Since 2015, the European Union has stepped up its efforts to curb irregular migration from sub-Saharan Africa through increasingly restrictive measures targeting transit countries along migratory routes, including Niger. While the EU has heralded the success of its policies to limit migration through Niger, EU migration policies have disrupted the economic system in Agadez, where transit migration has been one of the main sources of income and a factor of stability since the end of the Tuareg rebellions in 2009. This article discusses the impact that EU migration policies may have at the local level in countries of transit, and highlights the potential for these policies to fuel tensions between local and national authorities. The Agadez case study illustrates the importance of a multilevel approach to migration governance that takes into full consideration the role of local authorities and local communities in countries of transit.
Stemming the Flows of Migrants, but at What Cost?
German Pork Butchers in Britain
Margrit Schulte Beerbühl
Today foreign restaurants and food shops shape the culinary landscape of Britain. While the impact of post-war migration on the traditional eating habits of the British population has received some attention in historical research, the influence of former waves of immigrants has hardly been studied. This paper focuses on the immigration of German pork butchers and their contribution to the development of meat consumption in Britain. By looking at the pattern of migration it will be shown that migrants created geographically widespread networks in Britain. Within these networks they transferred skills, know-how and social capital. Through a complex process of adaptation and appropriation German sausages were incorporated into the British diet. This process involved natives as well as immigrants. The former had to overcome established food habits while the latter had to adapt their recipes to local taste preferences.
Withheld Stories and the Limits of Ethnographic Knowability
How to write about survival? How to tell survival? By exploring manifold reasons to withhold a story, I shed light on the limits of ethnographic knowledge production and the politics of storytelling that mobilize one story and silence another. Through engaging with the fragmented narrative of a Moroccan survivor of a shipwreck in Spanish waters in 2003, I reconceptualize the movement called “migration as survival” by theorizing it as an ethnographic concept. I explore the different temporalities of survival as living through a life-threatening event and as living on in an unjust world. These interrelated temporalities of survival are embedded in the afterlife of the historical time of al-Andalus and the resurgent fear of the Muslim “Other.” By suggesting an existentially informed political understanding of the survival story, I show how the singularity of the survivor is inscribed in a regime of mobility that constrains people and their stories.
Lessons from Collaborative Research on Sanctuary in the Changing Times of Trump
Sara Vannini, Ricardo Gomez, Megan Carney and Katharyne Mitchell
We reflect on the experience of a cross-disciplinary collaboration between scholars in the fields of geography, anthropology, communication, and information studies, and suggest paths for future research on sanctuary and migration studies that are based on interdisciplinary approaches. After situating sanctuary in a wider theoretical, historical, and global context, we discuss the origins and contemporary expressions of sanctuary both within and beyond faith-based organizations. We include the role of collective action, personal stories, and artistic expressions as part of the new sanctuary movement, as well as the social and political forms of outrage that lead to rekindling protest and protection of undocumented immigrants, refugees, and other minorities and vulnerable populations. We conclude with a discussion on the urgency for interdisciplinary explorations of these kinds of new, contemporary manifestations of sanctuary, and suggest paths for further research to deepen the academic dialogue on the topic.
Bordered nation-state approaches are increasingly challenged and they rarely hold up under critical questioning. In this essay I discuss the cultural interactions across Central Europe that preceded the nineteenth-century development of national consciousness and—for many only after 1918—independent states. I argue that identities based on religion, profession or craft, administrative or military expertise characterized people more than those founded on ethnocultural/regional origin during the various migrations of the period. A dual outward-inward perspective focuses on the influence of German-speakers in other parts of Europe and on men and women from other cultures in the core German-language regions. I carry the story up to the 1930s and I argue that transregional and transcultural approaches are empirically sounder than transnational ones. It follows that migrant destinations also need to be addressed as micro- or macro-regions—the several distinct locations in Eastern, East Central, and Southeastern Europe, for example—rather than in terms of states.
An Interview with Vice Mayor Lefteris Papagiannakis
Aris Komporozos-Athanasiou and Nina Papachristou
In this interview with UCL’s Aris Komporozos-Athanasiou, Lefteris Papagiannakis explains his role as Athens’ vice mayor for migrants and refugees. He discusses the city’s responses to the arrival of thousands of refugees and migrants in the last few years. He reflects on the complex relationship of the municipality of Athens with non-government support networks, such as non-governmental organizations (NGOs), international organizations, as well as autonomous local activists, in providing support services to migrants. Papagiannakis also addresses how Athens negotiates its support for these groups in the current European anti-immigrant climate, and the relationship between the Greek economic crisis and the so-called “refugee crisis.”
This article describes and analyzes the complex relationship between Turkey, Germany, and the European Union over the past half-century. It asks why numerous other countries have jumped the queue and managed to gain entry, whereas Turkey has been left knocking at the door, presented with increasing obstacles through which it must pass. The role of Islam is examined as a motivating factor in the exclusion of Turkey. Also, the historical memory of the Ottoman Empire's relationship with Europe is discussed. The mixed reception and perceived problems of integration of the large population of people from Turkey and their descendants who arrived in the 1960s as "guestworkers" is put forth as a key obstacle to Turkey's admission to the European Union. Contradictions in policies and perceptions are highlighted as further impediments to accession.
Examples from Vienna
In the last decade or so, several projects to exhibit 'migration' were staged in Austria's capital, Vienna. They were undertaken in various contexts: in museums, as part of art shows and in art festivals. These efforts are taken under scrutiny by the author, regarding their production, their way of enabling participation and articulation, and the new perspectives they opened. It is argued that through efforts of formerly excluded groups a change came about in how the figure of the 'migrant', and the various processes of migration, are perceived.
In the last decade, many descendants of immigrants from Turkey have been grappling with new expressions of their belongingness and workable identifiers to express their place within German society. Those searching are often citizens and young professionals who have been born or raised there. Until recently it had been assumed that incorporation though citizenship would be a sufficient basis for becoming Germans. It was also a political belief that to introduce the territorial right (ius soli) to citizenship would be a step toward Germany recognizing itself as a country of immigration. Whether or not this has been the case is addressed in this article. To do this critical events since the initiation of the settlement process and the messages communicated during this period will be examined. A review of these events and messages suggests that tradition, institutions and public discourse continue to articulate an ethnicized view of citzenship that creates barriers to identification with becoming a German. Two prototypes of responses to this situation are analyzed. Finally, there is a discussion of the understanding of citizenship required in this context.