New project on migration management in Africa and the Middle East

The new project asks how the EU's migration agenda influences policy-making in Africa and the Middle East?

The new interdisciplinary research project (2020-2024) is titled 'Effects of Externalisation: EU Migration Management in Africa and the Middle East' (EFFEXT). 

The project produces knowledge on the dynamics of migration and the effects of the EU’s external migration management in Lebanon, Jordan, Ethiopia, Senegal, Ghana and Libya. While previous studies have examined EU policies in continental Europe, this project examines the impact of the policies beyond Europe – providing new insights on these complex dynamics.

Bringing together scholars working on different case countries and aspects of migration, EFFEXT explores the broader landscape of migration policy in Africa and the Middle East. Preventing irregular migration has become a major European priority and to achieve this they have partnered with countries beyond their borders to develop an external infrastructure necessary to manage migration.

Migration plays an important role in development across countries in Africa and the Middle East so it seems paradoxical that they collaborate with European partners to reduce migration and increase returns. This project seeks to understand the incentives driving these partnerships and the impact beyond the European borders of these policies that aim to manage migration. 

EFFEXT's research and findings will improve our knowledge and understanding of the impact of the EU's external borders, beyond continental Europe. This will inform the work of communities, policymakers and other relevant stakeholders in improving the quality of migration policy at home and abroad. By producing excellent academic research, the project will also contribute to theory building in an under-explored area. 

The project is based at the Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI) in Bergen, Norway and the GDI is one of the institutional partners alongside the Danish Institute of International Studies (DIIS) and the Centre for Development and Emergency Practice (CENDEP) at Oxford Brookes University.

Dr Oliver Bakewell will be leading this project at GDI and will be responsible for coordinating the Ethiopia case-study and work on analytical comparison and theory development across all case studies. He will be working with a post-doctoral researcher based in Addis Ababa. During 2021, they will prepare a desk review of Ethiopian national policies and European-Ethiopian relations on migration. From 2022, this will be followed up by interviews and analysis of the policy implementation and the impacts of external migration interventions in Ethiopia.

"I seized upon the opportunity of joining the EFFEXT project team as it gives me a great opportunity to explore some questions that have puzzled me for a long time as I have followed debates about African migration. Over the year, I have seen how common sets of practices and ideas about migration policy have spread across the continent. These are often supported by external donor funding, especially from the EU. This raises questions about the extent to which ideas of migration management and good policy practice balance the interests of African states and these donors."

You can find out more about the project, funded by Nordforsk, and keep up-to-date with the latest developments on our website or Twitter.

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