Reframing the Brain Drain
Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, Vol. 17(5): pp. 560–79, 2014
18 Pages Posted: 10 May 2016 Last revised: 11 May 2016
Date Written: 2014
Theorists concerned about the distributive effects of skilled emigration (‘brain drain’) often argue that its harmful effects can be justly mitigated by restricting emigration from sending countries or by limiting immigration opportunities to receiving countries. I raise moral and practical concerns against restricting the movement of skilled migrants and contend that conceptualizing the moral issue in these terms leads theorists to neglect the moral salience of institutions that determine the distributive effects of migration. Using an analogy to skilled migration in a domestic context, I argue for locating brain drain in a more holistic, institutional context that includes the reform of global institutions and of policies affecting migration.
Keywords: migration, brain drain, global justice, inequality
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