Geography - Globalisation, Migration and a Shrinking World

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  • Created on: 08-06-17 11:31

Global Systems and Globalisation

Global systems - connections and global flows of goods, money, people, tech, ideas. This can be extended to migrants and global patterns of migration. Ultimately, creating a 'shrinking world'. Factors creating a 'shrinking world' include transport, communication and media representation.

Globalisation - increasing economic, social, political, cultural, environmental and technological connections between countries and regions - create a 'borderless world'. As these continue to grow, regions and countries become more interdependent. The world is now a very small, interconnected place as a result.

Globalisation can be seen in the improved communication between people in different areas of the world - it's now instant; and also in the improved transport and communication links, which have increased trade, idea sharing and the spread of cultures.

Factors that encourage globalisation:

  • Transport: container ships, trans of bulky goods quick and easy. Air trans.
  • ICT developments: the internet, stallite communications enable tv and telephone comms, mobile phones enable people to communicate and access internet vastly, social networking.
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Globalisation - Continuation

Globalisation - integration in the realms of trade, economic relations and finance - also social relations, knowledge, culture, politics. Not new. Aided by the ICT revolution that has destroyed distance. Brands are known the world over and are potentially destroying local diversity.

- Financial Times.

It takes 4 forms:

  • economic (growth of TNCs at expense of Nat Governments)
  • environmental (creation of global problems that require global solutions)
  • cultural (increase of Western influence over aspects such as music and media) 
  •  political (increase in influence of Western democracies, the diffusion of state power to regional and international organisations, such as EU and UN, and an increase in the role of non-state actors; NGOs)

Free trade, internation orgs (WTO, IMF), TNCs, communications technology, transport technology, financial deregulation, consumers and the media have accelerated globalisation.

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Global Shift: Nokia Case Study


  • TNCs have branches in many countries - reduce costs. Lower costs = profts higher.
  • Keep costs low by opening factories and offices in regions of the world that have:
  • low labour costs
  • cheap land or building costs
  • low business rates (the tax paid by company)
  • Nokia are also constantly expanding to be close to customers, all over the globe. Nokia's products have masisve appeal.
  • Growth in phone ownership has been particularly strong in NICs. As consumers in LEDCs have become wealthier, Nokia has expanded its business into Asia, Africa, South America.
  • Therefore opened new sales offices in many NICs, located closer to these new customers.
  • Nokia employ a wide range - highly qualified (business managers etc), lowly qualified (assembly workers): chosen to locate assembly of basic products in NICs - wages lower
  • Europe - more highly trained R&D staff  - dev high tech, thus need highly trained
  • High tech products aimed at wealthier consumers, so makes sense to make them in Europe
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3.2.2 – Causes of International, economic migratio

What factors drive international out-migration? (Push factors)

  • Poverty
  • Primary commodity prices
  • Poor access to markets
  • Poor housing, education and medical care
  • Lack of job opportunities
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Case study: Bangladesh to the gulf states

  • The  number  of  officially  recorded  Bangladeshi  international  labour  migrants  increased  from around 300,000 in 2005 to 900,000 in 2008
  • Between  five and seven million Bangladeshis are currently  thought  to  work  abroad.   Of  these  about  two-fifths  are  thought  to  have  worked  in Gulf  states  between  1976  and  2009,  with  Saudi  Arabia  and  the  UAE  accounting  for  most
  • The  majority  of  migrants  are  unskilled  with  relatively  low  levels  of  formal education,  and  tend  to  work  in  agriculture,  construction  and  domestic  services
  • 60 per cent  of male Bangladeshi  migrants  move  to  Saudi  Arabia,  while  some  40  per  cent  of  Bangladeshi  female migrants travel to Kuwait
  • The  UAE is a third key destination for Bangladeshi Gulf migrants.
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Case study: Bangladesh to the gulf states

  • The most significant driver of Bangladeshi migration to the Gulf states is economic inequality. There  are  stark  differences  between  Bangladesh  and  Gulf  countries  in  income  levels, employment levels and standards of living.
  • Bangladesh ranked 146 out of 182 countries on  the Human Development Index and 112 out of 135 countries on the Human Poverty Index. Nearly 50 per cent of its population was said to subsist on less than US$1.25 per day and four-fifths on less than US$2 a day.
  • In  contrast, the economies and living standards of the oil rich Gulf have grown rapidly over the past four decades. The great expansion of infrastructure projects following the 1973 ‘oil boom’ led to a rapid increase in the demand for foreign labour
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Case study: Bangladesh to the gulf states

  • The World Bank also calculates  that  poverty  rates  have  fallen  from  70  per  cent  in  1971  to  40  per  cent  in  2005. Nevertheless, Bangladesh remains one of the most densely populated states in the world, again contributing to difficulty in securing sustainable livelihoods for all its citizens, particularly those dependent  on accessing land
  • Much of the country lies within a densely peopled, flood-prone delta. River bank erosion, floods, cyclones, rising sea levels and drought have all been identified as factors driving Bangladeshis to move
  • Bangladeshis  who  migrate  to  the  Gulf  do  so  to  improve  their  standard  of  living,  for  income maximisation and accumulation of wealth for future investment in Bangladesh
  • For a large number of rural households remittances are a major source of earning to maintain subsistence,  with studies  revealing  that  remittances  constituted  half  of  the  total income  of  these  rural  households
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Case study: Bangladesh to the gulf states

  • Bangladeshi  migrants  use remittances  to  pay off debts, or  invest  earnings in  physical  capital back  home,  including land and houses. They are also used to buy consumer items, such as televisions and mobile p hones. Such assets partly serve as status symbols, accumulation of which plays into the marriage and dowry system. Migration by men from rural Bangladesh is driven by the prospects of upward economic and social mobility
  • The availability of female employment contracts in the Gulf means that women  migrate to provide their families with a much needed income,  which  could  not  be  provided  from  the  land.  This  is  despite  the  cultural  expectation that men should act as the main breadwinners
  • The  population  of  Bangladesh  is  predominantly  Muslim  and  so  are  those  from  Gulf countries. The opportunity to visit Mecca in Saudi Arabia is a factor which facilitates migration to the region.
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Case study: Bangladesh to the gulf states

  • In  Bangladesh,  private  recruitment  agencies,  individual  recruiters,  sub -agents  of  registered recruitment agencies and travel agencies are important in encouraging and shaping the nature of  migration  flows
  • 14  per  cent  of  migrants decided to migrate to their current destination because it was too expensive to migrate to any other country
  • For Bangladeshi migrants, UAE emerges on average as the most costly destination, followed by Kuwait.  Gender also influences cost: the average cost of migration  for men has been estimated to be around US$1,400-2000, but for women the cost was only around half this amount
  • 67 per cent of Bangladeshi’s took a loan to cover partial or full costs of their migration.  Money  from  family  members  was  the  next  most  common  source  (41  per  cent), followed by selling of land (24 per cent), mortgaging of land (23 per   cent) and selling of other assets  (20  per  cent). 
  • The  most  marginalised  Bangladeshis  are  therefore  unable  to  access migration channels because they do not hold sufficient financial capital
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Case study: Bangladesh to the gulf states

  • The  various  migration  regimes  of  Gulf  states  have  also  shaped  migration  flows  from Bangladesh. Female migrants tend to select Kuwait as their destination because its labour laws are seen as more favourable than those in other Gulf countries.
  • There is a lot of short-term and circular migration to the Gulf States as well as permanent movement
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Case study – young Romanians leaving Romania?

  • Romania and Bulgaria joined the EU in 2007 
  • In 2014 the temporary restrictions on working rights were lifted for Romanian workers 
  • Some of this economic out migration is temporary and circular
  • Many of the workers work in Agriculture which is seasonal work
  • There is a ‘cluster’ of Romanian migrants in London and the South East where there is already a lack of affordable cheap rented property
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Romanian out-migration

  • Immigration can cause challenges to police forces in the UK, there are increased incidents of anti-social behaviour caused by the arrival of people who are unfamiliar with UK laws and customs
  • Language barriers can prove difficult at first and can cause problems in the education and health services
  • Most European migrants integrate well but there can be tensions when arrivals are unfamiliar with UK culture and traditions
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Romanian out-migration

  • GDP per capita is lower in Bulgaria and Romania, than in the UK -
  • Romania: 8405. UK: 39038
  • Set up camps in Edmonton, London - 40 men built shacks on land belonging to Transport for London. Unemployed men, looking for work.
  • No. of Romanians and Bulgarians workingin UK has risen by 15% year-on-year - ONS
  • In last 3 months of 2014, there were 172,000 people working in UK who were born in one of the two countries
  • Figure is 22,000 more than the same period in 2013
  • Jan 2014, gained same rights to work in UK as other EU citizens
  • EU workers in UK rose by 200,000 (10.5%) to almost 1.9 mil.
  • Biggest rise among migrants from A8 countries (Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic)
  • 223,000 pop in 2013 (Romanians in the UK) - 179,000 nat insurance number registrations (highest nationality in the UK 2015-16)
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Romanian out-migration

  • Reaching estimated 223,000 in 2015 - more nat ins numbers were issued to Romanians than any other nationality int he year to March. Allows to work and claim benefits.
  • Office for Nat Stats, no. of Romanians in UK rose from 128,000 in 2013 dramatically with the full opening of the UK labour market to Romanians and Bulgarians 2014 -
  • Growth in net migration for 2015 from EU countries came largely from Romanians and Bulgarians - Romanians made up by far the biggest group of EU citizens requesting NI numbers in the past year
  • Biggest job market for men - construction
  • Some argue building sites would grind to a halt without them.
  • But... if housing market stalls, many would risk losing jobs. Knock on effect on livlihood.
  • Director of a recruitment agency for Romanians in north London - says even after June referendum, there has been strong demand for bricklayers and plumbers, also for doctors and nurses.

The Future - Brexit

  • Vote to leave EU has stunned most Romanians who live here; levels of anxiety in community were heightened by headlines in Romania itself - 'All Romanians to be kicked out of Britain after referendum'
  • Many have felt increasingly vulnerable, although the surge of xenophobic abuse directed at Polish people has not been reported by Romanians.
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