1st Edition

International Health Worker Migration and Recruitment Global Governance, Politics and Policy

By Nicola Yeates, Jane Pillinger Copyright 2019
    300 Pages
    by Routledge

    298 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book is the first comprehensive study of international health worker-migration and -recruitment from the perspective of global governance, policy and politics.

    Covering 70 years of history of the development of this global policy field, this book presents new and previously unpublished data, based on primary research, to reveal for the first time that international health worker-migration-and -recruitment have been major concerns of global policy-making going back to the foundations of post-war international cooperation. The authors analyse the policies and programmes of a wide range of international organisations, from WHO, ILO and UNESCO to the IOM, World Bank and OECD, and feature extended analysis of bilateral agreements to manage health worker migration and recruitment, critiquing the claim that they work in the interests of all countries. Yeates’ and Pillinger’s ground-breaking analysis of global governance presents an assiduously researched study showing how the interplay and intersections of several global institutional regimes – spanning labour, migration, health, social protection, trade and business, equality and human rights – shape global policy responses to this major health care issue that affects all countries worldwide. It discusses the growing challenges to public health as a result of the globalisation of health labour markets, and highlights how global and national policy can realise the health and health-related Sustainable Development Goals for all by 2030.

    This research monograph will be of key interest to students and scholars of Global Governance, Global Public Policy, Global Health, Global Politics, Migration Studies, Health and Social Care, Social Policy and Development Studies. Policy makers and campaign activists, nationally and globally, will appreciate the practical relevance and applications of the research findings.

    1. The Global Dynamics of International Health-Worker Migration and -Recruitment

    2. Initiating a Global Policy Field: The Role of the UN

    3. Elaborating the Global Policy Field: The 1977 Nursing Personnel Recommendation

    4. The Rise of ‘Ethical Recruitment’: Momentum without Enforcement

    5. Implementing the WHO Global Code of Practice: Momentum Sustained?

    6. Bilateral Agreements: A Resurgent Feature of Global Policy

    7. The Global Campaign for Universal Health Coverage: The SDGs and Beyond

    8. Conclusions: Towards a New World Order for Health


    Nicola Yeates is Professor of Social Policy in the Department of Social Policy and Criminology at The Open University, UK. Notable books include Globalizing Care Economies and Migrant Workers (2009), Understanding Global Social Policy (2014), The Global Social Policy Reader (2009), World-regional Social Policy and Global Governance (2010), Social Justice (2008) and Globalization and Social Policy (2001).

    Jane Pillinger is an independent social policy researcher and policy advisor working in the areas of migration, employment and gender equality. She has carried out research and policy advice for global unions, social partner organisations, international organisations such as ILO, IOM and UNWomen, as well as national and European organisations and advocacy movements. She is a Visiting Research Fellow in the Department of Social Policy and Criminology at The Open University, UK.

    "This new text on one of globalization’s persistent ’wicked problems’ (international health migration) is a welcome and important addition to the literature for both its theoretical and empirical breadth, and its well-argued analyses of potential global governance ways forward. For national-level policy-makers it is a valuable reference that can, and should, inform how health worker migration might be better managed so that, in the parlance of the SDGs, ‘no one is left behind’." - Ronald Labonté, University of Ottawa, Canada.

    "While focusing on key international (governmental and non-governmental) organisations that shaped how the issue has been defined at each juncture, Yeates and Pillinger convincingly show how their interactions have been shaped by multiple overlapping institutional regimes at the global scale – not only health and migration, but also those governing social protection, labour, development, human rights and international trade and business. This is an extraordinary book that significantly extends and deepens current knowledge across different research fields. Their research will thus be of great interest not only to those concerned with health worker migration and recruitment, but also more broadly to students and researchers of global governance as well as of social and public policy more generally."Rianne Mahon, Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada.

    "The authors of this pathbreaking study creatively amalgamate the literatures on migration, global social policy and healthcare worker recruitment. The facts they reveal are stark. For example, Africa has only three per cent of the world’s health workers, but many are lost to overseas recruitment. Yeates and Pillinger argue that considerations of power, justice and social development need to be given more weight in the conventions governing global labour recruitment. The authors’ long experience, deep knowledge and palpable commitment to social justice lend authority to their analysis and recommendations." - Robin Cohen, University of Oxford, UK.

    "This important book offers the first historical account of efforts to advance collective action on international health worker migration over the past seventy years. Using a social policy lens, the authors weave together original research on a broad array of policies, spanning multiple sectors and organizational mandates. The result is a remarkable analysis which skillfully balances both the granular detail and normative complexity of this critical global governance challenge." - Kelley Lee, Simon Fraser University, Canada.

    "Nicola Yeates has always been at the cutting edge of analysis of the transfer of labor and resources from areas with inadequate health care to health richer zones. In similar fashion, her book with Jane Pillinger breaks new ground by raising the analytical lens from national policy formation to the need for 21st century global governance of transnational health labor recruitment and migration. Emphasizing the dangers of continuing the historical patterns of health brain drain, Yeates and Pillinger call for more equitable world-level policy formation." - Wilma A. Dunaway, Virginia Tech, USA.

    "This immensely valuable research monograph fills a gap in understanding the global institutional and regulatory frameworks governing the international flows of the health care workforce. It provides a foundational text for academic scholars, students and policy makers seeking to address a wide range of major contemporary social and health care policy issues, from control of pandemic diseases through health inequalities to the care of aging populations." - Sarah Cook, University of New South Wales, Australia.

    "The book makes an invaluable contribution to the study of global governance and transnational policy dynamics affecting international health worker migration and recruitment." - Lorraine Frisina Doetter, University of Bremen