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Publié en 2021-01-20
JAULIN Thibaut
LEBOVICH Andrew
TSOURAPAS Gerasimos
MOMTAZ Rym
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This is the third seminar of a partnership between the H2020 project MAGYC and ECFR Paris, entitled “Crises, migration and European cooperation”. It focuses on EU migration policy and how countries in the Levant, North Africa, Sahel and Horn of Africa have been affected, with the participation of Thibaut Jaulin, reseacher, Sciences Po, Andrew Lebovich, Policy Fellow, ECFR, Gerasimos Tsourapas, Senior lecturer, University of Birmingham and chaired by Rym Momtaz, France correspondent, POLITICO.

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In the past two decades European states have increasingly sought to stem irregular migration to Europe by cooperating with non-European countries to “externalize” migration and asylum management beyond European borders and territories. The externalization of migration policy amounts to delegating border control in third countries, enabling deportations of irregular migrants through readmission agreements (RA), while also including aid and development packages that address the drivers of migration in origin and transit countries. It is unclear, however, whether or under what conditions such policies have had their intended effects. In this paper, we aim to measure how migrant and refugee flows respond to such European externalization of migration and asylum management. Our analyses cover the period of the so-called “migrant” or “refugee crisis” of 2015, which offers a unique context in which to study the relationship between migration policies and flows. After introducing a new database on external migration policy instruments, we use Frontex data to describe the patterns in irregular migration flows, focusing on the spatial and categorical distribution of migrants and refugees from 2009 to 2018. We first introduce a useful distinction between “likely irregular migrants” and “likely refugees”, who both cross borders illegally into Europe. We then explore the extent to which the closure of migration routes led to the rerouting of migration flows. We show that such a phenomenon is actually limited to few nationalities. We eventually argue that externalization policies, although partially effective at reducing the overall number of irregular border crossings into Europe, directly affect “likely refugees” who remain stranded in transit countries or who renounce fleeing their country of origin. Then, we present key policy trends across European states and third countries in regard with externalization. We first argue that the 2015 crisis reinforced existing dynamics of diplomatic engagement and cooperation with third countries in matters of migration and asylum and extended their geographical scope. We then examine the impact of policies on irregular flows. Focusing on the impact of readmission agreements, we contend that bilateral agreements are not effective in limiting irregular migration from the signing countries of origin. However, we also observe that bilateral implemented protocols of EU readmission agreements (EU RA) are associated with fewer irregular border crossings from the relevant third countries. We suggest that this effect can be explained by pre-existing political relations between the parties to the EU readmission agreements and the limited number of irregular border crossers from these nationalities. Overall, our findings call into question the appropriateness of externalization policies as tools for addressing migration issues, in particular large refugee flows in times of crisis.

in Crisis Magazine Publié en 2020-06
KALIR Barak
CANTAT Céline
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The European Union funds extensive academic research with the potential to inform humane and effective border policies. Yet evidence-based immigration policy is undermined by the EU’s increasingly repressive border regime. How do we make sense of this contradiction? And which transformations are needed to address it?

in Renewing the Migration Debate: Building disciplinary and geographical bridges to explain global migration Publié en 2020-06 Nom de la conférence KNAW Academy Colloquium
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The focus of research in contemporary international migration and integration politics has long been immigration to Western democracies and their related migration corridors, often defined by colonial history. Just like in any field of social science, the ethnocentrism of this focus mimics the geography of scientific employment and institutions, the economics of research funding and the politics of academic publications. Apart from raising ethical issues, these limitations constrain our understanding of processes and dynamics of international migration politics, both by neglecting empirical realities that are statistically relevant -notably migration politics in the Global South- and by creating methodological and epistemological biases. Documenting less researched cases seems an obvious answer. But the future of research on migration politics is not only about researching “non- Western others” more, and boxing results in an “area” or “comparative” sub-discipline. It is about using single case studies and comparative research across types of states and political contexts to uproot some of the most blinding assumptions of existing migration theories and open new research avenues. This could mean taking migration processes and not political regimes, geographical location or development levels, as the independent variable to construct broad comparative frameworks where migration politics becomes the dependent variable. This could first be achieved by considering seemingly “most different” political contexts across countries, like comparing democratic apples and authoritarian pears. It could secondly be achieved by paying more attention to migration histories across contexts and trace political processes and institutions with great care. As such, a really insurgent and disruptive methodological claim would not be to include more Southern case studies into preexisting paradigms and epistemologies of migration politics but expand, amend or recast migration theories based on the new knowledge generated.

in Les Dossiers du CERI Publié en 2020-05-04
BENKER Elisa
CANTAT Céline
FINE Shoshana
GEMENNE François
JAULIN Thibaut
PÉCOUD Antoine
REDDY Michelle
SAVATIC Filip
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Pour limiter la propagation du coronavirus, la plupart des gouvernements a fermé leurs frontières et multiplié les restrictions de circulation. Un des effets notables de la fermeture des frontières est d’avoir placé nombre d’Européens dans une position - certes temporaire - d’immobilité. Rarement, sauf en temps de guerre, les citoyens européens, dont le passeport permet habituellement de visiter autour de 180 pays sans autorisation préalable, ne s’étaient vu imposer de telles restrictions à leur mobilité, aussi bien vers d’autres continents qu’au sein même de l’ Europe. Cette restriction des mouvements revêt ainsi une dimension inédite : elle s’applique aux populations du nord alors qu’elle s’impose en temps normal aux « migrants » du sud.

Publié en 2020-01-18 Collection MAGYC Working Paper
CANTAT Céline
PÉCOUD Antoine
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This framework paper intends to construct the 2015 “migration crisis” as a scientific object, moving away from the naturalisation of the crisis operated in media and political discourses and rather exploring the dynamics of migration crisis-making. To do so, it offers a insights on the semantic and political genealogy of the notion in the context of Western European discourses. We argue that an ideal type or generic “migration crisis” was brought about in the early 2010s, building upon previous situated crises in discourses produced on migration. This ideal type is constructed as a category of power, which in turn gives way to particular ways of dealing with and responding to migration. Therefore, in line with previous work, this paper adopts a constructivist stance on crises that seeks to investigate “migration as crisis” in policy, media and academic discourses.

Publié en 2020-01-18 Collection MAGYC Working Paper
FINE Shoshana
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This analytical framework aims to study the ways in which European migration governance has been shaped by a ‘crisis’ discourse. The European Union witnessed an exponential increase in asylum claims in 2015 – registering over 1.2 million, more than double from the previous year. This upsurge was commonly categorised by political actors as a “migration crisis”, embedding what is considered to be an appropriate response in terms of governing solutions. Work Package 3 in this project and a rich literature explore the ways in which political and policy actors have constructed a crisis discourse on migration. Much less is known about the ways in which this crisis discourse has reconfigured European migration governance. To what extent has crisis discourse led to the mobilisation of new actors and new forms of cooperation? The field for our study comprises three cases of migration governance (economic, bureaucratic and political) expressive of the way in which crisis interacts with a migration assemblage. The case of the economic rationality is premised on the need to bolster development aid to dissuade migrants from leaving. Here we focus on the implementation of the EU’s Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, involving German, French and Spanish national development aid agencies, security professionals, funding mechanisms, training manuals, and local infrastructure; second, the bureaucratic rationality calls for governing interventions to apply law and order, to identify legal from illegal migrants and to punish smugglers. We focus on the case of search and rescue in the Mediterranean. The assemblage constituents involve the EU border agency Frontex, NGOs, Libyan lifeguards, smugglers, drones, boats, the sea, stormy weather and migrant bodies (both dead and alive); lastly, the political rationality is centred on the premise that national sovereignty must be protected by limiting multilateral cooperation. Here we focus on the EU relocation and disembarkation mechanisms. On the face of it these rationalities pursue different solutions – developmental, humanitarian and security, and include diverse actors and practices – yet we posit that these rationalities and their component parts (both human and nonhuman) are constitutive of a migration assemblage which is both revealed and reconfigured by the “migration crisis”.