Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name



International Migration Studies


Philip Kasinitz

Subject Categories

Migration Studies | Quantitative, Qualitative, Comparative, and Historical Methodologies


International Labor Migration, Migration Policy, Institutional Analysis, India, South Asia


This study looks at the institutional evolution of emigration governance in India from the nineteenth century to the present. Building from Agarwala’s (2022) “Migration Development Regime” framework of emigration governance based on class, I extend it to an analysis of emigration institutions through an archival study of emigration legislation in India. Using a historical-institutionalist framework, I find that legislation and the creation of emigration institutions in the country have roughly followed the migration development regime eras put forward by Agarwala, but in a lagged manner due to political expediency and institutional stickiness based on path dependence. I deviate slightly in time periods by classifying eras of governance into: 1) Regulatory; 2) Protectionist; and a proposed 3) Management. The first two eras follow a class-based demarcation in emigration governance while the proposed management era of governance looks to remove class distinctions while increasing state control of emigration. I find that while emigration governance has followed developmental needs of various Indian states, the governance aspect of it has led to muddled outcomes for the Indian emigrants themselves.