Zeitschriftenartikel (Wiss.)

Protective exclusion as a postcolonial strategy: Rethinking deportations and sovereignty in the Gambia

Erschienen in: 
Security Dialogue, 53, 5, 475–493
Kurze Beschreibung / Abstract: 
In 2019, the tiny West African country of the Gambia imposed a moratorium on all deportation flights from the EU. Though West African countries are notoriously reluctant to cooperate on forced returns, such a moratorium was unheard of and caused an uproar within diplomatic circles in Europe. In the age of deportability, why is deporting ‘unwanted’ migrants an illustration of a nation’s sovereign rights, yet refusing to accept deportees is not?
The Gambian government used the moratorium to forestall political destabilization at a time of transition from a long dictatorship. With the moratorium, the government not only sought to protect deportees from violent removal practices but also served the interests of the Gambian population more broadly, among whom deportation remains deeply unpopular. Drawing on original expert interviews and informal conversations carried out between 2017 and 2020, this article shows that the moratorium allowed the Gambia to enact its internal sovereignty through a (temporary) protective exclusion of its citizens.
Given the asymmetric and colonial legacy of modern-day sovereignty between states, the moratorium was a legitimate renegotiation of established but questionable standards of interstate sovereignty.
Erscheinungsdatum Online: 
Thursday, 29. September 2022
Erscheinungsdatum Print: 
Thursday, 29. September 2022
Article in Academic Journal