Is ‘Sustainable Migration’ a Valuable Concept?

Is ‘sustainability’ a good guiding principle for migration policy? Or does using this word muddle well-informed debate on international migration? The notion of ‘sustainable migration’ has been floated as a guiding principle for migration policy. Is it a concept we should embrace? On the one hand, it neatly captures the idea that migration should be… Read more »

Record deaths at sea: will ‘regional disembarkation’ help save lives?

Never has it been more dangerous for people in search of protection to make the crossing to Europe. The estimated death rate on boat migration journeys across the Mediterranean has risen from 4 per 1000 in 2015 to 24 per 1000 in the first four months of 2018, according to available data. While the death… Read more »

What Shapes Which Migration Flows We Study?

How might decolonising the academy intersect with academic everyday practice, for instance in the context of migration studies? As efforts to decolonise the academy are gaining force, not least in universities in the United Kingdom, such as at the School of Oriental and African Studies, questions about how this timely intellectual scrutiny can or ought… Read more »

Popular Anti-Immigration Movements – and the Response of Democracy

All across Europe, we see growing opposition to immigration. Tough measures imposed by governments are limiting immigration but are not having the same effect on opposition to immigration. Mounting polarization is putting Europe’s democracies as well as European cooperation to the test. I recently visited Warsaw, and then travelled on to Berlin. The capitals of… Read more »

Will the “October Children” from Afghanistan Get Fair Treatment?

Is Norway’s asylum policy simply strict – or is it also fair and humane? In the coming weeks, approximately 200 young Afghans – the so-called “October children” – will have their cases re-assessed. Originally these children were granted temporary residence permits until they turned 18. Thereafter they were to be returned to life as internally… Read more »

How Far Should We Go to Stop Migration to Europe?

The police, the military and militia groups in Libya are keeping refugees away from Europe. Reports link this situation to funding from the EU and Italy. The money passes through intermediaries, but Europe must bear responsibility nevertheless for making the funds available. To restrict the numbers of refugees arriving from Africa, the EU and several… Read more »

Europe’s Quiet Offensive Against People Helping Refugees

A look back on three years since the end of Operation Mare Nostrum. Three years ago today, pressure by the European Union on Italy forced the end of one of the EU’s most successful humanitarian missions, Mare Nostrum, a search-and-rescue operation that in just one year brought 130,000 refugees safely to Europe’s shores. As the… Read more »

Migrant Smugglers Are Winning. Here’s Why

Migrant smuggling: moving people across borders for profit, is reported to be one of the fastest-growing and most lucrative forms of organized criminal activity. Smugglers crowd their human cargo into shipping containers and onto boats and trucks. Many migrants arrive safely and consider the investment well spent. But migrant smuggling is a dirty business: excessive… Read more »

A Plural Conception of the Nation

Nationalism and the political salience of national identities are on the rise in contemporary Europe and beyond. This rise is often associated with populist movements. These include populist political parties, several in position across Europe today, whose politics are characterized by isolationism and anti-immigration stances, and right-wing populist groups, characterized by xenophobia, sometimes overt racism… Read more »