The Political Economy of International Labour Migration


191 pages
Contains Bibliography, Index
ISBN 1-551640-17-1
DDC 331.12'791





Reviewed by Joseph Garcea

Joseph Garcea is a professor of political Studies at the University of


This book examines the political, economic, and social implications of
labour migration from south-east Asia—particularly Pakistan—to the
major oil-producing states of the Middle East and Libya. Using a
political economy approach, it focuses on the effect of migrant workers
on perceptions of politics, economics, and society in Pakistan.

While the author acknowledges the direct economic benefits of migrant
labor, he finds little empirical support for the propositions that such
worker: “(a) bring with them savings for investment, enhanced skills
and entrepreneurial spirit, (b) acquire attitudes and aspirations
favourable to material success, and (c) are willing to deviate from the
traditional norms of their cultural communities, thereby contributing to
the breakdown of social rigidities.” Gardezi also provides interesting
insights into the socioeconomic conditions and imperatives that sustain
the migrant-worker phenomenon, in both the home and host countries;
valuable explanations of various theoretical perspectives on the
phenomenon; and useful research instruments that can be used for field
studies of the phenomenon.

Although it does not deal with migrant workers in Canada, this lucid
and relatively jargon-free book contains insights that may be of some
use to policymakers, interest groups, and academics who deal with labour
migration in this country.


Gardezi, Hassan N., “The Political Economy of International Labour Migration,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 18, 2024,