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The Price of RightsRegulating International Labor Migration$
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Martin Ruhs

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691132914

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691132914.001.0001

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Nation-States, Labor Immigration, and Migrant Rights

Nation-States, Labor Immigration, and Migrant Rights

What Can We Expect?

(p.26) Chapter 3 Nation-States, Labor Immigration, and Migrant Rights
The Price of Rights

Martin Ruhs

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines the potential interrelationships between migrant rights and national policies for admitting migrant workers. It explains how we can expect high-income countries to regulate the rights of migrant workers as part of their labor immigration policies. It develops a basic approach that conceptualizes the design of labor immigration policy in high-income countries as a process that involves “choice under constraints.” It shows that nation-states decide on how to regulate the number, selection, and rights of migrant workers admitted in order to achieve a core set of four interrelated and sometimes competing policy goals: economic efficiency, distribution, national identity and social cohesion, and national security and public order. Although their importance and specific interpretations vary across countries, and over time, the chapter argues that each of these objectives constitutes a fundamental policy consideration that policymakers can and do purposefully pursue in all countries.

Keywords:   migrant rights, migrant workers, high-income countries, labor immigration policies, nation-states, economic efficiency, national identity, social cohesion, national security

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