Ethical Theory and Moral Practice

, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 267–281 | Cite as

Temporary Migration Projects, Special Rights and Social Dumping

  • Valeria OttonelliEmail author
  • Tiziana Torresi


It is often argued that in order to prevent migration from having social dumping effects, a strict enforcement of equal labour and welfare rights for both migrants and local workers is required. However, we claim that the specific circumstances of those migrants who engage in temporary migration may require a regime of special rights and labour standards that protect and further their distinctive interests and needs. We defend this claim by appealing to the principle that labour and welfare rights should accommodate the life plans of workers and we show that not only these special arrangements are fairer to the migrants involved, but they could also help to prevent social dumping.


Temporary migration Social dumping Labour rights Life plans 



  1. Alberti G (2014) Mobility strategies, 'mobility differentials' and 'transnational exit. Work Employ Soc 28:865–881CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Alberti G, Però D (2018) Migrating industrial relations: migrant workers’ initiative within and outside trade unions. Br J Ind Relat 56:693–715. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Anderson B (2007) A very private business: exploring the demand for migrant domestic workers. Eur J Women's Stud 14:247–264CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Anderson B (2010) Migration, immigration controls and the fashioning of precarious workers. Work Employ Soc 24:300–317CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Anderson B, Ruhs M (2012) Migrant workers: who needs them? In: Ruhs M, Anderson B (eds) Who needs migrant workers? Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 15–52Google Scholar
  6. Andrijasevic R, Sacchetto D (2016) From labour migration to labour mobility? The return of the multinational worker in Europe. Transfer 22:219–231CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Arneson R (1987) Meaningful work and market socialism. Ethics 97:517–545CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bailey R (2015) Using material remittances from labour schemes for social and economic development: Case Study Vanuatu. SSGM In Brief 2015/15. State, Society and Governance in Melanesia, ANU, CanberraGoogle Scholar
  9. Bauman Z (1999) Liquid modernity. Polity Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  10. Bedford R, Bedford C, Wall J, Young M (2017) Managed temporary labour migration of Pacific islanders to Australia and New Zealand in the early twenty-first century. Aust Geogr 48(1):37–57CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Bell D (2006) Beyond liberal democracy: political thinking in an east Asian context. Princeton University Press, PrincetonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Bernaciak M (2015) Introduction. In: Bernaciak M (ed) Market expansion and social dumping in Europe. Routledge, Abingdon, pp 1–22CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Boccagni P (2014) Caring about migrant care workers: from private obligations to transnational social welfare? Crit Soc Policy 34:221–240CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Boccagni P (2016) Addressing transnational needs through migration? Global Soc Policy 17:168–187CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Card D (2001) Immigrant inflows, native outflows, and the local labor market impacts of higher immigration. J Labor Econ 19(1):22–64CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Carens J (2008) Live-in domestics, seasonal workers, and others hard to locate on the map of democracy. J Polit Philos 16:419–445CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Carrión-Flores CE (2018) What makes you go back home? Determinants of the duration of migration of Mexican immigrants in the United States. IZA J Dev Migr 8(1):3CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Corrado A, De Castro C, Perrotta D (eds) (2016) Migration and agriculture. Mobility and change in the Mediterranean area. Routledge, LondonGoogle Scholar
  19. De Bel-Air F (2018) Asian migration to the Gulf states in the twenty-first century. South Asian Migration in the Gulf. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, pp 7–34CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Dølvik JE, Visser J (2009) Free movement, equal treatment and workers’ rights. Ind Relat J 40:491–509CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Dustmann C (2003) Return migration, wage differentials, and the optimal migration duration. Eur Econ Rev 47:353–367CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Dustmann C, Görlach J (2016) The economics of temporary migrations. J Econ Lit 54(1):98–136CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Ehrenreich B, Hochschild AR (2003) Global woman: nannies, maids, and sex workers in the new economy. Macmillan, LondonGoogle Scholar
  24. Engbersen G, Snel E (2013) Liquid migration. Dynamic and fluid patterns of post-accession migration flows. In: Glorius B, Grabowska-Lusinska I, Kuvik A (eds) Mobility in transition. Migration patterns after EU enlargement. University Press, Amsterdam, pp 21–40Google Scholar
  25. Fagnani J, Letablier MT (2004) Work and family life balance: the impact of the 35-hour laws in France. Work Employ Soc 18:551–572CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Ferrera M (2005) The boundaries of welfare. Oxford University Press, OxfordCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Gheaus A (2013) Care drain: who should provide for the children left behind? Crit Rev Int Soc Pol Phil 16:1–23CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Gheaus A, Herzog L (2016) The goods of work (other than money!). The. J Soc Philos 47:70–89CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Gilpin N et al. (2006) The impact of free movement of workers from central and Eastern Europe on the UK labour market. Working Paper No. 29. Department of Work and Pensions, LondonGoogle Scholar
  30. Gumbrell-McCormick R (2011) European trade unions and ‘atypical’ workers. Ind Relat J 42:293–310CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Hagan JM, Wassink J (2016) New skills, new jobs: return migration, skill transfers, and business formation in Mexico. Soc Probl 63(4):513–533CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Hardy J, Calveley M, Kubisa J, Shelley S (2015) Labour strategies, cross-border solidarity and the mobility of health workers: evidence from five new member states. Eur J Ind Relat 21:315–333CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Hennebry J (2014) Falling through the cracks? Migrant workers and the global social protection floor. Global Soc Policy 14:369–388CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Hennebry JL, Preibisch K (2012) A model for managed migration? Re-examining best practices in Canada’s seasonal agricultural worker program. Int Migr 50(s1):e19–e40CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Hermann C (2014) Structural adjustment and neoliberal convergence in labour markets and welfare: the impact of the crisis and austerity measures on European economic and social models. Compet Chang 18(2):111–130CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Holgate J (2011) Temporary migrant workers and labor organization. Work USA 14:191–199CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Holzmann R, Koettl J (2011) Portability of pension, health, and other social benefits. Discussion Paper No. 5715. IZA, BonnGoogle Scholar
  38. Hsieh N (2005) Rawlsian justice and workplace republicanism. Soc Theory Pract 31:115–142CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Hugo G (2009) Best practice in temporary labour migration for development: a perspective from Asia and the Pacific. Int Migr 47:23–74CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Kahanec M, Pytliková M (2017) The economic impact of east–west migration on the European Union. Empirica 44(3):407–434CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Kanchana R (2018) Is the Kafala tradition to blame for the exploitative work conditions in the Arab-gulf countries?. South Asian Migration in the Gulf. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, pp 61–79Google Scholar
  42. Krings T (2009) A race to the bottom? Trade unions, EU enlargement and the free movement of labour. Eur J Ind Relat 15:49–46CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Lemos S, Portes J (2008) The impact of migration from the new European Union member states on native workers. Department for Work and Pensions, LondonGoogle Scholar
  44. Lenard P, Strahele C (2012) Temporary labour migration, global redistribution, and democratic justice. Polit Philos Econ 11:206–230CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. León M, Migliavacca M (2013) Italy and Spain: still the case of familistic welfare models? Popul Rev 52:25–42Google Scholar
  46. Lillie N, Greer I (2007) Industrial relations, migration, and neoliberal politics: the case of the European construction sector. Polit Soc 35:551–581CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Lutz H (ed) (2016) Migration and domestic work. Routledge, LondonGoogle Scholar
  48. Massey DS, Pren KA, Durand J (2016) Why border enforcement backfired. Am J Sociol 121(5):1557–1600CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. McDowell L, Batnitzky A, Dyer S (2008) Internationalization and the spaces of temporary labour. Br J Ind Relat 46:750–770CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Moreira A, Domínguez AA, Antunes C, Karamessini M, Raitano M, Glatzer M (2015) Austerity-driven labour market reforms in southern Europe: Eroding the security of labour market insiders. Eur J Soc Secur 172:202–225CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Moriarty J (2009) Rawls, self-respect, and the opportunity for meaningful work. Soc Theory Pract 35:441–459CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Nathan M (2011) The long term impacts of migration in British cities: diversity, wages, employment and prices. SERC Discussion Paper 67. Spatial Economics Research Centre (SERC), LondonGoogle Scholar
  53. Nuti A (2018) Temporary labor migration within the EU as structural injustice. Ethics Int Aff 32:203–225CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. OECD (2018) International migration outlook 2018. OECD, ParisCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Offe C (2003) The European model of “social” capitalism: can it survive European integration? J Polit Philos 11:437–469CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Oke N (2012) Temporary migration, transnational politics? The politics of temporary migration in Australia. Journal of intercultural studies 33:85–101Google Scholar
  57. Ottonelli V, Torresi T (2012) Inclusivist Egalitarian Liberalism and Temporary Migration: A Dilemma. Journal of Political Philosophy 20 (2):202–224Google Scholar
  58. Ottonelli V, Torresi T (2014) Temporary migration projects and voting rights. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 17 (5):580–599Google Scholar
  59. Ottonelli V, Torresi T (2018) When is Migration Voluntary? International Migration Review 47 (4):783–813Google Scholar
  60. Preibisch K (2007) Local produce, foreign labor: labor mobility programs and global trade competitiveness in Canada. Rural Sociol 72:418–449CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Preston V, Ray B (2017) Migration: international. In: Richardson D, Castree N, Goodchild MF, Kobayashi A, Liu W, Marston RA (eds) International encyclopedia of geography. John Wiley & Sons, New York, pp 4389–4401Google Scholar
  62. Ruhs M, Martin P (2008) Numbers vs. rights: trade-offs and guest worker programs. Int Migr Rev 42:249–265CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Schierup H, Castles S (2005) Migration, citizenship, and the European welfare state. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  64. Schierup CU, Hansen P, Castles S (2006) Migration, citizenship, and the European welfare state. Oxford University Press, OxfordCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Schwartz A (1982) Meaningful work. Ethics 92:634–646CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Straehle C (2013) Conditions of care: migration, vulnerability, and individual autonomy. Int J Fem Approaches Bioeth 6:122–139CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Streeck W (1997) Beneficial constraints. On the economic limits of rational voluntarism. In: Boyer R, Hollingsworth JR (eds) Contemporary capitalism. The embeddedness of institutions. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 197–221CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Thomas A (2015) Degrees of inclusion: free movement of labour and the unionization of migrant workers in the European Union. J Common Mark Stud 54:408–425CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Thomas MP, Tufts S (2016) Austerity, right populism, and the crisis of labour in Canada. Antipode 48(1):212–230CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Vaughan-Whitehead D (2003) EU enlargement versus social Europe? Edward Elgar, CheltenhamGoogle Scholar
  71. Wahba J (2015) Selection, selection, selection: the impact of return migration. J Popul Econ 28(3):535–563CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Wills J (2008) Making class politics possible: organizing contract cleaners in London. Int J Urban Reg Res 32:305–323CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Wilson S (2018) The declining labour share and the return of democratic class conflict in Australia. J Aust Polit Econ 81:78Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Classics, Philosophy and HistoryUniversity of GenovaGenoaItaly
  2. 2.Department of Politics and International Studies, School of Social SciencesUniversity of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia

Personalised recommendations