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Circular Migration: Triple Win, or a New Label for Temporary Migration?

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Global and Asian Perspectives on International Migration

Part of the book series: Global Migration Issues ((IOMS,volume 4))

Abstract

It is important to distinguish between circular migration schemes that allow participants to make free choices about movements between origin and destination countries, and those that are really temporary migration programs under a new label. The term ‘circular migration’ has only been used for international migration since the early 2000s. Its proponents claim that it brings a ‘triple win’ for destination countries, origin countries and the migrants themselves. However, as we argue in this chapter, some circular migration programs reflect the desire of destination countries to ‘bring in labour but not people,’ like past ‘guestworker’ schemes and current contract labor recruitment. The chapter examines social scientific understandings of circular migration, as well as policy models. Brief case studies of Germany, Spain, Canada, Australia and South Korea are provided. Strictly managed circular migration may have the unintended consequence of helping to create transnational identities, which can transform traditional nation-state loyalties. The ‘triple win’ claim is examined with regard to developmental impacts of circular migration; effects for migrants, their families and communities; and benefits and problems for various groups in destination countries. The chapter concludes by arguing that migration policies are bound to fail if they do not consider the social dynamics of migration.

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Castles, S., Ozkul, D. (2014). Circular Migration: Triple Win, or a New Label for Temporary Migration?. In: Battistella, G. (eds) Global and Asian Perspectives on International Migration. Global Migration Issues, vol 4. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-08317-9_2

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