Vidéos Colloque “Beyond Brain Drain”

Les enregistrements vidéos Beyond Brain Drain. Skills and Mobility Without Methodological Nationalism sont publiées ici.

Intervention de Michael Clemens (CGDev, Washington) : Losing our minds? A fresh start in considering policy toward skilled emigration


Skilled workers are increasingly emigrating from the poorest countries. Many fear that this high-skill emigration causes poverty and even death in those countries. Thus economists and others have proposed a number of policies to tax or restrict such migration, ostensibly justified by efficiency, equity, and ethics. But recent research suggests that many of these policies—in practice and even in theory—can be inefficient, inequitable, and unethical. In each case, these arguments ultimately rest on nationalist axioms with no supporting justification. There are alternative policies to regulate high-skill migration in a way that authentically serves the same goals without requiring methodological nationalist assumptions.

Intervention de Jean-Baptiste Meyer (IRD, Montpellier) : Brain drain and the cosmopolis: conflicting views… or may be not


In the 1960s and 1970s, in the auge of the brain drain approach, it quickly happened to be qualified as a “nationalist” view vs the rising “internationalist” model based on the concept of a world labour market of skills. The former was supposed to exhibit national protectionism of local talents while the latter would defend global exchange for optimization of human resources. Narrow minded conservation vs opened cross fertilization was the immediate dichotomical interpretation.

However, since the beginning, the brain drain approach has heavily drawn on emerging global views and analysis (dependency theory, Wallerstein’s world system) much beyond simplistic borders policies. It is interesting to notice that today’s approaches on diaspora issues keep on struggling with this debate: Larner and Gamlen showing for example, the coincidence of neoliberal

rhetoric with the expansion of nation-states deterritorialized constituencies.
When one wishes to go a step further and take some distance with ideological paradigms, new methodologies, freed from traditional sources and data, may be explored. Some steps have been made on these experimental paths, looking at non national statistics and world wide web data mining, on Latin American case studies. Using international data bases and software for the search of transnational profiles and diaspora members, the CIDESAL ( project has initiated a move towards such new tools. Reflections on these deserve to be now extracted.

Intervention de Christine Straehle (Ottawa University): Are they my skilled? Anti-emigration measures from a liberal perspective


Many developing countries propose that the emigration of their skilled citizens to greener shores poses a problem of social justice. If so many of those benefitting from educational and other opportunities emigrate, the countries in question find it hard if not impossible to realize some of their social justice goals. In light of these complaints, political philosophers have proposed different means: countries could adopt an emigration tax, or they could restrict emigration for a certain period of time, obliging local talent instead to apply their skills first at home.

In this paper, I take on the challenge posed by such proposals. In an era beyong methodological nationalism, such proposals fall short of justificatory requirements since it is not clear why the first duty of justice would be to the local community. But even if we were to allow some communitarian perspective on skill, I want to argue that such measures violate liberal rights, most importantly, the right to self-determination. Instead, they may become akin to a sort of social slavery.