Economic Migrants and Passports

  • Will Hickey


All political problems are rooted in economic ones and vice versa, argued Douglas North, who received the Nobel Prize in Economics for his theory on “natural state” of human existence. While there are push/pull factors for immigration, the largest pull factor is seeking a better life, pushed from either persecution or poverty. A better life is considered as better economic alternatives and opportunity. The Westphalian system by its nature creates imbalances that exacerbate, not solve these factors. People are still enumerated by “the passport” (or lack of it), which is their Westphalian document of passage and not their skills, value added activities, and abilities. This is costly, racist, and discriminatory for societies to maintain, creating tremendous social conflict. Changing the Westphalian system to one of inclusion and acceptance, as opposed to exclusion and rejection is in order, but this will also meet tremendous resistance from current stakeholders who derive their power and pleasure under Westphalia.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Will Hickey
    • 1
  1. 1.Former two-time US Fulbright Professor, 2003 & 2009Professor of Management, GDUFSCantonChina

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