Labour Migration in Malaysia and Spain

Markets, Citizenship and Rights

Blanca Garcés-Mascareñas

Labour Migration in Malaysia and Spain

Blanca Garcés-Mascareñas

Distributed for Amsterdam University Press

251 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2012
Paper $49.95 ISBN: 9789089642868 Published June 2012 For sale only in the United States, its dependencies, the Philippines, and Canada

This study confronts the double paradox of state-regulated labor migration: while markets benefit from open borders that allow them to meet the demand for migrant workers, the boundaries of citizenship impose a degree of limitation on cross-border migration. At the same time, the exclusivity of citizenship requires closed membership, yet civil and human rights undermine the state’s capacity to exclude foreigners once they are inside the country. By considering how Malaysia and Spain have responded to the demand for foreign labor, this book analyzes the unavoidable clash of markets, citizenship, and rights. 

 “This truly comparative book will become a standard work in the field. It opens new research venues, with major implications for a state migration control theory that has too long been Atlanto-centred.”—Leo Lucassen, Leiden University



1. Regulating labour migration

1.1 The state
1.2 Markets
1.3 Citizenship
1.4 Rights
1.5 Migration policies
1.6 Law and illegal migration
2. Research design and methodology
2.1 Research questions
2.2 Case selection
2.3 Elements of analysis
2.4 Methodological approach
2.5 Fieldwork in two sites
3. Malaysia
3.1 Introduction
3.2 Exporting goods, importing labour
3.3 Towards a guestworker policy
3.4 Letting them in . . .
3.5 . . . but only as foreigners
3.6 Turning illegal migrants into guestworkers
3.7 Detaining and deporting ’illegals’
3.8 Final remarks
4. Spain
4.1 Introduction
4.2 From emigration to immigration
4.3 From emigration control to immigration policies
4.4 Restricting entry
4.5 Between guestworkers and citizens
4.6 Regularisation: an entry policy?
4.7 Deportation from within and from without
4.8 Final remarks
5. Comparative perspective
5.1 Towards closure
5.2 The market response
5.3 Rights’ constraints
5.4 Regaining control
5.5 Final exclusion
6. Conclusions
6.1 State response to labour demands
6.2 Markets, citizenship and rights
6.3 The illusion of migration ’management’
6.4 The state’s production of illegality
6.5 Meanings of illegality
6.6 Towards a theory of borders and confines

Annex 1: Maps of Malaysia and Spain
Annex 2: Acronyms
Annex 3: Migration Policies
Annex 4: List of interviews
Annex 5: Graph of immigration trends by nationality in Spain
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