The book is a rich piece of scholarship that makes a contribution at the levels of history, theory, and policy, and deserves to be widely read and considered.
Alexander Betts, University of Oxford
The link between migration and development has risen on the agenda of the international community in recent years and global level dialogues have started. In her book, Saskia Koppenberg gives an in-depth analysis of the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD), the most important and most widely recognised dialogue. She provides striking insights into the theories that lie behind the subjects that dominate the GFMD and identifies the perspectives which have so far been neglected. By investigating which migrants are addressed, what the dominant development approach is, how migrants are expected to contribute to development, and who the targeted beneficiaries are, Koppenberg makes the GFMD accessible to the academic and public discourse.
With regard to the 2-year assessment process evaluating the GFMD which is set to conclude by the end of 2012, the study provides valuable recommendations for the ways in which a more successful and comprehensive GFMD can be attained in the future. Koppenberg broadens the perspective and takes a look at other global level dialogues beyond the GFMD. The study includes a comparative analysis of the UNHCR-led dialogue on Targeting Development Assistance (TDA), which discusses the link between forced migration and development. This perspective highlights how particular forms of migration and certain kinds of development dominate the debates, while others are left out. It reveals forced migrants have largely been absent from the GFMD agenda, despite the fact that their potential to be agents of development has been acknowledged.
While identifying the differences and commonalities in the prevalent subjects, concepts, and theories that link migration and forced migration to development in these two dialogues, a migrant-centred approach is introduced. This guides the reader's view towards the migrants' own development and their development perspectives, while keeping in mind that, in terms of agency vs. structure, the migration-development nexus builds upon the migrants' agency. Based on her study, Saskia Koppenberg argues that the traditional migration and development agenda of the GFMD should be broadened to include marginalised perspectives, and to offer a migrant-centred approach in order to provide a more comprehensive and effective global level dialogue on migration and development that ensures the migrants' well-being and leads to the highest possible impact on development.