Reconsidering migration. Unpacking politics, policies & practices


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Lectures overview

 

Opening lecture (in Dutch), 20:00-22:00, Paddenhoek 3, Film-Plateau

25/02   Voorbij Fort Europa. Een andere visie op migratie

Prof. Dr. Henk van Houtum (Radboud Universiteit) 

Aansluitend panelgesprek met migratie-expert Flor Didden (11.11.11.) en Henk van Houtum, onder begeleiding van journalist Pieter Stockmans (MO*).

               

Friday morning lectures, 10:00-11:30, Paddenhoek 1, 3rd Floor (3.1)

1/03       Autochthony as a Nervous Language in Africa and Europe. Migration and the Paradoxes of Belonging.

Prof. Dr.Peter Geschiere (University of Amsterdam)

8/03       Immobility and crisis: migrants’ journeys in Libya

Dr. Marthe Achtnich (University of Oxford)

15/03     EU’s external migration policy: shifting responsibilities

Drs. Ruben Wissing (Ghent University)

29/03     Migrants as political actors? Turkey & diaspora politics

Prof. Dr. Marlies Casier (Ghent University)

 

Thursday evening lecture, 20:00-22:00, Paddenhoek 3, Film Plateau

21/03    Hybrid humanitarian governance and development potential in refugee hosting regions in East Africa.

Dr. Bram Jansen (Wageningen University)

 

 

 

 

25/02    Voorbij Fort Europa. Een andere visie op migratie

Prof. Dr. Henk van Houtum (Radboud Universiteit)

Abstract Henk van Houtum ontvouwt een baanbrekende, alternatieve visie op het Europese migratiebeleid. Er is een Fort Europa ontstaan, met desastreuze gevolgen. Ontwikkelingsgelden worden ingezet voor grensbeleid, er worden dubieuze deals gesloten met autocratische regimes zoals met Turkije en Libië, vluchtelingenwerkorganisaties zoals Artsen zonder Grenzen worden tegengewerkt, de mensensmokkel floreert, en er vallen tienduizenden doden. De EU lijdt aan auto-immuniteit: het bedreigt zichzelf doordat het de waarden verloochent waar het juist voor is opgericht, zoals internationale solidariteit en het tegengaan van de xenofobie. Van Houtum legt deze en andere tegenstrijdigheden en averechtse effecten van het huidige grensbeleid bloot. Hij plaatst migratie in een breder historisch en geografisch perspectief en presenteert concrete alternatieven voor een duurzaam en rechtvaardig migratiebeleid, voorbij Fort Europa.

Bio Prof. Dr. Henk van Houtum is hoofd van het Nijmegen Centre for Border Research (NCBR) aan de Radboud Universiteit en professor Border Studies aan de University of Eastern Finland. Hij publiceerde onder meer 'Voorbij Fort Europa' , 'Grensland' en 'Eerlijke nieuwe wereld'. Zie voor meer info: www.henkvanhoutum.nl

 

1/03       Migration and the Paradoxes of Belonging: Autochthony as a Nervous Language in Africa and Europe

Prof. Dr.Peter Geschiere (University of Amsterdam)

Abstract The intensification of migration since the end of the Cold War on a global scale makes belonging an urgent issue, both for migrants and for people in the receiving society. In my presentation I want to focus on the language of autochthony that in the 1990s emerged as a key concept in parts of Europe (Belgium and the Netherlands) but also in Africa. Autochthony –  litt. ‘born from the soil’ – presents itself as a kind or Ur-belonging: how can one belong more than when one can claim to be rooted in the soil. However, just like other discourses on belonging, the concept has paradoxical implications. It may promise a basic security. Yet, in practice, it has a receding quality – again like other claims to belong – that makes it a nervous notion, haunted by basic insecurity.

Bio Peter Geschiere is emeritus professor for the Anthropology of Africa at both the University of Amsterdam and Leiden University; he is also co-editor of ETHNOGRAPHY (SAGE). Since 1971 he has undertaken historical-anthropological field-work in various parts of Cameroon and elsewhere in West and Central Africa. His publications include The Modernity of Witchcraft: Politics and the Occult in Post-colonial Africa (Univ. Of Virginia Press, 1997), Perils of Belonging: Autochthony, Citizenship and Exclusion in Africa and Europe  (Univ. of Chicago Press, 2009),  Witchcraft, Intimacy and Trust: Africa in Comparison (Univ. of Chicago Press, 2013) and ‘A “Vortex of Identities” – Freemasonry, Witchcraft and Post-colonial Homophobia in Cameroon,’ African Studies Review 60(2), 2017, p. 7-35.

               

8/03       Immobility and crisis: migrants’ journeys in Libya

Dr. Marthe Achtnich (University of Oxford)

Abstract This talk is based on a multi-sited ethnography of sub-Saharan migrants’ unauthorized journeys through the Sahara desert and Libya by boat to Europe. Migrants’ mobilities along this route are often depicted as linear and framed as a refugee or migration ‘crisis.’ Such framings rest on static and typologized migrant categories, including positing people as either legal or illegal, migrant or refugee. This talk will show how a focus on migrants’ lived mobility experiences in a context of fragmented state authority complicates linear, simplified and typologized understandings of migration. More specifically, it will highlight how immobility characterises migrants’ precarious journeys in Libya, in the form of informal confinement, imprisonment in government-run detention centres, and waiting in private houses. These immobilities, shaped by relations between state and criminal actors and monetary payments for onward movement, constitute a broader mobility economy along this specific route. The talk will conclude by discussing how an anthropology of mobility offers alternate understandings of unauthorized migration, complicating the linearity of journeys, the role of different actors and typologized framings of migrants.

Bio Marthe Achtnich is a Fellow by Examination in Anthropology at Magdalen College, University of Oxford. She is an anthropologist working on mobility, migration and informal economies with a focus on unauthorized migrants’ journeys from sub-Saharan Africa via Libya to Europe. Her current research project (Mobility Economies) builds on her doctoral work on Mobility in Crisis (DPhil, University of Oxford, 2017), an ethnography of migrants’ mobilities through the Sahara desert, detention centres and smuggling houses in Libya, across the Mediterranean sea by boat to Malta, and onwards through Europe. Marthe held a Wiener-Anspach Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Laboratoire d’anthropologie des mondes contemporains (LAMC) at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (2017-2018), and was awarded a small research grant by the Society for Libyan Studies in 2017.

 

15/03     EU’s external migration policy: shifting responsibilities

Drs. Ruben Wissing (Ghent University)

Abstract Cooperation with Libyan coast guards on the Mediterranean Sea, the multibillion euro refugee deal with the Turkish government … these are only some of the better known examples of the European Union’s external migration policy. This ‘externalisation’ policy aims to keep migrants out of the EU, and shifts the responsibility and burdens for refugee and human rights protection increasingly onto other states.   As a result, overall access to and quality of international protection and asylum worsens. This however does not exonerate EU member states of their responsibility under international law. Simultaneously, continued international migration and persisting protection needs urge the EU to confront questions of burden-sharing and international solidarity.This lecture wants to analyse EU’s external migration policy from the perspective of international refugee and human rights law, illustrated with practical examples and numbers, and conclude with some leads for a fairer system.

Bio Ruben Wissing is a PhD researcher at the (start-up) Migration Law Research Group at the Ghent University. The subject of his research is refugee protection in Morocco and Turkey and the impact of EU migration policy. The research is done under the guidance of promotor Prof. Dr. Ellen Desmet, Professor of Migration Law, and clustered with other migration studies by the interfaculty Centre for the Social Study of Migration and Refugees (CESSMIR) at the Ghent University. Ruben studied Law in Leuven and Madrid (2004), and also holds a bachelor in Philosophy. After practising as a lawyer specialized in migration and asylum law in Antwerp for three years, he worked for the then Flemish Minorities Centre (now Kruispunt Migratie-Integratie) and later as a legal officer and policy coordinator at the Belgian Refugee Council (CBAR-BCHV) for more than six years. He also was an independent consultant, i.a. as national expert for the Asylum Information Database (AIDA) of the European Council for Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), and at the UN Refugees Agency (UNHCR) in Brussels on the issue of migration detention. In 2017 he coordinated the (start-up non-profit) organisation NANSEN, in combination with the teaching assistant position in Migration Law at the Ghent University with professor Desmet.

               

21/03    Hybrid humanitarian governance and development potential in refugee hosting regions in East Africa.

Dr. Bram Jansen (Wageningen University)

Abstract The impact and effects of protracted refugee camps on their host environments in East Africa has been the subject of much academic attention since the late 1990s. Such camps are often viewed as isolating and secluding spaces,  while host societies perceive refugees as a burden and a security threat, and this often leads to claims for mitigation to compensate for the pressures that these camps place on their local environments. Recent analyses, however, posit such camps as hybrid spaces, with fluid and permeable boundaries, that provide socio-economic opportunities and have the potential to be drivers of development. This lecture focusses on how forms of humanitarian governance emanate from such camps and come to impact on their host environments, and come to co-govern and co-shape socio-spatial relations beyond the boundaries of the camp and the initial targets of humanitarian concern. More specifically we will critically analyse discourses and policies that regard these processes as opportunity for development and new forms of engagement as part of contemporary migration concerns and debates.

Bio Bram J. Jansen is a lecturer with the department of Sociology of Development and Change at Wageningen university in the Netherlands, where he works on humanitarian, conflict and refugee issues. He conducted ethnographic fieldwork in East and the Horn of Africa, mostly in Kenya, Uganda and South Sudan, and more recently in Jordan, and is actively engaged in humanitarian policy debates in the Netherlands. His research interests include the urbanisation of protracted refugee camps (on which he published a book in 2018 -Kakuma Refugee Camp. Humanitarian Urbanism in Kenya's Accidental City – Zed Books, London), aid culture and broader issues of humanitarian governance in protracted crisis situations.

               

29/03     Migrants as political actors? Turkey & diaspora politics

Prof. Dr. Marlies Casier (Ghent University)

Abstract In the 2018 presidential elections Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan garnered two thirds of the votes of people from Turkey, living in Europe. An electoral success surpassing the 52% home support by far. What explains the continued investment of people from Turkey with their or their (grand)parents’ country of origin? This lecture will elaborate over the transnational social, economical and political relations people with a migration background maintain with the country of origin, by looking at the case of Turkey and its diasporas in Europe. Attention will be paid to the role of Turkey’s state-led diaspora policies, transnational politics, structural conditions in the countries of settlement and the agency of migrants and their descendants.

Bio Marlies Casier is a visiting professor at the Ghent University, Department of Conflict and Development Studies. She holds a Bachelor in Social Work, a Master in in Moral Philosophy and a Master in Conflict and Development from the Ghent University and a PhD in Political Sciences. She started academic research in 2005, with a qualitative study on the partner choice of women from Turkish and Maghreb descent in Belgium. With a research grant from the Flemish Research Foundation FWO she conducted a PhD research on the transnational political activism of Turkey’s Kurdish movement. She combines teaching in the Master of Science in Conflict and Development, in the Master of Science in Sociology and the Master of Arts in Global Studies with a job as international policy advisor on sexual and reproductive health and rights at Sensoa, the Flemish center of expertise on sexual health.

 

All lectures are open to all and free of charge.

More information: Marlies.Casier@ugent.be

Joint lecture series by CRG and MENARG of the Department of Conflict and Development Studies of the Ghent University. An Internationalisation@Home activity of Faculty of Political and Social Sciences, with support of 11.11.11. and MO Magazine.