Others Publications

Tackling the root causes of displacement: the German discourse

Schraven, Benjamin
External Publications (2019)

Paris: Institut français des relations internationales (Notes du Cerfa 146)

ISBN: 978-2-36567-996-1

In Germany, an important role is ascribed to development policy when considering the question of how to deal with the causes of displacement and irregular migration. Development policy seeks to enable (potential) migrants to enjoy brighter prospects in their countries of origin through job creation measures so that they do not embark on the dangerous journey to Europe (or Germany) in the first place. The idea of deploying development cooperation as an instrument for tackling the root causes of displacement is not a new concept. In Germany, this notion was already a matter of debate back in the 1980s. In this context, the analysis of the impact of migration is at odds with important findings in migration and development research. There is, after all, a positive correlation between (socio-economic) development and migration: if employment and wages in a developing country rise, then international migration likewise increases. An important conclusion for German development policy would therefore be that processes of (regular) migration must be promoted to a greater extent. Moreover, important principles of development cooperation, such as respect for human rights, must be upheld at all costs. If this is not the case, then we risk, unintentionally, playing an active part in exacerbating future processes of displacement and irregular migration.

Further experts

Christ, Simone

Social Anthropology 

Ekoh, Susan S.

Environmental Research 

Flaig, Merlin

Social Science 

Jaji, Rose


Kuhnt, Jana

Development Economist 

Martin-Shields, Charles

Political Science 


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