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Unformatted text preview: Globalization, Immigration and the Welfare State: A Cross-National Comparison Q INGWEN X U Boston College Graduate School of Social Work Over the past decades, the forces of globalization have helped cre- ated a huge wave of immigration. The relationship between glo- balization and immigration has been intensely examined in the last decade with a focus not only on whether and how much glo- balization has caused international immigration but also how to promote and sustain a just global system for the growing number of immigrants. This study selects three developed countries with different welfare state philosophies and traditionsAus- tralia, Sweden and the United Statesand compares how they cope with the growing number of immigrants and their various needs. This paper reflects thinking about states ability to redis- tribute resources, about the ability to agree upon a unified theory of welfare rights in a diverse society, and the feasibility of open- ing nations welfare systems to all immigrants in the globaliza- tion context and from a rights-based social work perspective. Keywords: Welfare State, Immigration, Australia, Sweden, the United States Over the past decades, the forces of globalization have helped created a huge wave of immigration. The United Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare, June 2007, Volume XXXIV, Number 2 87 88 Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare Nations estimates that 3% of the worlds populationabout 191 million peoplelived in a country other than the one in which they were born in 2005, with 33% having moved from a developing to a developed country, 33% moving between de- veloping nations, and another 33% having moved from a de- veloped country to another developed nation (UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 2006). In the last decade, the ratio of the Western worlds foreign-born population has been increasing. According to UN migration statistics from 228 countries and regions, the United States leads the world as a host country, with 38 million immigrants in 2005, constituting almost 13% of its population. But the share of the immigrant population is larger still in Australia at 19.6% in 2005, and Canada at 18.9%. In regional terms, however, Europes migrant population of 64 million in 2005 was almost 50% greater than the 45 million in North America (UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 2006). The relationship between globaliza- tion and immigration has been intensely examined in the last decade with a focus not only on whether and how much glo- balization has caused international immigration but also how to promote and sustain a just global system for the growing number of immigrants....
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