The history of the European migration regime: Germany’s strategic hegemony

by Emmanuel Comte

Emmanuel Comte's The History of the European Migration Regime (Routledge, 2018) looks at how the international migration regime in Europe after the Second World War took a course different from the global migration regime and the migration regimes in other regions of the world. On the basis of relevant national and international archives, it explains how German geopolitical and geo-economic strategies during the Cold War shaped the openness of that original regime. It highlights how the regime was instrumental for Germany to create a stable international order in Western Europe after the war, conducive to German reunification, the rollback of Russian influence from Central Europe, and German economic expansion. The book embraces a large time frame, mostly between 1947 and 1992, and deals with all types of migration between and towards European countries: the movements of unskilled labourers, skilled professionals, and self-employed workers, along with the migrants’ family members, examining both their access to economic activity and their social and political rights.

This Q&A with the author accompanies the launch of the book on 10 May 2018, hosted by the Cambridge Forum on Geopolitics.