Rose invokes Karl Popper’s declaration that we cannot tolerate the intolerant and argues that giving incidental offence should not restrict freedom of expression. In other words, he claims an intentional and principled act in defence of European values, while not anticipating reaction in the rest of the world. Rose knew then he would offend many Muslims in Denmark, but asks us to accept he was naive about reaction in the rest of the world. But if the problem for him was the lack of integration into Danish society of an immigrant population, surely the counterpart of that had to be the likelihood of reaction from those with whom they sustained close bonds, namely, Muslims elsewhere. General experience is that communities and governments retain a strong interest in diaspora citizens. Moreover, in adopting a role as defender of European, not simply Danish, values Rose contributes to the civilizational debate that preoccupies public intellectuals globally.

Finally, there was a global dimension to People Power II. New media technologies, especially the internet, enabled the global Filipino diaspora to participate more easily (Andrade-Jimenez 2001). Since overseas Filipinos are more sympathetic toward middle-class appeals, they added significantly to the oppositional force. Moreover, Estrada has been an outspoken nationalist for most of his political life. He was named the Most Outstanding Mayor and Foremost Nationalist in 1972 (Alfredson and Vigilar 2001). In 1991, he was the first senator to propose the termination of American military base in the Philippines. He therefore had little support from global capital or the US government, which would rather watch him being replaced by Gloria Arroyo, who was more westernised and represented middle-class interests.

Concepts and categories

Two classifications may be useful in theorising about migration. One is the distinction between voluntary and involuntary migration. The other is that between legal and illegal migration. This schema will be helpful in understanding migration. Thus slaves moved involuntarily, although, until the abolition of slavery, legally. Of course, some voluntary migration is illegal as it runs into legal barriers set up by host states. Illegal but voluntary migration constitutes a major problem for many developed countries. The US and Spain announce periodic amnesties for illegal migrants, which ex post facto legalises them. The categories of legal-involuntary and illegal-involuntary migration involve criminal behaviour and are matters for international policing authorities to control. The latter is not the focus of this chapter, which explores the movement of labour that is voluntary and legal. However, this distinction often becomes blurred in public debate and civil society responses to migration, which tend to conflate or ignore the differences between legal migrant worker, asylum seeker, refugee and ‘irregular’ or undocumented migrant. What is also rarely discussed in public debate about migration is the fact that the right to move is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It could be argued that legal barriers to voluntary migration should be progressively removed in a world where capital migration is so prized. This is an extreme liberal viewpoint and remains highly controversial; indeed, barriers to migration are increasing, fuelled by fears about national security and identity in the post-9/11 era, as well as by concerns about jobs, social security and health provision.

This chapter focuses on legal voluntary migration, which involves both skilled and unskilled labour, typically from South to North. Migration can be within national boundaries – rural-urban migration, for example – or across national boundaries. The focus here is on international migration. The chapter explores economists’ argument for the freer movement of labour which, unlike the freer movement capital, has found few champions. Unlike flows of other resources, such as goods and finance, labour migration is not only about economics but encompasses human rights, issues of identity and concerns about security. The post 9/11 context has injected a new dimension into the debate about migration, encouraged the emergence of new civil society groups, polarised political parties, and seen immigration rise on the political agenda in developed countries. This chapter outlines the ways in which these different arguments are represented by organisations and groups within global civil society.


On 1 April 2005, around 100 people occupied the office of the International Organisation for Migration in Paris, in protest at the oppression of migrants and against ‘Fortress Europe’ (Noborder 2005). This was just one of many demonstrations, part of the second European Day of Action for the Freedom of Movement and Right to Stay, which saw anti-capitalist networks, faith associations, migrant support groups, organisations for asylum seekers and refugees, and anti-racist groups demonstrate in cities across the continent. One of many organisations participating in the 1,000-strong London march on 2 April 2005, as the No border network, which campaigns for ‘freedom of movement, for the freedom for all to stay in the place which they have chosen, against repression and the many controls which multiply the borders everywhere in all countries’ (Noborder URL).

It is often the case that those who are attracted to extremist ideologies that are associated with terrorism are migrants, either from countryside to town or across borders (see Kaldor and Muro 2003).  In Chapter 4, Meghnad Desai discusses how old social-democratic concerns with welfare and distribution combine messily with communitarian cultural arguments about identity, security obsessions and plain racism to portray immigration as a risk to host societies, while neo-liberal economic arguments combine with a celebration of cultural diversity and support for the human right to move in favour of immigration. Both sides use combinations of economic reasoning and moral and emotional appeals. In the sending societies, concerns about heavy brain drain and again human rights concerns relating to the treatment of the migrants compete with the advantages of remittances in public discourse and government policy. Desai argues that anti-immigration lobbies have dominated the debate within global civil society and that those who favour the right to free movement need to be less defensive and to put their reasonable case to the test of public debate. In particular, the anti-capitalist movement has not been vocal on this issue, and advocacy of the pro-migrant position within anti-capitalist circles has been largely confined to a few peripheral anarchist and human rights groups.