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Migration Working Group – Scholars of Excellence Edition: De-centring the governance and knowledge production on migration

April 19, 2023
10:00 AM EDT - 4:15 PM EDT
Hybrid (In person at CERC Migration office / online via Zoom)
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The Migration Working Group is a series of monthly sessions to discuss innovative research being done on migration and integration by emerging and established scholars. The series gives researchers an opportunity to present their ongoing projects, learn about each other’s work and share feedback.

In spring 2023, our visiting Scholars of Excellence will lead workshops. The workshop is co-convened by Oliver Bakewell, University of Manchester, Nicola Piper, Queen Mary University of London and Anna Triandafyllidou, chair CERC Migration.

Migration is viewed as one of the important transnational governance challenges of our times by policymakers. Even though international migration remains a contested topic – countries of origin and destination, migrants and their families, civil society organizations and international institutions having different views and interests – a consensus has been rising among a core group of states (primarily drawn from OECD members) and global institutions in recent years, that migration can only be mutually beneficial (a win-win-win situation for migrants, countries of origin and countries of destination) if it is safe, regular and orderly. This is encapsulated in the Global Compact for Safe Orderly and Regular Migration from 2018. The narrative of the ‘good’ regular migration has become dominant, if not hegemonic, obscuring alternative perspectives on the needs and interests of different actors involved in the governance of international migration. This workshop challenged this consensus by articulating views of migration from outside this core group, particularly drawing on insights from Africa, Asia and Latin America.

The first panel discussed the political economy of knowledge production on migration and its governance and the ways in which donors, international organizations, and states can shape how we talk about and study migration and the terminology we use or the perspectives we privilege. The second panel elaborated on the side effects of safe, orderly and regular migration governance showcasing how in some cases regulated migration can be unsafe and unfair for migrants. The workshop de-centred the investigation in multiple directions: towards different world regions, towards a multitude of governance actors and towards alternative policy paradigms.

Workshop Agenda
10-10:30 AM EDT Welcome reception
10:30 AM EDT Welcome: Oliver Bakewell, University of Manchester, Nicola Piper, Queen Mary University of London and Anna Triandafyllidou, CERC Migration, Toronto Metropolitan University 
10:40 AM-1:00 PM EDT

Panel 1: Unpacking the ‘safe, orderly and regular’ nature of migration governance

Chair: Oliver Bakewell, University of Manchester 

  • Putting the ‘safe’ in labour migration governance in Africa: the role of regional organizations Amanda Bisong, European Centre for Development Policy Management  (PDF file) Abstract
  • African states and the EU: The trope and practice of “safe, orderly and regular” migration | Faisal Garba, University of Cape Town  (PDF file) Abstract
  • Middle space actors (intermediaries): The case of Nepali migrant workers to Malaysia | Yvonne Khor, Monash University Malaysia  (PDF file) Abstract
  • De-centring migration governance in a post pandemic world | Anna Triandafyllidou, CERC Migration, Toronto Metropolitan University  (PDF file) Abstract
1:00-1:40 PM EDT Lunch break
1:40-4:00 PM EDT

Panel 2: Political economy of knowledge production

Chair: Nicola Piper, Queen Mary University

  • Exclusions and disconnections: Migration and food insecurity in global and local knowledge production | Jonathan Crush, Balsillie School of International Affairs, Wilfrid Laurier University  (PDF file) Abstract
  • The state in the field: Mitigation policy to counterbalance temporary workers’ vulnerability in Canada | Danièle Bélanger, Université Laval  (PDF file) Abstract
  • The politicization of migration in South America: Solving innovations and the weakness of legal frameworks regulating mobility | João Carlos Jarochinski Silva, Universidade Federal de Roraima, Brazil  (PDF file) Abstract
  • Regional perspective/s on global governance of migration | Nicola Piper, Queen Mary University of London and Oliver Bakewell, University of Manchester  (PDF file) Abstract
4:00-4:15 PM EDT Reflections and concluding remarks