Migration and the Illicit Global Economy
This webinar will examine the alleged convergence of irregular migration and crime in what is often referred to as the “illicit global economy” – the clandestine cross-border flows of people, goods, money, and information that are unauthorized by the sending or receiving country.
Policy makers and scholars have often affirmed that irregular migration may be the medium through which potential threats can breach state security. In this sense, it is not uncommon to hear claims or read statements asserting that sex traffickers, weapons dealers, drug traffickers and even terrorists rely on migrant smuggling networks to facilitate their mobility. However, while successfully peddled among anxious publics by governments and policy makers, this series of representations has often lacked significant empirical backing. Most troublingly, these claims often shape policing and enforcement practices abroad with devastating consequences on both migrant and local communities who suddenly see their everyday life subjected to criminalization, surveillance and control.
For this MPC Webinar, we will provide an empirical challenge to dominant, official narratives concerning illicit crime and their actors. Based on the issue of Public Anthropologist (vol 3, no 1), the webinar will present cases from around the world concerning the alleged clash of migrant smuggling with other forms of organized crime.
Chair: Luigi Achilli, MPC, RSCAS, EUI