Ageing, migration and development

2019-09-20T10:11:03Z (GMT) by Russell King Aija Lulle
Wary of further inflating what Carling (2017) has called the ‘nexification’ of the migration literature, this chapter brings into conversation with each other the established conceptual frame of the ‘migration-development nexus’ (Van Hear and Sørensen 2003; Faist et al. 2011), and the newly-coined ‘ageing-migration nexus’ (Lulle and King 2016, 5; King et al. 2017). We therefore construct ‘ageing-migration-development’ as a triple nexus which examines the various ways that ageing migrants (and non-migrants) interact with the process of ‘development’ through the medium of migration. The key focus of the chapter, ageing, is routinely left out of the general debate on migration and development, which tacitly assumes that migrants, as potential agents of development, either in their home countries or in the places they move to, are young and economically active. Where older people are brought into this debate, they are usually cast in a negative or problematic light – for instance as ‘left-behind’ in shrinking residual populations in peripheral regions, as responsible for the ‘crisis’ in pensions and healthcare provision affecting ageing societies, or as retirement migrants putting pressure on health services in attractive destination regions (Skeldon 1997, 87-88; Lucas 2005, 295-296). Yet, when introducing older migrants into the migration-development debate, we must be careful not to over-compensate their previous omission by an over-celebratory or exaggeratedly positive role. We pay heed, therefore, to the fragilities and vulnerabilities that they are also prone to.