Comparing forms of border encampment in the EU, the Middle East, North Africa, and the Horn of Africa
A series of 3 Webinars
General Objectives, Research Questions and Scientific Relevance
Externalization of border management by the European Union has been largely studied (Frelick, Kysel, Podkul, 2016; Hyndman, Mountz, 2008; Rodier, 2008). Building up on studies looking at borders ‘beyond a line in the sand’ (Parker, Vaughan-Williams 2005, Agier, 2008) that offer a critical perspective to borderlands as such, this webinar aims to construct a comparison reshaping the usual eurocentric approach when it comes to migration (Thiollet, 2020), border and public policy studies.
By deconstructing the scientific and common division between the ‘global North’ and ‘global South’, we want to come up with a scientific approach that aims to study border practices by looking at different implementing actors (street-level bureaucrats, security actors, humanitarian workers) including the migrants themselves and the population living within these spaces. Furthermore, we would analyse how both encampment and the destruction of the informal camps or squats contribute to the same policy of control and management of the migrants’ population.
Also building up both on geography of borderlands and public policies and practices happening within these spaces, we aim to go further than studies looking at “the global South” as rentier countries satisfying the EU’s agenda of border control. Indeed, we want to build a fine study and analysis, using tools from different disciplines – political science, geography, ethnography, to compare case studies in the Middle-East, North Africa, Europe, and the Horn of Africa.
How are public policies made by these countries both using and playing within the EU and international community’s vocabularies to implement border thickness when it comes to displaced people? To what extent these encampments or non-encampments are part of the migration policy of these countries? Are they simply an extension of the global phenomena of rebordering (Rosière)?
A series of webinars will be organized between February and May 2021, and may converge towards a common article and/or the submission of a special issue, depending on participants’ interest.
Agier, Michel. Gérer les indésirables, 2008
Frelick, Bill, Ian M Kysel, et Jennifer Podkul. « The Impact of Externalization of Migration Controls on the Rights of Asylum Seekers and Other Migrants ». Journal on Migration and Human Security, s. d., 31, 2016
Hyndman, Jennifer, et Alison Mountz. « Another Brick in the Wall? Neo-Refoulement and the Externalization of Asylum by Australia and Europe 1 ». Government and Opposition 43, no 2, 2008
Parker, Noel, et Nick Vaughan-Williams. « Critical Border Studies: Broadening and Deepening the ‘Lines in the Sand’ Agenda ». Geopolitics 17, no 4, 2012, pp. 727‑33
Rodier, Claire. « Externalisation du contrôle des flux migratoires : comment et avec qui l’Europe repousse ses frontières ». Migrations Société, N° 116, 2008, pp. 105‑22
Rosière, Stéphane. Frontières de fer, le cloisonnement du monde, 2020
Thiollet, Hélène. « Déconfiner les politiques migratoires: lacunes et biais des débats scientifiques ». Cogito, 2020.
4 mai 2021 02:30 PM Paris
Discutant: Olivier Clochard, researcher (CNRS) at Migrinter (CNRS, université de Poitiers)
“We need a fence!”. A processual analysis of the manufacture of border security from Israel, the USA to Europe
Damien Simonneau postdoctoral researcher and scientific coordinator at Institut Convergences Migrations (College de France)
How to understand the current security turn of border policies? What links or specifies border security in different geopolitical and national contexts? This communication presents an understanding of the contemporary phenomenon commonly referred to as the “multiplication of walls”, understood as the militarization of borderlands. To do so, it deals with an international comparison. The comparison focuses on mobilization in favor of « border / security fences » in Israel from 2001 and Arizona (USA) from 2010. The emphasis on the analogy of the existence of pro-fence movements in both cases makes it possible to illustrate another function of these walls than that of the control of mobility, namely the spectacle of marking the territory to reassure fenced-in citizens. I rely on analyses of representations, actions and security practices of such mobilizations to investigate national and geopolitical specificities. First, they construct situations of mobility and presence of “undesirables” as problematic. Second, they securitize these situations calling for a military response. Finally, they diffuse pro-fence framing by collective and dissenting actions against governments. Thus, they contribute to maintain a consensus over the role of the military in the construction and the management of a “public problem” of mobility in these two societies. To dissect such spectacle, the comparison identifies three analogous political operations led by these actors, and thus characterizes the political fabric of border militarization from a “bottom-up” perspective. It highlights general processes (problematization, securitization, publicization) while illustrating their national variations. In conclusion, research avenues to further dissect border security will be sketched, hoping to generate a dialogue on comparisons of border security situations elsewhere in the world.
Border Logics and Geopolitical Identities: Moroccan Usages of African and European Identities
Nora El Qadim, University of Paris 8 / CRESPPA-LabTop and ICM
The influence of European externalization policies on Moroccan migration policies is undeniable, so much so that some have dubbed Morocco a policeman or doorkeeper to Europe. This characterization has been questioned: first the instrumentalisation of the European obsession with border control by Moroccan authorities in international negotiations has been underlined. Second, the relative autonomy of Moroccan migration policy, especially its concerns with other regional partners, has been highlighted. In addition, over the recent years, a number of analyses have underlined the role of migration policy in Morocco’s growing African diplomacy. These discussions have often proposed a characterization of Morocco’s migration policy as “Euro-African”.
I will explore this “Euro-African” character, in particular the hesitation between “European-ness” and “Africanity” in diplomatic discourses on migration. I look at how political actors, diplomatic actors and civil servants involved with migration policies describe them in interviews and in speeches, as well as how they are presented in the press. I first present the transformations of migration policies in Morocco: from the management of emigration to its combination with repressive “transit” and emigration control. I examine how these policies are connected to continental identifications closely tied to racialised categorisations. Second, I look at Moroccan claims in the field of visas and free movement, and show how a “European” identity of Morocco has been privileged in this field, in spite of the existence of African initiatives to create areas of free movement. Finally, I look into the paradoxical African characterization of Moroccan immigration policy, in spite of its close resemblance to European policies in this field. I show how categories of European-ness or Africanity of Morocco have been used strategically in the framework of diplomatic negotiations and international economic policies.
26 avr. 2021, 02:00 PM Paris
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Borders of Governance: The political effects of digital humanitarianism in refugee camps
Christiane Fröhlich, Research Fellow at GIGA Institute of Middle East Studies
Digital visual technologies have become an important tool of humanitarian governance: They allow the monitoring and potentially even the management of crises from afar, across large distances and national borders. However, the political effects of such “digital humanitarianism” are understudied. Which forms of seeing, showing, and governing are enabled by digital technologies? This question is answered by looking at the two paradigmatic cases of Zaatari and Azraq, two refugee camps for displaced Syrians in Jordan. The camps can be seen ‘from above’ via visual technology like GIS or satellite imagery, and from below, through qualitative fieldwork, creating very different versions of the camp.
Migration and Interventions in Africa. Understanding the International Politics of (Im)mobility
Thibaut Jaulin, CERI – Sciences Po (MAGYC H2020) and Hélène Thiollet , CNRS CERI – Sciences Po
In this article, we show how interventions have become an instrument of migration and asylum governance and how, in turn, the politics of mobility have become central in military, humanitarian and development interventions in Africa and beyond. After decades of military and humanitarian interventions in the Horn of Africa, foreign actors have recently channelled their funding and operations toward the management of migration and asylum. To describe and analyse this shift, we use empirical data collected in Sudan and Kenya, and build upon a broad definition of interventions and a pluralistic understanding of the migration-development-security nexus, which balances the security of African and foreign states with the human security of people on the move. We first show how, through the 1990s and 2000s, migration has progressively become part and parcel of military and humanitarian interventions notably through the workings of international organisations. Since the 2010s, EU development and security interventions have imposed policies of migration and asylum containment disconnected from local emergencies, and tied to the European 2015 “migration crisis” and have also helped legitimise prolonged humanitarian and development interventions in the region.
We draw two general conclusions from our empirical examination. We first conclude that asylum and migration management have complemented and sometimes supplanted broader objectives of peace and state building and development and poverty reduction, bringing legitimacy, interest and money back into long-lasting interventions. We also conclude that the international politics of intervention do not solely marginally contribute to enforce the containment of potential flows of asylum seekers and migrants to the Global North, they also seek to implant new regimes of (im)mobility by shaping local and global asylum and immigration politics in the Global South through military engagement, humanitarian and development assistance.
Session 1 – Comparing the EU and the Middle East
11th of February, 2021, via Zoom at 3:30 (CET)
Discussant: Synnøve Kristine Nepstad Bendixsen – CMI Bergen, Norway
Migration policies and refugee camps: the thickness of the Syrian-Jordanian borderland
Emma Empociello, CED-Sciences Po Bordeaux / Ifpo
The Hungarian border spectacle: constructing a crisis and redrafting the nation
Céline Cantat, CERI-Sciences Po