chapter  10
35 Pages

Bounded States in a Global Market: The Uses of International Labor Migrations

WithAristide R. Zolberg

Within a world of bounded states containing human aggregates that consider themselves family-like bodies with a common ancestry and a common destiny, international migration constitutes a deviance from the normal order of things. An ineluctable reality throughout modern history, the pervasiveness of control by states over the movement of people across their borders fosters a fundamental distinction between the internal and external segments of the global migratory stream. The critical turning point was the collapse of the financial regime established at Bretton Woods—the exchange system founded on a US dollar convertible into gold—as the result of a unilateral declaration by the United States in 1971. The dominant motif in the international political economy literature is the conflict between the evolving economic and technical interdependence of the globe and the continuing compartmentalization of the world political system composed of sovereign states. The structures established in the wake of World War II entailed something beyond ordinary agreements among states, such as treaties.