Introduction to the Special Section
AbstractSeveral theories of international migration have emerged to explain and predict the patterns created by the international flows of people. While used as an explanatory tool for other sociological phenomena, world-systems analysis has also emerged as a dominant paradigm through which international migration may be explored. In April 2008 Fairfield University in Fairfield, CT hosted the thirty-second annual conference of the Political Economy of the World-System section of the American Sociological Association. The theme was Flow of People and Money across the World-System: Past, Present and Future. The collection of papers presented at this conference was academically rich and produced a wealth of scholarship, some of which is presented in this issue. Vernengo and Bradbury examine the risks associated with dollarization in Ecuador, arguing that although these risks are minimized by the influx of migrant remittances into the country, the trend remains unstable and unsustainable, as was evident in Argentina. Rocha deconstructs the optimistic visions that present remittances as an opportunity for developing countries, instead arguing that they are part and parcel of a process of economic imperialism. Dick and Jorgenson focus on environmental consequences of foreign investment dependence for less-developed countries and how various types of ecological degradation can contribute to mass migration. Kentor, Sobel and Timberlake discuss the hierarchy of global cities through which so much money flows back and forth, and specifically the spatiality of inter-corporate integration in the global economy such as the spatial distribution of intra-firm corporate headquarter-subsidiary networks operations and centrality in transportation networks. Lastly, Degirmen presents a case study of globalization of capital in Turkey and how interest and exchange rate shocks produced particularly interesting effects on capital and liquidity structures.
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