DSA2016: Politics in Development
This panel aims to re-frame the migration-development nexus from the perspectives of regional South-South migrations and interrogate the potential for a more expansive migration-development nexus which extends beyond financial and economic priorities to consider wider political concerns.
South to South migration remains marginalised in expansive research on transnational migration, which continues to be theorised from the 'norm' of South-North migration (Hujo and Piper 2010). Focusing specifically on the migration-development nexus, this session has two main imperatives:
(I) Explore the potential to reframe migration-development nexus debates from the varied perspective and experiences of South-South regional migrations. In so doing, we want to explore the politics of framing migration as a potential source of development. This will include the problems associated with seeing migrants as potential sources for remittances.
(ii) Expand the focus of the migration-development nexus beyond the economic and financial, to consider the question of migrants' rights. One way in which this could be achieved, is by shedding light on specific themes that are often left out of the political arena. Many governments and migrant organisations, avoid tackling issues that are important to secure migrants' rights, because they are deemed as being 'too political'. What examples can we find of this invisibilisation of key concerns in regional South-South migrations? What are the consequences of making these issues invisible? How do migrants resist these processes? And how do these examples help us re-frame the migration-development nexus?
Collectively, we are particularly interested in building a more democratic platform, one that better represents the reality of varied migration streams and diverse voices, to unpick the politics of migration. The panel seeks papers that will respond to these questions either conceptually or empirically through examples of South-South regional migrations.
This panel is closed to new paper proposals.
Borders and the migration & development nexus
The paper interrogates migration-development nexus literature borrowing conceptual tools and analytical concerns from Border Studies. At its broadest, the paper offers fresh and critical analytical insights at the intersection of migration, development and border scholarship.
Mainstream theorisations of the migration & development nexus rely on two assumptions: 1) development can reduce migration "pressures" 2) migrants can contribute to development, most notably via remittances. The win-win-win scenarios posited by this conceptualisation, whereby migrants as well as sending and receiving countries could all potentially benefit, remain thus within a non-critical paradigm that begs for critical interrogation. As a way of offering a spatially aware, historically informed, and non-technocratic understanding of the nexus, the paper interrogates this literature borrowing a series of conceptual tools and analytical concerns from the field of Border studies.
In particular, first, it interrogates the state-centric perspectives typical of this literature through Border Studies scalar concerns, to offer a more accurate spatial theorisation of the nexus. Second, it interrogates assumptions about migrants' rationality typical of this literature through Border Studies concerns with situated, perspectival and process-based analyses, to offer a nuanced, embodied and subjective understanding of the nexus. Third, it interrogates the narrow concerns with the flow, distribution and productive use of remittances typical of this literature through the lens of border management. Using borders as an analytical prism opens up the possibility of thinking about migration & development policies as part of a wider range of border interventions, which include the opening up of markets to FDI, the securitisation of migration, etc. Interrogating policies concerned with "harnessing" the potential of migration for development in relation to a broader range of development policies, offers more politically significant understandings of the nexus.
Capabilities, development, and rights in South-South migration: the case of the Burmese diaspora
The capabilities approach is a productive framework for analyzing South-South migration and constructing a debate on the integration of rights, migration and development. We use this approach to discuss the Burmese diaspora, their experiences of deprivation and opportunities for South-South collaboration.
The development potential of migration is contentious when examining South-South migration, as regulatory legislation and frameworks are often lacking, and chances for collective action are low. As such, the invisibilization of migrants' labour and subsequent (in)access to protection and rights in South-South migration occurs on a large scale. To promote human rights within South-South migration, we argue that the capabilities approach as conceptualized by Sen and Nussbaum is a productive framework for analyzing these migration flows and constructing a coherent debate among scholars and policymakers on the integration of rights, migration, and development. Recognizing the selective application of the capabilities approach in the past, we argue that an interpretation of the capabilities approach which centres the rights of migrant workers, their families, and their communities, represents an appropriate starting point for future debate on the position and value of migrant rights. Using this theoretical perspective, we discuss the experience of Burmese diaspora, who are mostly located in Thailand, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Malaysia, Singapore, and India. Although an important source of economic, social and political support to populations in the sending state, the extent of labour precarity, mistreatment, and abject degradation, at least in Thailand, has created an environment in which illegal migrant workers are completely disenfranchised from mobilizing politically and staking claims. Although political apathy and exclusion may result from longstanding deprivation and exploitation from the sending and receiving state, a rights-focused capabilities approach offers a theoretical grounding on the possibilities of South-South relationship-building and collaboration within the migration-development nexus.
Balancing Act - Turkish migration policies in development: strengthening migration politics in Turkey
This paper discusses how the particular situation of Turkey as an origin, transit and destination country brings to the fore the tensions and opportunities for shifting approaches to migration and development.
This paper highlights lessons learned from a training of Turkish government officials on migration, labour mobility and development, conducted by the authors in April 2016. In a context of forced displacement, irregular migration and Turkey's evolving profile as an origin, transit and destination country, what stands between a rights based approach to migration management and recognizing the benefits of labour migration for development? Shifting paradigms and political approaches to migration and development in Turkey requires a focus on the economic contributions of labour migrants, diaspora engagement and relations with countries of origin.
Host to almost 2 million refugees and a number of migrant workers originating from Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Russia, Turkmenistan, Germany, United Kingdom and Georgia, labour migration in Turkey is to a large degree happening outside the regulative framework. Informal employment is affecting the protection of migrant workers and their contribution to development.
The Government of Turkey is implementing comprehensive migration reforms. Turkey's policy changes will need to go beyond combatting irregular labour migration, exploitation and trafficking, to attract qualified foreign labour on the other in line with the needs of the labour market. However, migration policies within the country still needs strengthening, as discussed in a training of government officials in April 2016 and as shown in the paper's conclusions and recommendations forward.
This paper discusses the situation of a country caught between several requirements: governing migration, responding to forced displacement, and its own labour needs - and practices compatible with international legal frameworks.
'Outsiders' in France, 'Westerners' in the gulf: motives for expatriation in the professional trajectory of second-generation French graduates of North African descent
In this article we analyse the motives for the increased presence of French nationals of North African descent working in the Gulf region. The article finds that these individuals develop strategies of expatriation in the Gulf to enhance their professional career.
In this article we analyse the motives for the increased presence of French nationals of North African descent working in the Gulf region. The article finds that these individuals develop strategies of expatriation in the Gulf to enhance their professional career. Paradoxically, the professional success they encounter in the Gulf is also the result of their 'Westerner' status as bearers of French nationality - a country in which they face ongoing discrimination in labour recruitment. These individuals self-ascribe their motivations as being the following: pursuing a migratory dream; bypassing perceptions of islamophobia and ascertained discriminatory practices in French recruitment; as well as to a latter extent, reconnecting with their cultural origins. In conducting this empirical research, this article elaborates on the concept of spatial capital, and brings novel empirical evidence to the study of North-South migration processes.
This panel is closed to new paper proposals.