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Introduction

Recentering the South in Studies of Migration

Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh

Abstract

It has become increasingly mainstream to argue that redressing the Eurocentrism of migration studies requires a commitment to decentering global North knowledge. However, it is less clear whether this necessarily means “recentering the South.” Against this backdrop, this introduction starts by highlighting diverse ways that scholars, including the contributors to this special issue, have sought to redress Eurocentrism in migration studies: (1) examining the applicability of classical concepts and frameworks in the South; (2) filling blind spots by studying migration in the South and South-South migration; and (3) engaging critically with the geopolitics of knowledge production. The remainder of the introduction examines questions on decentering and recentering, different ways of conceptualizing the South, and—as a pressing concern with regard to knowledge production —the politics of citation. In so doing, the introduction critically delineates the contours of these debates, provides a frame for this volume, and sets out a number of key thematic and editorial priorities for Migration and Society moving forward.

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Inaugural Editorial

Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh and Mette Louise Berg

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Introduction to the Issue

Encountering Hospitality and Hostility

Mette Louise Berg and Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh

ABSTRACT

This introductory article to the inaugural issue of Migration and Society reflects on the complex and often contradictory nature of migration encounters by focusing on diverse dynamics of hospitality and hostility towards migrants around the world and in different historical contexts. Discourses, practices, and policies of hospitality and hostility towards migrants and refugees raise urgent moral, ethical, political, and social questions. Hospitality and hostility are interlinked, yet seemingly contradictory concepts and processes, as also acknowledged by earlier writers, including Derrida, who coined the term hostipitality. Drawing on Fiddian-Qasmiyeh’s work and on feminist scholars of care, we argue for the need to trace alternative modes of thought and action that transcend and resist the fatalistic invocations of hostipitality. This requires an unpacking of the categories of host and guest, taking us from universalizing claims and the taxonomy of host-guest relations to the messiness of everyday life and its potential for care, generosity, and recognition in encounters.

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Migration, Humanitarianism, and the Politics of Knowledge

An Interview with Juliano Fiori

Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh and Juliano Fiori

Abstract

In this interview with Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, Juliano Fiori—Head of Studies (Humanitarian Affairs) at Save the Children—reflects on Eurocentrism and coloniality in studies of and responses to migration. In the context of ongoing debates about the politics of knowledge and the urgency of anticolonial action, Fiori discusses the ideological and epistemological bases of responses to migration, the Western character of humanitarianism, the “localization of aid” agenda, and the political implications of new populisms of the Right.

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The Position of “the South” and “South-South Migration” in Policy and Programmatic Responses to Different Forms of Migration

An Interview with Francesco Carella

Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh and Francesco Carella

Abstract

In this interview with Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, Francesco Carella—Labour Migration and Mobility Specialist at the International Labour Organization (ILO) currently covering Central America, Mexico, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic, and previously covering North Africa—reflects on the position of “the South” and “South-South migration” in policy and programmatic responses to different forms of migration. He discusses how and to what effect terms such as “South” and “South-South migration” are used by different stakeholders in his professional field, and outlines contemporary challenges and opportunities to better understand the needs and rights of migrants, and to promote the rights of migrants and their families around the world.

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Editorial

Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh and Mette Louise Berg

Since the publication of our last issue, which included special sections on The Stakes of Sanctuary and Religion and Refugees, COVID-19 has continued to disrupt peoples’ lives and rhythms in multiple ways around the world. Vaccination programs have enabled many people in Europe and North America to start traveling again for work, to visit family, or for pleasure, yet long-standing global inequalities and inequities have persisted, with deadly effect. At the time of writing (end of February 2022), while 79 percent of the populations of high- and middle-income countries have received at least one vaccine dose, only 13 percent of people in low-income countries have been able to access the vaccine (Holder 2022), reflecting what Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesu (Director-General of the World Health Organization) calls global “vaccine apartheid.”

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Editorial

In, and For, Hope and Solidarity

Mette Louise Berg and Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh

We write this editorial in mid-February 2023 as the first anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine fast approaches. The war has so far led to over eight million people fleeing Ukraine to seek refuge across neighboring countries,1 an unprecedented situation in Europe since the end of WWII. While the hospitality and solidarity extended to Ukrainian refugees was widely commended from the onset, commentators, including the UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, Tendayi Achiume, have widely denounced and critiqued the racist and orientalist double standards and “racial tiering” inherent in popular and political responses to displacement from Ukraine (OHCHR 2022; Bayoumi 2022; Jackson Sow 2022; Ray 2022). Ukrainian refugees were welcomed with open borders and “open arms” while racialized third nationals fleeing from the same conflict, including 76,000 students from diverse African countries studying in Ukraine, were forcibly prevented from crossing the same borders, as an extension of institutionalized discriminatory policies which continue to frame migrants and refugees from Africa and the Middle East through the lens of hostility and suspicion (Zaru 2022; Banerjee 2023). Indeed, while Ukrainians have been welcomed across Europe, often explicitly because they have been racialized as white and Christian, people fleeing other conflicts, including wars in which European governments have played an active part, notably Afghanistan, have been met with soldiers and push-backs, in violation of international and regional rights frameworks, including the European Convention on Human Rights, in some cases at the very same borders, notably those of Poland, Latvia, and Lithuania (see Sanderson 2022).

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Editorial

Mette Louise Berg, Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, and Johanna Waters

This second volume of Migration and Society marks our continued intellectual engagement with authors, artists, and guest editors to make the journal a dynamic platform for exchange and debate across disciplines and fields of thought and action around the issue of migration. Migration continues to be an ongoing issue of global import, and in the past few years we have seen powerful stakeholders around the world developing processes, dialogues, policies, and programs to respond to the challenges and questions that it raises. As editors of Migration and Society, we remain committed to the importance of fostering critical examinations of, and reflections on, migration and the way it is framed and understood by all actors. As these processes and policies have increasingly aimed to “control,” “manage,” “contain,” and “prevent” migration, the need for careful attention to migrants’ everyday practices, desires, aspirations, and fears is particularly urgent, as is the importance of situating these both historically and geographically.

Open access

Editorial

Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, Mette Louise Berg, and Johanna Waters

Open access

Editorial

Mette Louise Berg, Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, and Johanna Waters

To say that working on this issue of Migration and Society has been a challenge would be an understatement. For all of us, from the members of the editorial team to our guest editors, contributors, ever-important reviewers, and the publishing team, 2020 has brought significant barriers. We have feared for the safety of our loved ones; grieved unbearable losses, often from afar; faced different forms of containment; and sought to, somehow, find the time and energy to care for our loved ones, our selves, and one another while navigating unsustainable work commitments and responsibilities.