This chapter discusses the universal trends of migration

This chapter discusses the universal trends of migration, reviews the existing literature, and explains theoretical foundations as how it relates to the research topic. It first presents the phenomenon of migration. It then, discusses theoretical foundations in order to draw assumption for the explanation of illegal migration causes and consequences. It finally reviews the existed related empirical evidence.
2.1 Theoretical Literature review
According to migration theories can be classified according to the level they focus on. Micro-level theories focus on individual migration decisions, whereas macro level theories look at aggregate migration trends and explain these trends with macro-level explanations. The meso-level is in between the micro and macro level, e.g. on the household or community level and can explain both causes and perpetuation of migration (Kelil2015 citing Hagen-Zanker (2008).
Table2.1 gives an overview of the theories along the level dimensions, whereas table 4 gives an overview of the migration theories in terms of their classification as a cause or perpetuation of migration.

Table 2.1 Theories of migration defined by level of analysis
Micro level Meso level Macro level
Migration causes:
Individual values/desires/expectancies
E.g. Improving survival, wealth etc Migration cause/perpetuation:
Collectives/social network
E.g. Social ties Migration cause perpetuation:
Macro level opportunity structure
E.g. Economic structure(income and employment opportunities differentials)
Main theories
Lee’s push/pull factors
Neoclassical micro migration theory
Behavioral models
Theory of social system Main theories:
Social capital theory
Institutional theory
Network theory
Cumulative causation
New economics of labor migration
Main theories:
Neoclassical macro
migration theory
Migration as a system
Dual labor market theory
World system theory
Mobility transition

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Source: Faist (2000) and Jessica Hagen-Zanker (2008)

Table 2.2 Theories of migration defined by initiation or perpetuation of migration
Initiation of migration Perpetuation of migration

Neoclassical macro-migration theory
Migration as a system
Dual labor market theory
World systems theory
Mobility Transition
Lee’s push/ pull factors
Neoclassical micro-migration theory
Behavioral models
Theory of Social systems
New Economics of Labor Migration Migration as a system
World systems theory
Social capital theory
Institutional theory
Network theory
Cumulative causation

Source: Jessica Hagen-Zanker (2008)

2.1.1Mead’s Theory of the Self
George H. Mead developed the theory of mind, self and society in order to understand the development of the ‘self’ in its full sense. In his theory, Mead argued that the social whole precedes the individual mind both logically and temporally. In Mead’s theory, a thinking a self-conscious individual is impossible without a prior social group. The social group comes first, and it leads to the development of self-conscious mental states. To Mead, individuals need to develop and accept the attitude and values of their community to develop a full self in order for they may actively play their role in that community (Chekole, 2017 citing Lichtman 1970; Ritzer 2011).
Related to this, George H. Mead, one of the proponents of the theory of symbolic interactionism, developed the concept of generalized other in his theory of the self. While explaining how individuals specifically children develop self in its full sense, he came up with an important, at least as related to this study, concept: the generalized other. The concept generalized refers to ‘the attitude’ of a set of people, a group, or ‘an entire community’ which individuals are member of. In his argument, Mead asserted that individual members need to assume the attitude, perception of an entire group, or community and this, in turn, tended to direct their decision and action (Ritzier 2011).
This theory is adopted to particularly explain the role of community attitude towards illegal migration decision and the consequential action. Community perception towards illegal migration is more likely to affect individuals’ migration decision and to take action accordingly. Hence, this theoretical assumption of Mead was drawn to explain the role of community about illegal migration on individuals’ migratory decision and actions in Ahferom Woreda.

2.1.2 The Neo- Classical Theory
According to the neo-classical theory of migration, migration of labor is due to the differences in the real wages between the countries and migration of labor brings equilibrium in the international labor market which wipes away the wage differences between the countries. The neo- classical theory explains both the macro and micro aspects of migration. The neo-classical macro theory of migration dates back to Hicks (1932). According to this theory, the unbalanced distribution of capital and labor at the macro level causes inequality in wages and living conditions and leads to migration. The migrants move towards the places where employment, wages and other economic conditions are more favorable to them giving high chances of ending the differences in wages and living conditions between places. The neo-classical micro approach of migration (The Theory of the New Economics of Migration) considers not only the labor market but also the conditions of other markets such as the capital market or unemployment insurance market as reasons for migration. In addition, this theory also considers household strategy behind migration as the actual drive of migration is to change the source of income rather than maximize the income. This theory also emphasizes the importance of financial transfers of migration in the context of socio- cultural changes. Moreover, this theory also helps to understand why individuals of a particular community are potential migrants. It also observes that poor people are less inclined to migration compared to the rich due to the high costs of migration (IOM, 2003).