MPC Seminar on Asylum and Integration with David Keen and Friedrich Poeschel

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from: 11:00
to: 12:30

As part of its seminar series, the Migration Policy Centre will host the following presentations:

“The functions and legitimisation of suffering in Calais, France” – presentation by David Keen, LSE

This paper analyses the situation in the ‘jungle’ camp in Calais, drawing on fieldwork in the summer of 2016. Using interviews with migrants and aid workers in particular, it challenges popular conceptions of ‘jungle’ camp and shows how mis-representations have been put to political use.

The paper focuses on the instrumentalisation of disaster – long considered a feature of faraway wars and famines in Africa and other ‘distant’ continents – which has now been brought right into the heart of Europe. Suffering in Calais, France, has been manipulated for the purpose of deterrence and for domestic political purposes, and forms part of a wider system of outsourcing violence and suffering that has been legitimised through Hannah Arendt’s “action as propaganda” and through perverse re-definitions of “humanitarianism”.

‘Out there on your own: Absence of the spouse and migrants’ integration outcomes’
– presentation by Friedrich Poeschel, Visiting Fellow, MPC

In many countries, policies on family reunification of migrants are under review. Rules have become more restrictive in a number of cases, with unknown consequences for integration. This paper investigates quantitatively how delays in the reunification with the spouse affect integration outcomes in the long-term. A theoretical model of migrant’s investment behaviour predicts that migrants tend to focus on the short term rather than long-term wage growth, until the spouse arrives and the probability of staying increases. Using recent micro data from the American Community Survey, I estimate the effect of delays in the spouse’s arrival on the migrant’s wage and employment probability. The results indicate that delays significantly decrease wages in the long term, by 3% per year of delay. In order to address potential bias, the estimation is repeated using an instrumental variable. Qualitatively similar results are presented for European countries. The paper’s findings suggest that family reunification policies can have lasting effects on integration through the delays they cause.