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Hexagon Series on
Human, Environmental Security and Peace (HESP)

Edited by
Hans Günter Brauch,

AFES-PRESS, chairman
Free University of Berlin (Ret.)

Hexagon 9 title

Vol 9

Truong, Thanh-Dam; Gasper, Des; Handmaker, J., Bergh, S.I. (Eds.): Migration, Gender and Social Justice - Perspectives on Human Insecurity. Hexagon Series on Human and Environmental Security and Peace, vol. 9 (Heidelberg – New York – Dordrecht – London: Springer, 2013).

ISBN: 978-3-642-28011-5 (Print)
ISBN: 978-3-642-28012-2 (Online)
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-28012-2

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This book arose from a collaborative effort involving partners from Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America and funded by the International Development Research Centre Programme on Women and Migration (2006–2011). The International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam guided a project of distillation and synthesis of the research findings, connecting them to wider literatures and cross-cutting themes. The book examines commonalities and differences in the operation of various structures of power (gender, class, race/ethnicity, generation) and their interactions within the institutional domains of intra-national and especially international migration that produce context-specific forms of social injustice. Additional contributions have been included to show how legal liminality and the social construction of femininity and of masculinity affect migrants’ experiences of belonging, obligation, entitlement, and personal security, as well as their sense of prestige and achievement. The resulting set of nineteen detailed, connected case studies makes a contribution to reorienting and deepening perceptions and values in the discussions and decision-making around migration and to raising awareness of migrants’ rights.

Contents: Section I: Migration, Gender, Social Justice, and Human Insecurity - Section II: Transformation of social reproduction systems and migration: local-global interactions.- Section III: The state and female internal migration: Rights and livelihood security.- Section IV: Complexity of gender: embodiment and intersectionality.- Section V: Liminal legality, citizenship and migrant rights mobilization.- Section VI: Conclusion.

Keywords: Gender - Human Rights - Human Security - Migration - Social Reproduction

On the Editors

Thanh-Dam Truong

Thanh-Dam Truong (Vietnam/The Netherlands) is Associate Professor of Women, Gender and Development Studies and was the coordinator of the research cluster on Migration and Human Security (2007-2012) at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) of Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Many of her publications address the nexus of gender, migration and human security, including: Sex, Money and Morality: Prostitution and Tourism in Southeast Asia (Zed Books/St. Martin Press, 1990); Poverty, Gender and Human Trafficking in Sub-Saharan Africa: Rethinking Best Practices in Migration Management (Paris: UNESCO, 2006); (co-eds. Amrita Chhachhi and Saskia Wieringa) Engendering Human Security (London: Zed, 2006); (co-ed. Des Gasper) Trans-local Livelihoods and Connections: Embedding a Gender Perspective into Migration Studies, special issue of Gender, Technology and Development 12,3 (2008).


Des Gasper (India/UK/The Netherlands) is Professor of Human Development, Development Ethics and Public Policy at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) of Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Previous work includes: (with Raymond Apthorpe) Arguing Development Policy – Frames and Discourses (London: Frank Cass, 1996); The Ethics of Development – From Economism to Human Development (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2004; New Delhi: Sage India, 2005); (co-ed. Asuncion Lera St. Clair) Development Ethics (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2010).


Des Gasper


Handmaker Jeff Handmaker (United Kingdom/USA) is a senior lecturer in Law, Human Rights, and Development at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) of Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands and an Honorary Senior Research Fellow in the School of Law at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa. Before joining the ISS in 2007, he studied law and was called to the English bar in 1995 after which he worked as a lawyer and advisor in different parts of the world. He later obtained a Ph.D. in the Sociology of Law from Utrecht University. His publications include: (co-editor with Lee Anne de la Hunt, Jonathan Klaaren): Advancing Refugee Protection in South Africa, (New York, Oxford: Berghahn, 2008); Advocating for Accountability: Civic-State Interactions to Protect Refugees in South Africa (Antwerp: Intersentia, 2009): “Public Interest Litigation for Refugees in South Africa and the Potential for Structural Change”, in: South African Journal of Human Rights, 27,1 (2011): 65–81.  

Sylvia I. Bergh (Sweden) is Senior Lecturer in Development Management and Governance at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) of Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands. She obtained an MA in Arabic and International Relations from the University of St Andrews in Scotland, and an M.Phil. in Modern Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Oxford. After a two-year posting with the World Bank in Washington DC and in Morocco, she wrote her doctoral thesis on local governance in Morocco, including grass-roots and transnational migrants’ associations, rural-urban migration, and return migration, earning a D.Phil. in Development Studies from the University of Oxford. She has extensive consultancy experience, including for the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), for Dutch non-governmental organizations and has an interest in the research-policy nexus.


On the Authors


Indu Agnihotri (India) is a professor and the director of the Centre for Women’s Development Studies (CWDS), the Indian Council of Social Science Research.

Codou Bop (Senegal) is a scholar and activist on women’s rights and human rights in Dakar, Senegal, she serves as the Coordinator for the Groupe de Recherche sur les Femmes et les Lois au Senegal (GREFELS).

Susan Bibler Coutin (USA) is Professor in the Departments of Criminology, Law and Society and Anthropology at the University of California, Irvine (UCI), where she is also Associate Dean of the Graduate Division.

Maria C. De Vargas (Colombia/Spain) has been a Researcher and Project Officer for the IDRC–ISS project Migration, Gender and Social Justice at the International Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University Rotterdam.

Stefania Donzelli (Italy) is a Ph.D. candidate at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), Erasmus University Rotterdam

Aster Georgo Haile (Eritrea) obtained a MA at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) of Erasmus University Rotterdam and is a graduate student in the Africana Studies Department at the University at Albany, State University of New York.

Roy B. C. Huijsmans (The Netherlands) is lecturer in Children and Youth Studies at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) in The Hague, The Netherlands.

Sulistyowati Irianto (Indonesia) is Professor of the Anthropology of Law at the Faculty of Law, University of Indonesia.

Thu Hong Khuat (Vietnam) is the founder and Co-Director of the Institute for Social Development Studies (ISDS), a non-governmental research organization located in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Kyoko Kusakabe (Japan/Thailand) is Associate Professor of Gender and Development Studies, School of Environment, Resources, and Development, Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand).

Bach Duong Le (Vietnam) is the Director of the Institute for Social Development Studies (ISDS), an independent research and advocacy institute based in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Liyue Lin (China) is a Lecturer at the School of Geography, Fujian Normal University in China. She is currently working on the mobility patterns and social protection of rural-urban migrants in China.

Maria Lourdes S. Marin (Philippines) is Executive Director of Action for Health Initiatives (ACHIEVE), Inc working on migration, gender, and health issues. She is a trainer, writer, and programme specialist on issues related to migration, gender, sexuality, and HIV and AIDS.

Indrani Mazumdar (India) is a senior researcher at the Centre for Women’s Development Studies (CWDS), the Indian Council of Social Science Research.

Cecilia Menjívar (USA) is Cowden Distinguished Professor in the School of Social and Family Dynamics at Arizona State University.

Claudia Mora (Chile) holds a Ph.D. in Sociology and is currently a faculty member in the Department of Sociology at Universidad Alberto Hurtado in Santiago, Chile, where she conducts social research and teaches on gender and social stratification, migration, and globalization.

Ruth Pearson (United Kingdom) is Professor of International Development at the University of Leeds.

Kamonwan Petchot (Thailand) holds an MA in Development Studies from the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) of Erasmus University Rotterdam, where she has conducted research on rights to education for migrant children in Thailand.

Amara Quesada-Bondad (Philippines) has been the Programme Officer of Action for Health Initiatives, Inc. (ACHIEVE) since 2001.

Martha Luz Rojas-Wiesner (Colombia/Mexico) has been senior researcher in the area of Society, Culture, and Health at El Colegio de la Frontera Sur (ECOSUR) in Tapachula, Chiapas since 1998.

Carlos Sandoval-García (Costa Rica) is a professor in the Media Studies School and in the Institute for Social Research, both at the University of Costa Rica.

Serena Eréndira Serrano Oswald (Mexico) is an academic, lecturer, clinical therapist, and consultant. She is a postdoctoral research fellow in Sociology and Gender at the Regional Centre for Multidisciplinary Research (CRIM), National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).

Karin Astrid Siegmann (Germany) is a Senior Lecturer in Labour and Gender Economics at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) of Erasmus University Rotterdam in The Hague.

Giulia Sinatti (Italy/United Kingdom) joined the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), Erasmus University Rotterdam as a Research Fellow in 2011.

Aly Tandian (Senegal) he has been since 2006 teaching and research professor in Sociology at the University Gaston Berger where he leads the Study and Research Group on Migration and Social Phenomena (Groupe d’Etudes et de Recherches sur les Migrations & Faits de Sociétés [GERM]

Antoinette Vlieger (The Netherlands) obtained a Master’s degree in both Dutch law and international law. and completed a minor degree (propedeuse) in cultural anthropology and the sociology of the non-Western world.

Yu Zhu (China) is Professor in the School of Geography and Director of the Centre for Population and Development Research, Fujian Normal University in China. .


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Publisher's Corner

This ninth volume of the Hexagon Book Series on
Human, Environmental Security and Peace: HESP

was made possible by a research grant from

See the previous volume coedited by Thanh-Dam Truong and Des Gasper

title hexagon 6

Thanh-Dam Truong, Des Gasper (Eds.): Transnational Migration and Human Security The Migration–Development–Security Nexus. Hexagon Series on Human and Environmental Security and Peace, vol. 6 ( Berlin – Heidelberg – New York: Springer-Verlag, 2011).

ISBN: 978-3-642-12756-4 (Print)
ISBN: 978-3-642-12757-1 (Online
DOI 10.1007/978-3-642-12757-1_ (add chapter no.)

More on this book
Order this book on Springer Website
Electronic Version of book and individual chapters
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This volume addresses key aspects of human security in transnational migration. The 22 essays cover all levels of migration systems, from families, farms and firms through to global organizations and negotiating forums. They show how institutional frameworks for cross-border movements of people, finance, and goods have co-evolved with changes in the workings of nation-states. They thereby reveal aspects of power and privilege within ‘internatio¬nal migration’ as a discursive area and at its intersections with the fields of ‘development’, governance and ‘security’. Revisiting presuppositions that have been taken as givens, and exploring their role in shaping rules and institutions that control the movements of people across and within borders, the essays reveal also the mentalities and rationalities that have made up and continue to make up the reality of transnational migration today. A human security perspective can encourage exploratory thinking and provide concept¬tual space for deeper understandings of ‘human’, ‘movement’ and ‘borders’, to help overcome the limits of conventional analytical and policy dualisms and dichotomies.