Migration

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Migration

Migration Definition

Migration may be defined as the movement of people, especially of whole groups, from one place, region, or country to another, particularly with the intention of making permanent settlement in a new location. See more definitions about migration in the law dictionary.

Introduction

Humans have migrated since their emergence as a species. Their original differentiation into ethnic groups appears to have been a result of the isolated development of separate groups of people who migrated from a central point of origin, perhaps in Africa or Central Asia. Even in the Stone Age, however, this isolation was not complete, for migrations resulted in a complicated pattern of blood relationships through widely separated groups.

Movement of Peoples

In the more recent past, the movement and countermovement of peoples have led to accelerated mixing of stocks and mutual infusion of physical characteristics. Perhaps more important than the transmission of physical characteristics has been the transmission of cultural characteristics. The diffusion of cultures, including tools, habits, ideas, and forms of social organization, was a prerequisite for the development of modern civilization, which would probably have taken place much more slowly if people had not moved from place to place.

For instance, use of the horse was introduced into the Middle East by Asian invaders of ancient Sumer and later spread to Europe and the Americas. Even important historical events can be linked to distant migrations; the downfall of the Roman Empire in the 3rd to the 6th century AD, for example, was probably hastened by migrations following the building of the Great Wall of China, which prevented the eastward expansion of Central Asian tribes, thus turning them in the direction of Europe.

Causes

A group of people may migrate in response to the lure of a more favorable region or because of some adverse condition or combination of conditions in the home environment. Most historians believe that non-nomadic peoples are disinclined to leave the places to which they are accustomed, and that most historic and prehistoric migrations were stimulated by a deterioration of home conditions. This belief is supported by records of the events preceding most major migrations.

The specific stimuli for migrations may be either natural or social causes. Among the natural causes are changes in climate, stimulating a search for warmer or colder lands; volcanic eruptions or floods that render sizable areas uninhabitable; and periodic fluctuations in rainfall. Social causes, however, are generally considered to have prompted many more migrations than natural causes.

Examples of such social causes are an inadequate food supply caused by population increase; defeat in war, as in the forced migration of Germans from those parts of Germany absorbed by Poland after the end of World War II in 1945; a desire for material gain, as in the 13th-century invasion of the wealthy cities of western Asia by Turkish tribes; and the search for religious or political freedom, as in the migrations of the Huguenots, Jews, Puritans (see Puritanism), Quakers (see Society of Friends), and other groups to North America.

Choice of Routes

Throughout history, the choice of migratory routes has been influenced by the tendency of groups to seek a type of environment similar to the one they left, and by the existence of natural barriers, such as large rivers, seas, deserts, and mountain ranges. The belts of steppe, forest, and arctic tundra that stretch from central Europe to the Pacific Ocean have been a constant encouragement to east-west migration of groups situated along their length.

On the other hand, migrations from tropical to temperate areas, or from temperate to tropical areas, have been rare. The desert regions of the Sahara in northern Africa separated the African from the Mediterranean peoples and prevented the diffusion southward of Egyptian and other cultures, and the Himalayas mountain system of South Asia cut off approach to the great subcontinent of India except from its eastern and western borders. As a consequence of these and similar barriers, certain mountain passes and land bridges became traditional migratory routes.

The Sinai Peninsula in northeastern Egypt, bounded on the east by the Arabian Peninsula, linked Africa and Asia; the Bosporus region of northwestern Turkey connected Europe and the Middle East; the Daryal Gorge in the Caucasus Mountains of Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and southwestern Russia was used by the successive tribes that poured out of the European steppes into the Middle East; and the broad valley between the Altai Mountains and the Tien Shan mountain system of Central Asia provided the route by which Central Asian peoples swept westward.

Effects

Among the distinct effects of migration are the stimulation of further migration through the displacement of other peoples; a reduction in the numbers of the migrating group because of hardship and warfare; changes in physical characteristics through intermarriage with the groups encountered; changes in cultural characteristics by adoption of the cultural patterns of peoples encountered; and linguistic changes, also effected by adoption.

Anthropologists and archaeologists have traced the routes of many prehistoric migrations by the current persistence of such effects. Blond physical characteristics among some of the Berbers of North Africa are thought to be evidence of an early Nordic invasion, and the Navajo and Apache of the southwestern United States are believed to be descended from peoples of northwestern Canada, with whom they have a linguistic bond. The effects of migration are particularly evident in North, Central, and South America, where peoples of diverse origins live together with common cultures.

History

Among the most far-reaching series of ancient migrations were those of the peoples who spread the Indo-European family of languages. See the entry about the history of migration here.

Source: “Migration”Microsoft® Encarta® Online Encyclopedia

See Also

Nationalism
International institutions
Theory of Law
Government
List of Institutions and Multilateral Treaties with Pacific Settlement of Disputes among Members
International human rights law
Theories of Criminal Opportunity
Natural Law

Migration and Foreign Policy

Introduction

As a record number of migrants cross the Mediterranean Sea to find refuge in Europe, the continent is struggling to come up with an adequate response. Although Europe’s refugees are largely fleeing conflicts in Syria, Iraq and parts of Africa, their struggle is hardly unique. Today, with the number of displaced people at an all-time high, a number of world powers find themselves facing a difficult question: how can they balance border security with humanitarian concerns? More importantly, what can they do to resolve these crises so as to limit the number of displaced persons?[1]

Migration (in the Human Development Area)

In this context, Migration means:

Movement of people from one country to another and living outside of their place of origin for at least one year.

Related Fields

Related topics include:

International Organization

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Foreign Relations

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Intergovernmental Organization

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Regional Organization

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Regional Integration

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Migration

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Internal Migration

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Immigration Law

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Related Fields

Related topics include:

Migration

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Internal Migration

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Immigration Law

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Resources

See Also

  • International Organization
  • Foreign Relations
  • Intergovernmental Organization
  • Regional Organization
  • Regional Integration
  • Migration
  • Internal Migration
  • Immigration Law

Resources

Notes and References

1. Source: the Foreign Policy Association.

See Also

Hierarchical Display of Migration

Social Questions > Migration
International Organisations > World organisations > World organisation > International Organisation for Migration

Migration

Concept of Migration

See the dictionary definition of Migration.

Characteristics of Migration

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Resources

Translation of Migration

Thesaurus of Migration

Social Questions > Migration > Migration
International Organisations > World organisations > World organisation > International Organisation for Migration > Migration

See also

  • Rate of migration
  • Rhythm of migration

Hierarchical Display of Migration

Social Questions

Migration

Concept of Migration

See the dictionary definition of Migration.

Characteristics of Migration

[rtbs name=”xxx-xxx”]

Resources

Translation of Migration

Thesaurus of Migration

Social Questions > Migration

See also

  • Economist
  • Economics science researcher
  • Economics analyst
  • Business economist

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