SOAS Research Online

A Free Database of the Latest Research by SOAS Academics and PhD Students

[skip to content]

Surak, Kristin (2018) 'Migration Industries and the State: Guestwork Programs in East Asia.' International Migration Review, 52 (2). pp. 487-523.

Text - Accepted Version
Download (511kB) | Preview


Studies of migration industries have demonstrated the critical role that border-spanning businesses play in international mobility. To date, most research has focused on meso-level entrepreneurial initiatives that operate in a legal gray area under a state that provides an environment for their growth or decline. Extending this work, the present article advances a taxonomy of the ways states partner with migration industries based on the nature of their relationship (formal or informal) and the type of actor involved (for-profit or non-profit). The analysis focuses on low-paid temporary migrant work programs — schemes that require substantial state involvement to function — and examines cases from the East Asian democracies with strong economies that have become net importers of migrants: Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea. The conclusion, incorporating cases beyond Asia, explicates the properties and limits of each arrangement based on the degree of formality and importance of profit.

Item Type: Journal Article
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Politics & International Studies
Legacy Departments > Faculty of Law and Social Sciences > Department of Politics and International Studies
ISSN: 17477379
Copyright Statement: © 2017 by the Center for Migration Studies of New York. All rights reserved. This is the version of the article accepted for publication in International Migration Review published by SAGE
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 22 Sep 2016 09:55
Funders: Other

Altmetric Data


Download activity - last 12 monthsShow export options
Downloads since deposit
6 month trend
6 month trend
Accesses by country - last 12 monthsShow export options
Accesses by referrer - last 12 monthsShow export options

Repository staff only

Edit Item Edit Item