Localising Migration Diplomacy in Africa? Ethiopia in its Regional and International Setting

The paper analyses African-European diplomatic relations on migration. It looks closely at the ideas and practices that inform migration relations between the African Union and the European to explore wider links between migration diplomacy and migration governance to assess divergent African and European understandings of migration governance and the diffusion of migration issues into domestic political agendas. To exemplify the argument, we focus in particular on Ethiopia’s migration diplomacy, which we understand as inter-state actions and interactions that are diplomatic in form, have a significant foreign policy dimension, and, have cross border mobility as their focus. We identify four key effects of migration diplomacy: a tension between free movement and containment that highlights divergent understandings of the causes and effects of migration and displacement between African and European countries; African engagement with the development of international norms and standards to which EU states are more ambivalent; a distraction effect away from migratory routes other than that towards the EU; and, the effects of diffusion of migration agendas into domestic politics in African countries.