Managing migration in the IOM's World migration report 2008

Research output: Working paperProfessional

30 Downloads (Pure)


The 2008 World Migration Report from the International Organization for Migration is an enormous document that reflects efforts led by business sectors and some sections of governments in rich countries to move away from policy agendas overwhelmingly focused on restriction of international migration, towards a somewhat more open global economic order, and to build acceptance of substantial in-migration to match market demand. This paper illustrates use of methods of discourse analysis to identify the principles of selection, interpretation, prioritisation and argumentation that structure such a report. It gives particular attention to the Report’s choices and use of key terms, like ‘mobility’, ‘needs’ and ‘globalization’, and of key metaphors which guide the discussion, notably the metaphor of ‘flows’. Dominated by the mental models of neoclassical and neoliberal economics and the policy preoccupations of rich countries, the Report’s central claim is the “need” for international cooperation to match labour demand and supply within a global framework, as a concomitant of economic globalisation in other respects; and that this will support economic development worldwide. A human rights stance makes occasional appearances, represented by the term ‘human mobility’ rather than ‘labour mobility’ or ‘mobility for economic purposes’, but remains firmly subordinated. Migrants’ opinions and agency receive little attention; economic priorities based on market power dominate.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationThe Hague
PublisherInternational Institute of Social Studies (ISS)
Number of pages30
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010

Publication series

SeriesISS working papers. General series

Bibliographical note

ISSN: 0921-0210

Research programs



  • ISS Working Paper-General Series


Dive into the research topics of 'Managing migration in the IOM's World migration report 2008'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this