torino: Forum of International and European Research on Immigration (FIERI), http://www.labmiggov.eu/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/laubenthal_case-study_-Germany_17.05.pdf.
Lavenex, S. (2006). The Competition State and the Multilateral Liberalization of Skilled Migration, in A. Favell, ed. The Human Face of Global Mobility, International Highly Skilled Migration in Europe, North America and the Asia-Pacific. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 29–54.
Lazarowicz, A. (2013). The Intra-Corporate Transferees Directive: time to break the deadlock, LAB-MIG-GOV Policy Briefs, Brussels: European Policy Centre (EPC), http://www.labmiggov.eu/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/pub_3445_intra-corporate_transferees_directive.pdf.
Lazarowicz, A. (2014). A success story for the EU and seasonal workers’ rights without reinventing the wheel, LAB-MIG-GOV Policy Briefs, Brussels: European Policy Centre (EPC), http://www.labmiggov.eu/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/EU-and-seasonal-workers-rights.pdf.
Lutz, H. & Palenga-Möllenbeck, E. (2010). Care work migration in Germany: semi-compliance and complicity. Social Policy and Society 9(03): 419–430.
Maas, W. (2010). Unauthorized Migration and the Politics of Regularization, Legalization and Amnesty, in Menz, G. and Caviedes, A. eds., Labour Migration in Europe. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 232–250.
Marks, G. (1993). Structural Policy and Multilevel Governance in the EC, in Cafruny, A. and Rosenthal, G., eds., The State of the European Community. New York: Lynne Rienner, 391–410.
Martin, P. (2009). Recession and Migration: A New Era for Labor Migration? International Migration Review, 43(3), 671–691.
Martin, P. & Stark, E., eds. (2014). Expert Commissions and Migration Policy Making. Special Issue of Migration Letters, 11(1).
Martiniello, M. (2013). Comparisons in Migration Studies, Comparative Migration Studies, 1(1), 7–22, http://www.comparativemigrationstudies.org/index.php/CMS/article/view/408/363#.UxBVEPmwLJQ.
Menz, G. (2005). Varieties of Capitalism and Europeanisation: National Responses to the Single Market. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Menz, G. (2008). The Political Economy of Managed Migration. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Menz, G. (2010). Employers, Trade Unions, Varieties of Capitalism, and Labour Migration Policies, in Menz, G. and Caviedes, A. eds., Labour Migration in Europe. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 25–53.
Menz, G. & Caviedes, A., eds. (2010). Labour Migration in Europe. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Messina, A. (2009). The Politics of Migration to Western Europe: Ireland in Comparative Perspective, West European Politics, 32(1), 1–25.
OECD (2001). Migration Policies and EU Enlargement. The Case of Central and Eastern Europe, Paris: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
OECD (2013 and previous years). International Migration Outlook. Paris: OECD Publishing. http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/migr_outlook-2013-en.
Okólski, M., ed. (2012). European Immigrations. Trends, Structures and Policy Implications. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, IMISCOE Research Series, http://www.oapen.org/download?type=document&docid=426531.
Pascouau, Y. (2013). Intra-EU mobility: the ‘second building block’ of EU labour migration policy. EPC Issue Paper No. 74, Brussels: European Policy Centre (EPC), http://www.labmiggov.eu/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Intra-EU-mobility.pdf.
Pascouau, Y, & McLoughlin, S. (2012), EU Single Permit Directive: a small step forward in EU migration policy, LAB-MIG-GOV Policy Briefs, Brussels: European Policy Centre (EPC), http://www.labmiggov.eu/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/PB_eu_single_permit_directive.pdf.
Pastore, F. (2004). Formation, Structure and Current Evolution of the EU Entry Control System, in N. Walker, ed., Europe’s Area of Freedom, Security, and Justice. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 89–142.
Pastore, F. (2012). Europe, in H. Duncan, J. Nieuwenhuysen and S. Neerup, eds., International Migration in Uncertain Times. Montreal-Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 129–151.
Pastore, F., Salis, E. & Villosio, C. (2013). L’Italia e l’immigrazione low cost: fine di un ciclo? [Italy and Low-Cost Immigration: End of a Cycle?], Mondi Migranti, 1/2013, special issue on ‘Immigrazione e crisi economica’ [Immigration and the Economic Crisis] (guest editors G. Fullin and E. Reyneri), 151–171.
Peixoto, J. et al. (2012). Immigrants, markets and policies in Southern Europe. The making of an immigration model? In Okólski, M., ed., European Immigrations. Trends, Structures and Policy Implications. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, IMISCOE Research Series, 107–148.
Piore, M. J. (1979). Birds of Passage: Migrant Labor in Industrial Societies, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Quirico, M. (2012), Labour Migration Governance in Contemporary Europe. The Case of Sweden, LAB-MIG-GOV Working Papers, Torino: Forum of International and European Research on Immigration (FIERI), http://www.labmiggov.eu/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/CASE-STUDY-SWEDEN-FINAL-REPORT1.pdf
Royo-Bordonada, M. A., Díez-Cornell, M. & Llorente, J.M. (2013). Health-care access for migrants in Europe: the case of Spain. The Lancet, 382(9890), 393–394.
Ruhs, M. (2013). The Price of Rights: Regulating International Labor Migration. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Ruhs, M. & Anderson, B., eds. (2010). Who needs migrant workers? Labour shortages, immigration and public policy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Ruhs, M. & Martin, P. (2008). Numbers vs Rights: Trade-offs and Guestworker Programs, International Migration Review, 42(1), 249–65.
Schäfer, A. & Streeck, W., eds. (2013). Politics in the Age of Austerity, Cambridge (UK): Polity.
Schierup, C. U., Hansen, P. & Castles, S., eds. (2006). Migration, Citizenship, and the European Welfare State. A European Dilemma. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Sciortino, G. (1999). Planning in the dark. The evolution of the italian system of migration controls, in Brochmann, G. & Hammar, T. eds., Mechanisms of immigration controls. A Comparative Analysis of European Regulation Policies. Oxford: Berg, 233–260.
Sciortino, G. (2009). Fortunes and miseries of Italian labour migration policy, Country Paper DOC1/09, Centro Studi di Politica Internazionale (CeSPI), http://www.cespi.it/WPMIG/Country%20mig-Italia-Sciortino.pdf
Sciortino, G. (2013). Immigration in Italy: Subverting the Logic of Market Reform? in Brochmann, G. and Jurado, E., eds., Europe’s Immigration Challenge: Reconciling Work, Welfare and Mobility. London-New York: I.B.Tauris, 77–94.
Seawright, J. & Gerring, J. (2008). Case Selection Techniques in Case Study Research. A Menu of Qualitative and Quantitative Options, Political Research Quarterly, 61(2), 294–308.
Shire, K. (2014) Family Supports and Insecure Work: The Politics of Household Service Employment in Conservative Gender Regimes, Paper presented at the XVIII ISA World Congress of Sociology “Facing an unequal world: challenges for global sociology”, Yokohama, 13–19 July 2014.
Somerville, W. (2007). Immigration Under New Labour. Bristol: The Policy Press.
Spehar, A, Bucken-Knapp, G. & Hinnfors, J. (2013). Ideology and Entry Policy: Why Non-Socialist Parties in Sweden Support Open Door Migration Policies, in U. Korkut, G. Bucken-Knapp, A. McGarry, J. Hinnfors, & H. Drake (eds.), The Discourses and Politics of Migration in Europe. New York: Palgrave.
Zincone, G. (1998). Illegality, Enlightenment and Ambiguity: A Hot Italian Recipe, South European Society and Politics, 3(3), 43–81.
Zincone, G. (2002) Immigrazione, in Tuccari, F., ed. [Immigration, in Tuccari]. Il governo Berlusconi. Le parole, i fatti, i rischi. Roma-Bari: Laterza.
Zincone, G. (2006). The making of policies. Immigration and immigrants in Italy, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 32(3), 347–375.
Zincone, G. & Caponio, T. (2006). The multilevel governance of migration, in Penninx, R., Berger, M. & Kraal, K. eds., The dynamics of international migration and settlement in Europe. IMISCOE Joint Studies Series. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.
Zincone, G. (2011). Conclusion: Comparing the making of migration policies, in Zincone, G.; Penninx, R. & Borkert, M. Migration Policymaking in Europe: The Dynamics of Actors and Contexts in Past and Present, Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press IMISCOE Research.
Zolberg, A. (2008). A Nation by Design: immigration policy in the fashioning of America. Harvard: Russell Sage Foundation-Harvard University Press.
About this article
Cite this article
Pastore, F. The Governance of Migrant Labour Supply in Europe, Before and During the Crisis. CMS 2, 385–415 (2014). https://doi.org/10.5117/CMS2014.4.PAST
- Migration policy
- Labour migration
- Economic crisis