‘Contested mobility‘: Migration policy in countries of the global South between local needs, national interests and global agendas

The project explores in selected example countries how global migration norms are translated into (sub-) national policies, how migration-related policies are negotiated with policy agendas related to climate change, urbanisation and state fragility and what their impacts are on diverse actor groups.

Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung (BMZ)

Time frame:
2020 - 2022 / completed

Co-operation Partner:

Institute of Migration Studies, Jigjiga University

Institute for Peace and Security Studies, Addis Ababa University

Robert Karl

Maseno University Kenya

Project description

With the Agenda 2030 and the 2018 Global Compacts for Migration and Refugees coming into effect, the international community faces the challenge of implementing these new global norms for migration management at the national and local policy levels – and identifying the role of development policy therein. A critical but often neglected aspect of these debates are the multi-level politics of migration. International cooperation, such as migration-related policy advice in the context of development cooperation, can only be sustainable if the political context in which migration issues are negotiated in a given country is properly understood and factored in.

Using the example of four countries in Africa (Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya and Senegal) and two countries in Latin America and Asia (Colombia and a still to be defined country in Southeast Asia), the project focuses on three dimemsions of the migration policy process: 1. A vertical dimension in which it analyses how global migration policies are - and can be - translated to the (sub-) national level. 2. A horizontal dimension, in which national migration policy preferences are studied in relation to interests and priorities in other policy fields (connected to the megatrends urbanization, climate change and state fragility) and formal and informal institutions. 3. Last but not least, the project enquires into the impacts of migration policies and related strategies on groups of displaced people (such as persons displaced by violent conflict and/or climate change, refugee hosting communities) and relationships between local policy makers.

The project builds on activities and results of the „Reducing causes of the forced displacement and managing migration“ project (2017-2019).