1st Edition

International Labour Migration to Europe’s Rural Regions

Edited By Johan Fredrik Rye, Karen O'Reilly Copyright 2021
    274 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    274 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    Emerging in the throes of a global pandemic that threatens Europe’s economies and food security, International Labour Migration to Europe’s Rural Regions combines a diverse range of empirically rich, in-depth case studies, analysis of their rural context specificities, and insights from labour market and migration theories, to critically examine the conditions and implications of rural labour migration.

    Despite its growing political, economic and social importance, our understanding of international labour migration to Europe’s rural regions remains limited. This edited volume provides intricate descriptions of lived experience, critical theoretical analyses, analytical synthesis, and policy recommendations for this novel and developing phenomenon that has the potential to transform the lives of international migrants and local communities. The book’s 25 authors represent a wide range of social science disciplines, with coverage of a vast range of Europe’s rural regions, and diverse types of rural labour in areas such as horticulture, shepherding, wild berry picking and fish processing.

    The volume will be of interest to policy makers at local, regional, national and European levels, and scholars and students in a broad range of areas, including migration, labour markets, and rural studies.

    This book is available for free in PDF format as Open Access from the individual product page at www.routledge.com.

    Section I: Transforming Europe’s Rural Industries

    1. New Perspectives on International Labour Migration to Europe’s Rural Regions

    Johan Fredrik Rye and Karen O’Reilly

    2. Are the Guest-worker Programmes Still Effective? Insights from Romanian Migration to Spanish Agriculture

    Monica Șerban, Yoan Molinero Gerbeau and Alexandra Deliu

    3. The Social and Spatial Mobility Strategies of Migrants: Romanian Migrants in Rural Greece

    Loukia-Maria Fratsea and Apostolos Papadopoulos

    4. Ghettos, Camps and Dormitories: Migrant Workers' Living Conditions in Enclaves of Industrial Agriculture in Italy

    Cristina Brovia and Valeria Piro

    5. Lessons from the Mountains: Mobility and Migrations in Euro-Mediterranean Agro-Pastoralism

    Daniella Farinella and Michele Nori

    6. Temporary Farmworkers and Migration Transition: On a Changing Role of the Agricultural Sector in International Labour Migration to Poland

    Agata Gorny and Paweł Kaczmarczyk

    7. ‘Living on the Edge’? A Comparative Study of Processes of Marginalization among Polish Migrants in Rural Germany and Norway

    Jakub Stachowski and Kamila Fialkowska

    8. Changing Labor Standards and ‘subordinated Inclusion’: Thai Migrant Workers in the Swedish Forest Berry Industry

    Aina Tollefsen, Charlotta Hedberg, Madeleine Eriksson and Linn Axelsson

    Section II: Transforming Europe’s Rural Societies

    9. Agricultural Employers’ Representation and Rationalisation of Their Work Offer: The ‘Benevolent Moderator’

    Johan Fredrik Rye and Sam Scott

    10. Emotions and Community Development after Return Migration in the Rural Arctic

    Marit Aure and Larissa Riabova

    11. Does International Labour Migration Affect Internal Mobility in Rural Norway?

    Marie Holm Slettebak

    12. ‘If We Do Not Have the Pickers, We Do Not Have the Industry’: Rural UK under a Brexit Shadow

    Keith Halfacree

    Section III: Concluding Remarks

    13. Farm Labour in California and Some Implications for Europe

    Philip Martin

    14. The (Re)Production of the Exploitative Nature of Rural Migrant Labour in Europe

    Karen O’Reilly and Johan Fredrik Rye


    Johan Fredrik Rye is Professor in sociology at the Department of Sociology and Political Science at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. He has studied varies forms of mobility in late modern societies, including international labour migration, domestic migration of youths, and leisure mobilities, combining a range of qualitative and quantitative materials and research methods. Rye is currently leading the international comparative research project Global Labour in Rural Societies (Glarus).

    Karen O’Reilly is Emeritus Professor of Sociology, at Loughborough University, and an Independent Research Academic. She has been researching migration since the early 1990s and is author of numerous books and articles including The British on the Costa del Sol, Ethnographic methods, and International Migration and Social Theory. She is currently co-investigator on the ESRC-funded project Brexit Brits Abroad, and is on the International Advisory Board of Glarus.

    "The global pandemic has painfully shown how international labour migration is essential to Europe’s economy and food security. Indeed the role of migration in revitalizing rural communities in Europe and in keeping agriculture afloat cannot be overstated. This is a timely and much needed book that investigates the social and economic implications of international labour migration to Europe’s rural regions from both empirical and analytical perspectives."

    Anna Triandafyllidou, Ryerson University, Canada

    "This is book is a must-read for anyone interested in understanding the phenomenon of internal rural migration in Europe, its diversity of local practices and similarity in outcomes for social groups, rural industries and rural societies across and within countries in Europe. It is the combination of empirically rich, in-depth case studies that portray the human element of migration with discussions of their significance against the background of labour market and migration theories and the specificity of the rural context that makes the book so particularly insightful."

    Bettina Bock, Wageningen University & Research, Netherlands

    "In fourteen expertly-crafted chapters, this collection offers a historically-informed snapshot of the living and working conditions of people who migrate to rural areas of Europe and the US for agricultural work. Never flinching from sharp critical analysis of the racial capitalism that often seeks to divide workforces in order to weaken them, International Labour Migration to Europe’s Rural Regions also engages with rural workers’ responses to the multiple structures of oppression they face. This book could not be more timely. Emerging as it does during a pandemic that has seen agricultural workers finally gain recognition as ‘key workers’ it challenges the lie of ‘unskilled work’ and the stigma that often accompanies agricultural wage work."

    Ben Rogaly, University of Sussex, UK