Book Review: Migration and Freedom: Mobility, Citizenship and Exclusion by Brad K. Blitz.

AuthorMuhammad, Patricia
PositionBook review

Blitz, Brad K. Migration and Freedom: Mobility, Citizenship and Exclusion. Northampton: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2014. xiv + 229 pages. Hardcover, $120.00.

Dr. Brad Blitz, a professor of International Policy, explores the complex relationship between mobility and citizenship. Blitz discusses a state's or nation's right to autonomy based on the concept of sovereignty, and elaborates on the role of official and unofficial, social and legal factors that serve to limit mobility. He balances the state's interest with the freedom of movement that developed nations are to foster in order to encourage a global economy which must be achieved with international cooperation exemplified by multi-lateral legal agreements. Here, Blitz surmises that a when a state opens its border there is no automatic, inalienable right to freedom of movement within the state.

Blitz focuses on the descriptors of 'push-pull' and 'freedom of movement' as a framework to guide the reader in understanding reasons a person chooses to migrate. Generally, push factors include the limitation of opportunity in one's homeland such as a shrinking industry or legal restrictions which prohibit freedom of movement within a nation-state. Pull factors are actions which a host state initiates that cause a foreign national to emigrate such as incentives offered to foreign nationals.

The author examines five European-based case studies that detail the experiences of foreign nationals, whether refugee, skilled worker, or professional. Due to governmental restrictions that inhibit the subjects' ability to migrate within their own homeland, they sought a safe habitat, financial gain, or professional development elsewhere. The first case study involves Spanish doctors who migrated to the United Kingdom for work in their field. As a pull factor, the United Kingdom made affirmative changes to its system which encouraged an influx of Spanish doctors. The Spanish doctors who were interviewed cited several push factors encouraging their migration to the United Kingdom including the fact that being a physician was not a respected profession in Spain. Unfortunately, once Spanish nationals entered the United Kingdom, they experienced limits in pay, usage of facilities, and hours which directly affected their physical and mental well-being. Notably, Blitz states that often times the migrants are treated as second class citizens regardless of their professional or trade skills that benefit the host...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT