22.- 25.9
2020

P 27

Governing African mobility: actors, institutions and practices

Dr. Johara Berriane, Centre Marc Bloch, Berlin
Dr. Elieth Eyebiyi, Deutsches Historisches Institut Paris, Centre de Recherche en Politiques Sociales Dakar and LASDEL

Short Abstract:

Based on historically and ethnographically informed contributions, this panel explores the diverse practices of migration and mobility regulation on the African continent in order to question and challenge, in a second time, the notion of « migration governance » that prevails today in public debates and migration scholarship.

Long Abstract:

Migration and mobility have, both today and yesterday been crucial to the economic and social development of human societies. However, despite their essential role, these social practices have increasingly become a major challenge for African states and their societies. Indeed, the rise of political crises as well as the increase of ecological catastrophes have led to unprecedent exodus towards urban centres as well as to the establishment of refugee camps that African states and host societies have to handle. Todays’ restrictive and security-based migration policies of many African states and the externalisation of the European borders have further led to the widespread opinion that migration and mobility within Africa need to be better controlled, ordered, documented and governed. Yet, this mainstream view (among international organisations and states) tend to ignore the manifold circulatory and mobility practices which migrants, traders and other African mobile individuals undertake and that both contribute to the (local, national and global) economies and participate in regulating flows, the migration installations and the integration of strangers within the continent.

Bringing together historically and ethnographically informed contributions that emphasize the perspective of the actors, this panel explores the diverse practices of migration and mobility ‘governance’ on the African continent. It aims first to highlight the varied bureaucratic and non-bureaucratic forms of mobility regulation in Africa and the different actors and formal and informal institutions (public, private or civil society) involved in these practices in order to question and challenge, in a second time, the notion of « migration governance » that prevails today in public debates and migration scholarship.

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