Whenever we hear the term – “International Migrations”, the first image which comes into our mind is of Rohingyas crossing the Myanmar Border and heading towards Bangladesh or India, or Syrian Refugees crossing the Mediterranean Sea to seek refuge in South European countries like Italy and Greece so that they could save their lives. The most famous picture related to this was a 2015 picture of a 6-years old Syrian Boy – Alan Kurdi, who was wearing a red T-Shirt and the whose dead body was found lying on the Turkish Mediterranean coast[1]. These all are the horrifying pictures of International Migrations which come into our mind, which shows how people from Africa and Asia which are less developed and unstable in comparison to the West, move towards the West or comparatively more developed countries of Asia or Africa, for saving their lives or earning money, etc. Further, in the Host Countries where these refugees are hosted, a sense of fear remains amongst the citizens as well as the Government of the Host Countries, primarily because of the change in the demographics of the country or a certain area of the country as that particular area starts to attract more migrants from other parts of the world, the classic example of this being the state of Assam in India where frequent violent clashes between Indian citizens and Bangladeshi migrants are evident. Refugee and Migrant Politics plays a major role in various countries like Germany. These all show how international migrations have a negative relationship to stability and development, but one of the aspects which very few people discuss & emphasize is the relationship between International Migrations & Development. International Migrations play a very major role in the development not only for the host country, i.e., the country where the migrants move to or the country of origin, i.e., the country from where the migrants have moved, but, for both the countries. Further, another positive impact which International Migrations bring to society is to enhance multiculturalism in society and create a society based on organic solidarity (as described by famous sociologist – Emile Durkheim)[2]. This article mainly focuses on the positive impacts of International Migrations, mainly, pertaining to DEVELOPMENT & how it even leads to the growth of Multiculturalism in a society which leads to the creation of an ‘Organic Society’, as described by famous French Sociologist Emile Durkheim.


Firstly, the focus of this article will be on how international migrations lead to development, which in itself is a very less acknowledged relationship as many people do not associate these two terms generally and consider them to be opposite.

So, we will first look at how International Migrations and Development are related to each other, i.e., what is the relationship between them.

International Migrations & Development: The Relationship

In a win-win-win strategy for host countries, countries of origin, and migrants themselves, host countries and countries of origin seek to use migrants and their activities (remittances, diaspora knowledge transfer, co-development associations) as a factor in the development of their countries of origin while addressing workforce and population growth shortages in host countries. Is it possible to foresee personal growth through exile? The relationship between migration and development is one of the most contentious topics in scientific and political debates, splitting pessimists and optimists alike. After a period of economic migration closure (the end of the bracero programme in the United States in 1965 and the suspension of wage labour immigration in Europe from 1973 or 1974, depending on the country), when the focus was on return and remittances were viewed as ineffective, a new strategy known as co-development has emerged[3]. Due to the failure of return policies in the 1990s, this host-country policy has supported migrant initiatives in their home countries through development groups, remittances, and diasporas, in collaboration with Southern countries[4].

At the same time, the brain drain, a contentious subject in North-South disputes, was seen as a source of economic strength in the South, particularly in the United States, which has attracted highly educated migrants. This windfall can lead to a scarcity in the nation of origin: there are more Malawian physicians in Manchester than there are in Malawi, and one-quarter of doctors born in Africa do not practise there[5]. However, in India and China, where minds and entrepreneurs who have gone overseas create development poles in their home countries, the brain drain is critical to development. In a global competition to attract the elites, European countries like the United Kingdom, Germany, and to a lesser extent France attempted, around the turn of the century, to reopen their borders, which had been closed for thirty years, to technological skills from across the world. These qualified employees, who are underemployed in their home countries, establish a link that encourages growth under particular conditions through cash transfers and the networks they form. After that, the brain drain becomes a brain gain. This makes immigration a source of shared income (win-win) rather than exacerbating the split, as some historical research has found.

Because migratory migrations from Southern Europe to Northern Europe ended or declined dramatically throughout their economic development and transition to democracy in the past, development has long been seen as an alternative to migration in public discourse. Economic and political development were both important during the time. This is also true in Eastern Europe, where back-and-forth migrations are fueled in part by the desire, then realisation, of membership in the European Union. The equation “more aid, fewer migration” appears to be an illusory solution in southern countries, because the notion that help means growth, then poverty alleviation, and lastly departures is untrue. Civil conflict prevention, anti-corruption efforts, and migration flow management to ensure mobility are frequently absent, and investment in the country is contingent on migrant faith in the countries they have left. Long-term, development, particularly demographic transition, is expected to alleviate the most severe pressures of low-skilled migrants, yet migration and development coexist in the short term. Exile is an element in development, and development is a factor in exile.

International Migrations & Development: A Self-Sustaining Phenomenon

This rationale was largely based on what transpired in Southern Europe, which until the 1980s was a key departure point for the rest of Europe. Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Greece were emigration hotspots[6]. The demise of various totalitarian governments, entrance to the European Union, and, for some nations like Italy and especially Spain, an economic boom that dramatically altered these countries put an end to this condition. As a result, it was thought that development would provide an alternative to migration for the developing world, not only Europe. Other factors, on the other hand, were ignored. For example, unlike Southern European countries, these countries are not joining the EU[7]. There was no population decline, nor was there an economic miracle, as there was in Southern Europe. Today, we can see that migration and development are in some ways interdependent. Migration spurs development, but development spurs migration as well. Because one component of migration, as we indicated in the first sequence, is variations in human development indices, migration leads to development.

Amartya Sen, a Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences, was the first to quantify human development, attempting to quantify three parameters: life expectancy at birth, educational attainment, and standard of living. By combining these factors, we can see that Sub-Saharan Africa is among the world’s least developed countries, as well as a major source of emigration. Migration is not the only result of human development.

This money is invested in the human development of the departing nations, not necessarily in the development and creation of jobs. Families who receive funding have the option to enhance their consumption. They have access to schools, improved health, and local community facilities such as water conveyance and electric distribution networks, all of which contribute to human development. The funds provide insurance in low-income nations, economic insurance to offset insecure work, health insurance, and insurance against political upheavals that could destabilise the population. Departure countries rely heavily on migration and money transfers, which totalled 420 billion dollars last year between migrants and their home countries. Migrants contribute three times the amount of official development support to development. The money makes the country of origin reliant on the transfers, resulting in a virtuous and vicious migration circle. The Philippines is one country that significantly relies on transfers. One in every ten Filipinos lives in another country. As we saw in Italy, Japan, the United States, and the Gulf States, the majority of them are women caregivers. Because they usually live at the home of the person they look after, they were back the majority of their pay. Filipino males frequently work as skippers for shipping businesses[8]. This country is significantly reliant on money transfers. These transfers can result in not only human growth, but also economic development when migrants, such as those in India, establish jobs in their home country. For example, because of the English language and the time difference, Indian doctors can email their X-ray analysis to be used for surgeries the next day in the United States. The migrants in China, which has 50 million individuals residing abroad compared to India’s 30 million, invest in their home regions in Southeast China[9]. Migration, on the other hand, not only promotes development but also human development, which leads to more mobility. People worldwide, including on the African continent, are better educated and comprehend the benefits of money transfers. Education has advanced greatly, and health has improved. People can now envision a different future and are no longer as pessimistic as their forefathers, who waited for better times to transform their lives. The more a country’s human development improves, the more mobility emerges as a kind of modernity, as a way of life. As a result, greater migration occurs as a result of human progress. This will be our situation for the rest of the century. People who live off transfers have a better life than the rest of the population, but they are also dependent on migration, like in the Philippines or the Senegal River Valley, where people who live off transfers have a better life than the rest of the population but are also dependent on migration. At the same time, everyone is thinking of relocating, sometimes for a long period. As a result, migration and development are mutually dependent, and development is no longer seen as a philanthropic choice, as it once was.


Remittances from migrants to their countries of origin help those who remain behind to live better: they totaled over 328 billion dollars in official transfers in 2008, more than three times official development assistance, which was estimated at 107 billion dollars in the same year; 14 billion euros were transferred by immigrants from the European Union to their countries of origin in 2005, equivalent to 20% of GDP in Cape Verde and 19% in Senegalese[10].

Transnational family, economic, and cultural networks form and evolve in both host and departure regions.

Migration may assist export unemployment and social discontent, or provide an outlet for the more qualified who want to advance their knowledge but can’t find work that matches their abilities in their home nations. Through decentralised local co-development initiatives, immigrants can become actors in development. Some historical research has even demonstrated that in the past, the migration of a major portion of the people in Scandinavian countries allowed those who remained to have better lives. However, migration can cause countries of origin to grow reliant on funds obtained from migrants in host countries, making families less combative and encouraging brain drain. Why do immigrants pay money, and the more they send, the lower their qualifications? To educate children, to improve the local population’s living conditions, and alleviate poverty. The migration of nurses or Filipino “badanti” (women caring for children or the elderly in Italy) leads to a brain drain among their children, for whom they offer educations, until they eventually leave[11]. So, do we truly wish to decrease migration? If migration and remittances contribute to their growth and help the families left in the country to live better lives, European policies that attempt to involve African governments of origin in the management of their illegal movement are likely to confront a double standard. However, many exiles do not contribute to development: 60% of global migrants do not leave the South, and two-thirds of refugees seek asylum in other Third World nations.

Development, on the other hand, frequently leads to migration.

Rural flight to the outskirts of big Southern conurbations is sparked by the rapid modernisation of agrarian structures, which is occasionally triggered by global development initiatives. Many Third World countries are in the same boat as Europe in the nineteenth century, when economic booms resulted in enormous rural emigration and urbanisation, with many people migrating abroad (Italy, United Kingdom, Germany)[12]. Individuals may be compelled to leave their home nations if they are undemocratic, corrupt, impoverished, or offer no opportunities. As a result, an increasing number of educated, urban, and knowledgeable migrants choose to migrate in order to live prosperous lives overseas since they believe there is no chance at home.

Finally, migration and development have frequently resembled a deafening discourse between nations of origin and host countries: countries of origin generally consider their migrants as positive, whereas host countries see them as negative and detrimental to their society. Since the mid-1970s, European and national policies have encouraged return (Germany in 1972, the Netherlands in 1975, France in 1977 with the “Stoléru million,” the Franco-Algerian return and training agreement in 1981, the French return and reinsertion programme in 1984, and the inter-ministerial delegation on migration and co-development in France in 1998)[13]. They were rarely successful since they paired return policies with a reintegration programme in the countries of origin without ensuring that local structures were ready for productive returns, with the hope that reintegration would stop migration. Treating migrants as development players may have been demagoguery, because not all immigrants are born entrepreneurs, and local administrative barriers are frequently overlooked.

Other attempts, inspired by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA, involving the United States, Canada, and Mexico), have attempted to replace exchange mobility for migration, but they have had no effect. The MEDA Euro-Mediterranean programmes, which were born out of the Barcelona process in 1995 and follow the same logic as NAFTA, have focused on developing partnerships between migrants and recipients in their home countries through better remittance collection and application (banking, micro-projects), without involving states in the implementation of collective projects (decentralized co-development: water or electricity distribution, road construction, rural tourism). Moroccans and Malians have frequently invested in these initiatives, which are supported by Europe or by the migrants themselves, through immigrant associations in the north and development associations in the south[14]. However, these projects are generally small and insignificant in the development of the nations of origin, with little chance of reversing the migration trend. Most migrants are driven by a desire to live the life they want, rather than by population pressure or acute poverty, via the modern odyssey of illegal border crossing when they have no other option. The short-term response of migration dynamics must be distinguished from the medium- or long-term response of development dynamics[15].


Secondly, the focus of this article will be on how international migrations lead to multiculturalism and will lead to the development of a society, which in itself is a very less acknowledged relationship as many people do not associate these two terms generally and consider them to be opposite.

So, we will first look at how International Migrations and Multiculturalism are related to each other, i.e., what is the relationship between them:


Citizenship can no longer be regarded just in terms of a one-dimensional cultural element. Countries like Canada and Australia have shifted their citizenship concepts, which were previously based on the myth of national homogeneity, by incorporating multiculturalism as a component of citizenship, transforming host societies’ identities by incorporating plural ethnicity among their constituents[16]. Citizenship is inextricably linked to multiculturalism in immigrant countries, just as liberalism, democracy, and multiculturalism are. This argument could be challenged by saying that many great empires (Russia, Turkey, Austria-Hungary) were multi-ethnic and that multiculturalism was occasionally used as a tool of power (Turkish Empire). Transnationalism has emerged as a key conceptual paradigm in recent decades, with transnational citizenship seen as an inevitable growth in post-modern nations (Bauböck, 1994). This expression of citizenship across borders goes beyond the nation-state, which has become unable to deal with the repercussions of economic globalisation and the ethnic issue. Traditional citizenship models are being challenged by new kinds of global citizenship imposed by mobility as a way of life, the fluidity of border crossing, and the intensity of transnational ties.

Transnationalism applied to citizenship in political science has been elucidated by Yasmine Soysal and Rainer Bauböck, as well as Linda Basch and Nina Glick Schiller in sociology. Faced with the rise of states (“concert of nations”), then multilateralism (“concert of institutions”), we are witnessing an “exasperation of the dynamic of states/networks,” in the words of Rainer Bauböck: today’s transnational state is thought to be attacked less by international organisations than by non-state actors. He examines the concept of citizenship from this standpoint. It is described as a membership-based on geography, residency, descent, tacit and subjective permission (Hobbes), or explicit participation (Rousseau). Admission (access to nationality) or departure can disclose links (expatriation rules)[17]. However, in circumstances of dual responsibilities (military duty), dual nationality or citizenship suppression (Vichy Jews, Jews under Nazism by the Nuremberg laws), or protracted emigration resulting in the loss of nationality, membership can be more ambiguous or difficult. According to Rainer Bauböck, citizenship should be founded on voluntary membership and open access. Thus, rather than not moving, voluntary immigration in a country would transmit implied permission. Leaving the area (or “voting with one’s feet”) implies a commitment to a brighter future[18].

The entire hierarchy of memberships is then based on an inclusion/exclusion logic, from jus sanguinis (which perpetuates foreigners’ non-belonging for centuries, although jus soli simply denies membership to the first generation) to refoulement, expulsion, and exile. However, the voluntary association may run counter to a liberal and democratic country’s idea because it might limit citizenship to membership in a club, similar to joining a congregation, a mediaeval city, or a nineteenth-century commercial or financial corporation. As a result, citizenship must be open and closed, communal and individual, allowing for flight and accession, representation, and the freedom to self-determination. The right to migration poses the most difficult question: could a transnational concept include freedom of movement between states? According to Bauböck, the right to migrate should be viewed as a long-term aim, consistent with Kant’s notion of world citizen (1795 treatise on perpetual peace). In the near term, states’ responses are frequently negative, in part to preserve the rights associated with citizenship; the concept of belonging to distinct political communities may thus justify limits. Only privileges reserved for permanent foreign residents, the option of naturalisation, and respect for human rights may be guaranteed. Unless we assume a parallel universe in which the right to emigrate is no longer relevant because people do not wish to go, the trend is in the opposite direction. Economic globalisation and modern society’s mobility act in the other direction, bringing isolated and self-sufficient nation-states to an end[19].


In order to understand how are “international migrations” and “establishment of a society based on organic solidarity” are related, we have to first know on what basis Emile Durkheim, differentiated the two solidarities on which a society is established, i.e., (i) “Mechanical Solidarity” & (ii) “Organic Solidarity”.

  • A society based on Mechanical Solidarity

Such a kind of solidarity is mainly present in a society which is “homogeneous” in nature. Homogeneity can be based on any of the parameters which lead to the development of a “collective conscience” amongst the people living in a society, on the basis of religion, language, race, creed, caste, etc. The binding force amongst the people living in such a society is the “oneness” amongst the people which leads to the development of a collective conscience amongst the people[20]. These societies are generally small in size where people are socially integrated to the society and each other because of the sharing of common beliefs and culture.

In such a kind of society, the division of labour is simple[21]. Further, the people are so much integrated that the rules are strict for those who shows deviance from societal rules and thus, breaks the social integration of the society, i.e., the laws in such a kind of society are “repressive”[22].

  • Society based on Organic Solidarity

Such a kind of solidarity is mainly present in a society which is “heterogeneous” or “multicultural” in nature. With the increase in the density of population, migration, etc. a society becomes bigger with different people having different beliefs, cultures, religions, languages, etc. living in the same society. Due to the difference in beliefs and cultures, the people lack a social integration on the basis of “common beliefs” & “collective conscience[23], rather the integration in a society like this is mainly on the basis of “INTER-DEPENDENCE” because of the mutual-needs which everyone have in a modern society which consists of diversity[24]. Hence, the social integration, in this case, “arises out of the need of individuals for one another’s services”. Further, the diversity and multiculturalism is healthy for a society because it leads to the generation of various values amongst the people in a society, like “tolerance” as every community will have to compromise with other communities for the better existence and peace in a society. Also, the laws present in a society based on “Organic Solidarity” are restitutive in nature because of the tolerant nature of the society and more focus on the reformation of the criminals[25]. As per Britannica, “Society relies less on imposing uniform rules on everyone and more on regulating the relations between different groups and persons, often through the greater use of contracts and laws.[26], in case of a society based on organic solidarity.

After the brief description and understanding of the types of solidarity as described by famous French Sociologist Emile Durkheim, we can definitely predict that a multicultural society falls under the category of a “society based on organic solidarity”. One of the factors behind multiculturalism is “International Migrations” which facilitates the movement of people from different backgrounds to live together in a particular place. Thus, it is also a positive impact which “International Migrations” brings along with it, i.e., creation of a society based on organic solidarity which leads to:

  1. Tolerance towards minorities[27]
  2. Restitutive system of law which focuses on reformation of criminals[28]
  3. Learning of new cultures by people belonging to different cultures[29]
  4. Creation of a more peaceful society[30]
  5. Lower Prejudices towards certain communities or cultures.[31]

These were some of the positive sides of a multicultural and heterogeneous society based on Organic Solidarity. Although, there are some negative sides to it too, like, at instances clashes between different communities can be witnessed on a particular issue but, overall a multicultural society is a more progressive, tolerant and peaceful.


At last, I would like to conclude by emphasizing and accepting the point that international migrations have a lot of negativities like, it leads to a demographic change in a particular society or the existing culture of society gets affected in a negative manner if the influx happens in large numbers or even, at some instances there is a threat to national security, for example, the Government of India stated Rohingyas as a threat to national security because of their links to various Terrorist Organizations[32], etc.

But, looking from one side only is also not correct as it doesn’t provide a holistic approach to the debate. Further, in the case of international migrations, the positive sides are much acknowledged by the people. Hence, this article helps us to understand the two positive sides of international migrations, i.e., development and multiculturalism, which are explained above.

[1] Bryan Walsh, Alan Kurdi’s Story: Behind The Most Heartbreaking Photo of 2015, TIME, (Dec. 29, 2015, 2:24 PM),

[2] Ronald Skeldon, Interlinkages between internal and international migration and development in the Asian region, 12(1) POPULATION, SPACE AND PLACE, 15-30 (2005).

[3] J. Edward Taylor, International Migration And Economic Development, 9 INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON INTERNATIONAL MIGRATION AN DEVELOPMENT, 3-29 (2006).

[4] Jose Antonio Alonso, International Migration and Development: A Review in light of the crisis, 11(E), CDP BACKGROUND PAPER, 21-32 (2011).

[5] J. Edward Taylor, International Migration And Economic Development, 9 INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON INTERNATIONAL MIGRATION AN DEVELOPMENT, 3-29 (2006).

[6] Id.

[7] Jose Antonio Alonso, International Migration and Development: A Review in light of the crisis, 11(E), CDP BACKGROUND PAPER, 21-32 (2011).

[8] Jose Antonio Alonso, International Migration and Development: A Review in light of the crisis, 11(E), CDP BACKGROUND PAPER, 21-32 (2011).

[9] Id.

[10] Id.

[11] J. Edward Taylor, International Migration And Economic Development, 9 INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON INTERNATIONAL MIGRATION AN DEVELOPMENT, 3-29 (2006).

[12] Id.

[13] J. Edward Taylor, International Migration And Economic Development, 9 INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON INTERNATIONAL MIGRATION AN DEVELOPMENT, 3-29 (2006).

[14] Id.

[15] Jose Antonio Alonso, International Migration and Development: A Review in light of the crisis, 11(E) CDP BACKGROUND PAPER, 21-32 (2011).

[16] Eva G.T. Green & Christian Staerkle, Migration and Multiculturalism, 2 OXFORD HANDBOOK OF POLITICAL PSYCHOLOGY, 852-889 (2013).

[17] Id.

[18] Id.

[19] Eva G.T. Green & Christian Staerkle, Migration and Multiculturalism, 2 OXFORD HANDBOOK OF POLITICAL PSYCHOLOGY, 852-889 (2013).

[20] Mechanical and Organic Solidarity, BRITANNICA,

[21] Id.

[22] V.D. MAHAJAN, JURISPRUDENCE & LEGAL THEORY 525 (Eastern Book Company 2021).

[23] Mechanical and Organic Solidarity, BRITANNICA,

[24] Id.

[25] V.D. MAHAJAN, JURISPRUDENCE & LEGAL THEORY 525 (Eastern Book Company 2021)

[26] Mechanical and Organic Solidarity, BRITANNICA,

[27] Advantages & Disadvantages of Multiculturalism, ENVIRONMENTAL CONSCIENCE,

[28] Id.

[29] Id.

[30] Id.

[31] Id.

[32] Bharti Jain, Illegal Rohingya pose threat to national security, says government, THE TIMES OF INDIA, (Jul. 20, 2021, 23:19)

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Anand Vardhan is a 2nd year B.A.LL.B. student at Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar.