An International Labour Migration to Developing Countries in Asia: A Case Study of Korea

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Kim, Joon Kium

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Population and Development Studies Center, Seoul National University
Korea Journal of Population and Development, Vol.25 No.2, pp. 287-332
International labour migration has been an essential feature of capitalist development throughout the world. In the past ten to fifteen years, the newly industrializing economies in Asia underwent a historical change from labour exporter to labour importer status. While structural changes have provided the context for such unprecedented reversal in labour migration, the flow of international labour migration (ILM) is directly mediated by contradictory and flexible state policies. Unlike the past labour migration from underdeveloped to developed regions of the world, the recent labour migration to developing countries in Asia reveals that the illegalization of foreign labourers is an integral part of their temporary labour importation schemes. Based on a survey research in Korea, this paper points out the inadequacies of existing labour migration theories in explaining labour migration to developing countries in Asia, identifies unique features of labour migration to developing countries, and brings to light specific state strategies for maintaining control over both legal and illegal labourers.
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College of Social Sciences (사회과학대학)Institute for Social Development and Policy Research (사회발전연구소)Development and SocietyKorea Journal of Population and Development Vol.25 No.1/2 (1996)
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