For those interested in the themes raised by Michael Fullilove in his Boyer Lectures on A Larger Australia last year, I would recommend George Megalogenis' latest book, Australia's Second Chance, which makes the case that the periods of greatest Australian prosperity are linked directly to high immigration levels, and that when the country has turned its back on the outside world, it has suffered as a society and an economy.
I was reminded of this argument over the weekend while reading an interview with Ian Goldin, Professor of Globalisation and Development and Director of the Oxford Martin School at the University of Oxford. Goldin argues passionately that immigration is overwhelmingly a social and economic good. But more, he says the importance of immigration to world history and to our future is deeply under-appreciated:
One of the reasons I wrote my book, Exceptional People — which has the subtitle ‘How Migration Shaped our World and Will Define Our Future ’ — is because, as an economist, I felt this profoundly positive story is just not getting out there. It’s also a deep story. None of us would be where we are today without it, civilizations wouldn’t exist. And it continues to be a fact. If you’re trying to think about where the UK is going to be, or where the US is going to be in the future, and how we’re going to meet big challenges, it’s the key explanatory factor. That’s not getting across.
Read the whole thing.
Photo by Flickr user slgckgc.