Substituting, Differentiating, Discriminating! Migration and Cognitive Borders in Aging Societies




Aging societies, replacement migration, highly qualified migrations, cognitive borders, cognitive injustice


Both Legislators and demographers have shown concerns about the aging of populations in the global North countries, and, for over two decades, have suggested encouraging migrations to make up for its effects. As a result, qualified and highly qualified migration have boomed, reflecting the global consolidation of migrant labor in technological, scientific and financial sectors. This substitution migration policy, however, is put into question from a knowledge-based economical and political perspective, since, by disregarding the relationship between labor productivity transformations and demographic crisis, it fails to see important processes whereby immigrants are differentially included. Moreover, we want to reject the philanthropic and optimistic views of globalization, as consolidated in formulations such as “brain gain” and “brain circulation”, which emphasize the generalized positive effects of qualified workers’ migration. Instead, we suggest delving into the cognitive injustice of international migration processes, which are part of a greater global social injustice pattern. Indeed, rather than reproducing the discourse of mobility, democracy and human rights, we assert that selective immigration policies effectively consolidate the reproduction of global social inequalities.


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How to Cite

Maniglio, F. (2022). Substituting, Differentiating, Discriminating! Migration and Cognitive Borders in Aging Societies. Migration Letters, 19(4), 489–499.