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.
Recentering the South in Studies of Migration
An Interview with Juliano Fiori
Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh and Juliano Fiori
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.
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
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.
Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh and Mette Louise Berg
Encountering Hospitality and Hostility
Mette Louise Berg and Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh
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.
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.
Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, Mette Louise Berg and Johanna Waters
Since the “birth” of our journal, we have been committed to publishing work that situates migration in a wider historical and societal context, which has included paying attention to critical theoretical perspectives on migration, and particularly encouraging scholarship from and about the global South. This commitment is also related to the increasingly mainstream acknowledgment that Anglophone academic studies of and policy responses to migration and displacement continue to have a strong Northern or Eurocentric bias. In effect, while scholars and journals focused on “migration” and the cognate fields of “ethnic and racial studies” have often prioritized studies of South-North migration (i.e., from “underdeveloped” or “developing” countries “to” North America, Europe, and Australia), much less attention has been paid to migration within and across the countries of the so-called global South (i.e., South-South migration). In turn, scholars and policy makers alike have often positioned particular directionalities and modalities of migration, and specified groups of migrants as “problems to be solved,” including through processes that are deeply gendered, classed, and racialized.