Chinese migration: domestic and international dimensions

Flemming Christiansen, Department of East Asian Studies, Leeds
Heather Zhang, University of Chester

The paper examines how the institutions for domestic and international migration in China have changed over the last two decades. By analysing migration as an expression of unbalanced development, we argue that the institutions and policies that control China’s domestic and international migration flows have radically changed. The formal and informal boundaries separating the rural and urban spaces have been shifting, and intensifying globalisation has created new destinations for both domestic and international migrants. The paper aims to interpret the policies and institutional processes determining Chinese migrations, demonstrating how global and national developments affect their directions and patterns. It examines how policies seek to influence the behaviours of different migrant groups and to manipulate the parameters for unbalanced development on the one hand, and on the other how individuals and families exercise their agency in contesting the boundaries in pursuit of their own perceived interests, livelihoods and goals.

Presented in Session 60: Internal migration (2)