Gendering the Politics of Migration

Although every aspect of the migration process is shaped by political factors and migration presents many political challenges on the domestic and international levels, the attention of political scientists in the United States and Europe has been limited to relatively few topics, including control over entry and exit, and issues of incorporation and citizenship. Work that considers the political aspects of migration from a gender perspective constitutes an even smaller body of work. In considering the contribution that political science might make to our understanding of gendered migration, this essay points both to some pioneering studies of gendered patterns of migration and incorporation, and also to the growing concern with gender among international organizations and policy makers. Interestingly, the essay shows that it is scholars in neighboring disciplines who have more often have taken up questions of governance and the development of gender-fair policy towards migrants. The essay raises questions about the relationship between disciplinary boundaries and topical areas and also about the ways in which regional contexts shape the nature of scholarly inquiry by contrasting work on Asia with that in Europe and the United States.

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