Book - Cambridge University Press

Crossroads: Comparative Immigration Regimes in a World of Demographic Change

  • Anna K. Boucher
  • Justin Gest
| May 2018

In this ambitious study, Anna K. Boucher and Justin Gest present a unique analysis of immigration governance across thirty countries. Relying on a database of immigration demographics in the world's most important destinations, they present a novel taxonomy and an analysis of what drives different approaches to immigration policy over space and time. In an era defined by inequality, populism, and fears of international terrorism, they find that governments are converging toward a 'Market Model' that seeks immigrants for short-term labor with fewer outlets to citizenship - an approach that resembles the increasingly contingent nature of labor markets worldwide.

  • Introduces a universal empirical conceptualization of an immigration regime
  • Assembles and analyzes a new cross-national, standardized database of immigration demographic outcomes in thirty countries
  • Presents a novel, transparently derived taxonomy of immigration regimes worldwide

To read the book’s Preface, click here.

To view data maps, visualizations, and related content, please visit the book’s companion website:


The New York Times features Crossroads data in its Upshot column:
What Can the U.S. Learn From How Other Countries Handle Immigration?

POLITICO Magazine:
How the US Fell Behind the World on Immigration

The Guardian:
Points-based immigration was meant to reduce racial bias. It doesn’t.


"An ambitious and indispensable resource. …Its depth and intellectual sophistication make it heads and shoulders above everything that has preceded it. Simply put, it is a book whose time has come."

Anthony M. Messina
John R. Reitemeyer Professor of Political Science
Trinity College

"An instant point of reference. …Few books so well serve the interests of academics and policymakers alike."

Susan L. Martin
Donald G. Herzberg Professor Emerita in International Migration
Georgetown University

"A comprehensive and compelling study of immigration regimes around the world. …Path-breaking and illuminating. Future studies of immigration governance will need to begin here."

T. Alex Aleinikoff
Deputy High Commissioner (2010-2015)
United Nations High Commission for Refugees

About the Authors

Anna K. Boucher, University of Sydney
Anna K. Boucher is Senior Lecturer in Public Policy and Political Science at the University of Sydney. She is the author of Gender, Migration, and the Global Race for Talent (2016) and numerous peer-reviewed articles. She is the holder of major research grants, including from the Australian Research Council. She frequently reports to governmental reviews on immigration matters and comments in the media on migration topics, including for the BBC, The Guardian, the Zeit, The Australian Financial Review, and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. In 2007, she co-founded the Migration Studies Unit at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Justin Gest, George Mason University, Virginia
Justin Gest is Assistant Professor of Public Policy at George Mason University's Schar School of Policy and Government. He is the author of The New Minority: White Working Class Politics in an Age of Immigration and Inequality (2016) and Apart: Alienated and Engaged Muslims in the West (2010). He has authored over a dozen peer-reviewed articles and has provided analysis and commentary for numerous news organizations including the BBC, CNN, The Guardian, NPR, Politico, Reuters, and The Washington Post. In 2007, he co-founded the Migration Studies Unit at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

About This Book

Crossroads cover

Crossroads: Comparative Immigration Regimes in a World of Demographic Change
Anna K. Boucher Justin Gest
For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: Boucher, Anna K. and Justin Gest. Crossroads: Comparative Immigration Regimes in a World of Demographic Change. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, May 2018.

The Authors

Justin Gest