Can politicians effectively control national borders even if they wish to do so? How do politically powerless migrants relate to more privileged migrants and to national citizens? Is it possible for capital to move to labour rather than vice versa? In this book Robin Cohen shows how the preferences, interests and actions of the three major social actors in international migration policy - global capital, migrant labour and national politicians - intersect and often contradict each other. Cohen addresses these vital questions in a wide-ranging, lucid and accessible account of the historical origins and contemporary dynamics of global migration.