Review: For an honest migration debate, tackle the myths

‘How Migration Really Works’ brings facts to a polarized discussion, but it works best engaging with the arguments behind the myths, writes Jacqueline Broadhead.

The World Today Updated 5 October 2023 Published 29 September 2023 3 minute READ

Jacqueline Broadhead

Director of the Global Exchange on Migration and Diversity, University of Oxford

How Migration Really Works: A Factful Guide to the Most Divisive Issue in Politics 
Hein de Haas, Viking, £25 (published November 9)

On March 7, 2023, Rishi Sunak gave a press conference with a striking visual image: Britain’s first prime minister of colour stood on a podium emblazoned with his government’s slogan, ‘Stop the boats’. It is an image that encapsulates the oddities of the polarizing issue – a nation perhaps becoming more at ease with its diversity struggling to cope with a migration debate that feels ever more panicked.

In How Migration Really Works Hein de Haas aims to bypass this political and media maelstrom to provide the reader with tools to understand the realities of migration globally. How did ‘Stop the boats’ become a viable political slogan and how does it reflect the wider global migration debate?

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