Exploring the dynamics of international migration governance in South America, North America and Europe

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from: 11:00
to: 12:30

As part of the Migration Policy Centre seminar series, Leiza Brumat and Leila Hadj Abdou, Research Fellows at the Migration Policy Centre, will present on the dynamics of international migration governance.



The re-making of migration governance in South America: Analysing policy change in Argentina, Brazil and Chile, by Leiza Brumat

This presentation explores the domestic and international reasons that explain recent policy changes in the migration agenda in Argentina‚ Brazil and Chile by looking at key policy actors, their ideas, perceptions and relative power position. These three countries are key players in regional migration governance in South America and used to have a progressive approach towards migration. But they recently adopted some restrictive policy measures and started harshening their discourses towards migration. Brazil and Chile even pulled out of the Global Compact on Migration. This presentation will explore the common domestic and international factors that influence decision makers and thus explain these policy changes. The domestic factors include the power struggle between ‘pro-human rights’ actors and ‘securitist’ actors. The external factors relate mostly to international discourses around migration and the relationship with the US. By exploring recent changes in perceptions, interests and pressures, we analyse the remaking of migration governance in the region. The paper draws on 80+ semi-structured interviews conducted with key actors in migration decision-making in Argentina‚ Brazil and Chile between 2015 and 2018‚ as part of the ERC-funded project Prospects for International Migration Governance.

Evidence based policy migration debates? How governance actors produce knowledge & make judgements about international immigration, by Leila Hadj Abdou

This presentation will address dynamics of decision making in the policy field of international immigration. How do policy actors inform themselves and make judgements about international migration (its causes and consequences), and how they consequently decide which responses to adopt? The paper relates to the ongoing debate in migration scholarship about policy failure, or what has been also called an “alienation” of policy-making to complex migration dynamics. Contesting the idea about a lack of evidence in policy making to some extent, the paper argues that claims for more evidence-based policymaking are based upon a simplified understanding what policymaking and the formation of knowledge claims about immigration are about. While policy actors are by no means ignorant about the complexity of immigration and its drivers, understandings about international migration and responses to it are shaped by cognitive processes. These processes highlight some aspects of the phenomena and downplay others based upon values and attitudes by governance actors towards immigration, as well as pre-set organizational policy goals and political imperatives about immigration. The paper emphasizes that evidence should be viewed as part of policy narratives, rather than ‘objective facts’ detached from politics. The analyses refers to two specific settings: the European Union and the United States. In both cases, immigration is a highly contested, salient issue, and “illegality” has become a major perspective for governing migratory movements. The analysis provided in the paper relies on elite interviews with policy makers collected within a large-scale, international research project between 2014 and 2018: Prospects for International Migration Governance, funded by the European Research Council.