I have been immersed in sustainable development and regional integration since I was a baby through the activities of the RISC Consortium. I have met people coming from different parts of the world to discuss their regions and how they affect communities. I have had the opportunity to travel and see how life is in different world regions, how people are the same, and how they are different. One day, my parents asked me to explain to them what “sustainable regional integration” means. This is my answer.
Zenyram Koff Maganda
Regional absenteeism and the Wayuu permanent humanitarian crisis
Claudia Puerta Silva, Esteban Torres Muriel, Roberto Carlos Amaya Epiayú, Alicia Dorado González, Fatima Epieyú, Estefanía Frías Epinayú, Álvaro Ipuana Guariyü, Miguel Ramírez Boscán, and Jakeline Romero Epiayú
For more than 30 years after the arrival of the first multinational coal company in La Guajira, the Wayuu have raised their voices. They denounce the extermination of their people, the dispossession of their territory and their resources, and the negligence of the Colombian and Venezuelan states in facing a humanitarian crisis caused by hunger and the death of more than 4,000 children. The World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 pandemic within this context.
A decade ago, Regions & Cohesion started with an editorial article by Harlan Koff and Carmen Maganda, who proposed launching “a multilingual (English, French, and Spanish) and interdisciplinary forum for the discussion of the human and environmental impacts of regional integration as well as governance processes.”
Harlan Koff, Carmen Maganda, Philippe De Lombaerde, Edith Kauffer, and Julia Ros Cuellar
The year 2020 has been challenging due to the different overlapping crises related to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is difficult to celebrate amidst the awareness of the worst global suffering in generations. Nonetheless, we consider ourselves extremely fortunate to commemorate ten years of Regions & Cohesion. It is not lost on us that our commemoration occurs amidst the above-cited crises. The inaugural issue of Regions & Cohesion (2011) was entitled “Regiones, régions, regions, everywhere. … But what about the people?” It noted that regional integration had proliferated throughout the 1990s and early 2000s to the point that some scholarship was suggesting that regions could one day substitute nation-states as prominent actors in global affairs. The opening editorial of this issue noted that successful region-building, at the supranational, transnational, and sub-national level was measured in terms of economic prosperity and political stability. The inaugural issue questioned this approach by studying how well regions respond to the needs of citizens. It asked whether regions serve the needs of their people or whether people serve the needs of regional economies. The coronavirus-related crises have merely emphasized many of the shortcomings of regions and regionalisms that this journal has documented throughout its first decade of existence.
Human mobility and building inclusive societies
Julien Brachet, Victoria L. Klinkert, Cory Rodgers, Robtel Neajai Pailey, Elieth Eyebiyi, Rachel Benchekroun, Grzegorz Micek, Natasha N. Iskander, Aydan Greatrick, Alexandra Bousiou, and Anne White
The Partition of 1947 is a seminal episode in the history of the Indian subcontinent. Partition is still a living reality; it continues to define the everydayness of lives in the partitioned states. Memory is an important topic in the field of Partition Studies: the act of remembering and the subject of remembrance illuminate our understanding of Partition in more ways than one. Personal memories hold special significance in this regard. This article comprises two personal memory pieces on the cascading effects of Partition in individuals’ lives. The first story is a retelling of my grandmother's experience of displacement and her subsequent relocation in newly formed India. The story brings forth memories associated with her wedding jewelry box, which she brought with her across the border. The second story focuses on the life experiences of my domestic helper, a second generation recipient of Partition memories.
An open reflection on leadership, solidarity, and contemporary regional integration
Harlan Koff and Carmen Maganda
Nof Nasser-Eddin and Nour Abu-Assab in Conversation
Nof Nasser-Eddin and Nour Abu-Assab
In this conversation, Nof Nasser Eddin and Nour Abu-Assab—the founders and directors of the Centre for Transnational Development and Collaboration (CTDC)—discuss the importance of decolonial approaches to studying refugee migration. In so doing, they draw on their research, consultancy, and advocacy work at CTDC, a London-based intersectional multidisciplinary Feminist Consultancy that focuses in particular on dynamics in Arabic-speaking countries and that has a goal to build communities and movements, through an approach that is both academic and grassroots-centred. CTDC attempts to bridge the gap between theory and practice through its innovative-ly transformative programmes, which include mentorship, educational programmes, trainings, and research.
Nof and Nour's conversation took place in November 2019 and was structured by questions sent to them in advance by Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh. What follows is a transcript of the conversation edited by Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh and Mette L. Berg.
The Politics of Outsourced Immigration Enforcement in Mexico
While Mexico has been openly critical of US immigration enforcement policies, it has also served as a strategic partner in US efforts to externalize its immigration enforcement strategy. In 2016, Mexico returned twice as many Central Americans as did the United States, calling many to criticize Mexico for doing the United States’ “dirty work.” Based on ethnographic research and discourse analysis, this article unpacks and complicates the idea that Mexico is simply doing the “dirty work” of the United States. It examines how, through the construction of “dirty others”—as vectors of disease, criminals, smugglers, and workers—Central Americans come to embody “matter out of place,” thus threatening order, security, and the nation itself. Dirt and dirtiness, in both symbolic and material forms, emerge as crucial organizing factors in the politics of Central American transit migration, providing an important case study in the dynamics between transit and destination states.