Thematic Panel 10- The Care-Migration Systems Nexus: De-centring ‘global north’ perspectives

Convenors- Majella Kilkey (University of Sheffield, UK) & Loretta Baldassar (Edith Cowan University, Australia)

Care regimes¹ captures the societal organisation of care and its underpinning norms and values on what constitutes appropriate care. Initially analysed as contained within the boundaries of nation states, care regimes are nowadays characterised as transnational. Such understanding entails a reframing away from multiple bounded and discrete national care systems, towards a global care system linking places and people across an unequal world, and comprising global and sub-global hierarchies and networks of boundary-spanning connections, interactions and effects. 

Understanding care regimes as transnational requires attending to their intersections with migration regimes – ‘the migration policies and their outcomes that collectively reflect the admission and settlement of foreign-born people over time’². Migration regimes are shaped by hierarchical and unequal historical and contemporary connections between nation states, through colonial and postcolonial ties, trade arrangements, and other economic and political associations. 

The care-migration systems nexus – the complex and dynamic assemblages of care and migration policies and practices, formal and informal, shaping the transnational social fields of migrants’ lives – captures care and migration regime intersections. Scholarship on the care-migration systems nexus centres the perspectives of the ‘Global North’. To the extent that the ‘Global South’ is included, it is mainly in relation to the ‘care drain’ resulting from the outward migration of care-workers.

We invite papers centring the ‘Global South’ in analysis of the care-migration systems nexus. Areas of enquiry include, care-related migration to and within the ‘Global South’, care arrangements and relationships of return migrants to the ‘Global South’ and care arrangements and relationships of migrants from the ‘Global South’ residing in countries of the ‘Global North’. While we expect papers will be mainly empirical, we will consider conceptual and policy papers. Panellists will be invited to contribute to an Edward Elgar Handbook on Migration and Care (co-editors Kilkey and Baldassar). 


¹ Bettio, F. and J. Plantenga (2004), ‘Comparing care regimes in Europe’, Feminist Economics, 10 (1), 85–113.

² Boucher, A. and J. Gest (2018), Crossroads. Comparative Immigration Regimes in a World of Demographic Change, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Pg.4