Assembling Circulation: Governing the mobility of health professionals from the Philippines to Germany
This research takes a critical approach to the phenomenon of the recurrence of circular migration as a viable and convenient policy instrument within the rights-based framework for "better" cross-border labor migration governance. Specifically, it takes stock of the bilateral labor agreement, also known as, the Triple Win Project sustainable recruitment of nurses from the Philippines to Germany. The Project proves an illustrative case for exploring how contemporary cross-border labor migration, as a particularly prolific discursive area, has become increasingly coupled with both development and security imperatives. I argue that a critical approach to broader political rationalities seeking to regulate the spatial circulation of human subjects across state borders as well as those governing the settlement of foreign subjects inside the state territory, is imperative for understanding state practices of community- and nation-making in late liberal societies, transformation of the relationship between sovereignty and territoriality, and the modes of knowledge production associated with such practices. The focal point will be upon exploring how practices of assemblage cohere as a response to an 'urgent need' (Foucault 1980:194) - on the one hand, demographic (elderly population) and economic necessities (lack of highly-skilled workers) in Germany and on the other hand, over-supply of nurses in the Philippines. In short, the case of the Triple Win Project intends to reveal how circular migration has re-emerged as a particular assemblage of particular discourses, actors, and ethical propositions within the context of neoliberal governance of cross-border mobility.