The IES Research Colloquium: Kelsey Norman

September 17, 2018

Kelsey Norman, SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow (Political Science, UBC): “Migration Diplomacy in the Mediterranean Region: Before and After the 2015 ‘Crisis’”

Lunch will be served at 12:00 pm
12:15 pm
CK Choi, Rm. #351

Abstract – On February 3, 2017 the EU and the UN-backed Libyan government agreed to a deal whereby Libya would prevent irregular migration to Europe, establish temporary refuge within its borders to screen asylum-seekers, and ‘voluntarily’ repatriate refugees wiling to return to their countries of origin, overlooking gross human rights violations toward migrants in Libya as well as previous violent actions taken by the Libyan navy in violation of international law. Agreements between European countries and migrant or refugee host states in the Middle East and North Africa are not new: the EU and individual states have used the incentive of increased trade and visa access to compel neighboring countries to adopt policing measures and border controls to prevent migration over the last two decades. Yet in the wake of the 2015 European refugee ‘crisis,’ the power (im)balances between counties in Europe and host countries of the Middle East were renegotiated. Drawing upon primary research in Egypt, Morocco, Turkey, and Lebanon as well as recent policy documents and non-governmental reports, I examine how host states in the Mediterranean region, as well as sending states further afield in sub-Saharan Africa, benefitted from Europe’s post-2015 political crisis and used migration diplomacy to extract more concessions than they were able to previously. I also look at the implications for individual migrants and refugees stuck on Greek islands, returned by boat to Libya, or residing semi-permanently in Middle East host states.