Migration Governance and the Migration Industry in Asia: Moving Domestic Workers from Indonesia to Singapore
Yeoh, Brenda S.A.
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In the context of Asia, understanding migration governance needs to transcend statism to encompass the 'middle space' of migration. Unlike migration linked to settlement in liberal democratic states of the West, a large part of low-skilled migration in Asia - predominantly circular, feminized, and contractual - is brokered by private recruitment agencies. In adopting migration brokers as a methodological starting point, we make the case for bringing the migration industry into the fold of global migration governance analysis. Based on interviews with employment agencies deploying Indonesian domestic workers to Singapore from 2015 to 2016, we argue that migrant-destination states in Asia devolve responsibility for workers to the migration industry to order migration flows and circumvent formal cooperation with origin countries. Comprehending migration governance in Asia requires grappling with the co-constitutive governance of the state and migration industry and its interdependent dynamics, which we illuminate through the theory of strategic action fields.
CitationCharmian Goh, Kellynn Wee, Brenda S.A. Yeoh, Migration governance and the migration industry in Asia: moving domestic workers from Indonesia to Singapore, International Relations of the Asia-Pacific, Volume 17, Issue 3, September 2017, Pages 401-433, https://doi.org/10.1093/irap/lcx010
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