Webinar: Elite Networks and the Transregional Dimension of Authoritarianism: Sino-Emirati Relations in Times of a Global Pandemic

Liebe Freunde und Interessierte des Arnold-Bergstraesser-Instituts,

am Donnerstag, den 15. Juli 2021 um 12:30 Uhr wird die Politikwissenschaftlerin Julia Gurol ihr Paper zu sino-emiratischen Beziehungen auf dem Gebiet der digitalen Überwachung vorstellen. Sie zeigt, dass die autoritäre Diffusion unter dem Schirm der Pandemiebekämpfung nicht räumlich an geopolitische Nähe oder andere strukturelle Ähnlichkeiten gebunden ist.

Webinar: Elite Networks and the Transregional Dimension of Authoritarianism: Sino-Emirati Relations in Times of a Global Pandemic

Liebe Freunde und Interessierte des Arnold-Bergstraesser-Instituts,

am Donnerstag, den 15. Juli 2021 um 12:30 Uhr wird die Politikwissenschaftlerin Julia Gurol ihr Paper zu sino-emiratischen Beziehungen auf dem Gebiet der digitalen Überwachung vorstellen. Sie zeigt, dass die autoritäre Diffusion unter dem Schirm der Pandemiebekämpfung nicht räumlich an geopolitische Nähe oder andere strukturelle Ähnlichkeiten gebunden ist.

Freitag, 25. Juni 2021

Video: Perspectives on migrant immobilities during the COVID-19 pandemic from the Global South

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, migrant communities have become immobile - stranded in destination countries or unable to continue their journey in transit or in countries of origin. In the research project "Pandemic (Im)mobility: COVID-19 and Migrant Communities in the Global South", researchers from Mexico, Nepal, Qatar, Zimbabwe and Germany collaborated to outline how migrant communities in the Global South were affected by the pandemic and how they responded. 

Watch a video summary of the research from the different researchers here.

Zahra Babar, Associate Director for Research at CIRS at Georgetown University in Qatar, talks about the topics and projects is she currently working on, how  the COVID-19 pandemic affected different migrant communities in Qatar and in the Gulf and how the state approach towards migrants has changed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Luisa Gabriela Morales Vega, professor at the Autonomous University of Mexico State, and a member of the Research in Progress Seminar on Critical Legal Studies and Migration at the National University of Mexico spoke aboout her research interests, how the COVID-19 pandemic affected the movement and conditions of migrant communities in Mexico and the recent developments in the border regime between Mexico and USA.

Joyce Takaindisa, a scholar of migration and displacement in Zimbabwe discussed her research interests, the current (pandemic) conditions of Zimbabwean migrant communities in South Africa and how the border regime between Zimbabwe and South Africa has changed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Anita Ghimire, research director at the Nepal Institute for Social and Environmental Research, talked about her research interests, how COVID-19 pandemic has affected emigrant communities from Nepal and how  the pandemic altered the decision-making processes of Nepalese migrants.

More information on this project.

Freitag, 25. Juni 2021

Video: Wissenschaftlerinnen über Immobilitäten von MigrantInnen während der Corona-Pandemie

Seit dem Beginn der COVID-19-Pandemie sind Migrant*innen immobil geworden - sie sitzen in den Zielländern fest oder sind nicht in der Lage, ihre Reise im Transit oder in den Herkunftsländern fortzusetzen. Im Forschungsprojekt "Pandemic (Im)mobility: COVID-19 and Migrant Communities in the Global South" arbeiten WissenschaftlerInnen aus Mexiko, Nepal, Katar, Simbabwe und Deutschland zusammen, um darzulegen, wie Migrant*innen im Globalen Süden von der Pandemie betroffen waren und wie sie darauf reagiert haben. Diese Untersuchungen wurden anschließend in Relation zueinander gestellt.

Hier berichten die WissenschaftlerInnen nun via Video auf unsere Fragen.

Zahra Babar ist Associate Director für Forschung am CIRS an der Georgetown University in Katar. Wir haben ihr 3 Fragen zu den Themen und Projekten gestellt, an denen sie derzeit arbeitet, wie sich die COVID-19-Pandemie auf verschiedene Migrantengemeinschaften in Katar und am Golf ausgewirkt hat und wie sich der staatliche Umgang mit Migranten während der COVID-19-Pandemie verändert hat.

Anita Ghimire ist Forschungsleiterin am Nepal Institute for Social and Environmental Research. Sie beantwortet Fragen zu ihren Forschungsinteressen, wie sich die COVID-19-Pandemie auf Auswanderergemeinschaften aus Nepal ausgewirkt hat und wie die Pandemie die Entscheidungsprozesse der nepalesischen Migranten verändert hat.

Joyce Takaindisa ist Wissenschaftlerin für Migration und Vertreibung in Simbabwe und beantwortet 3 Fragen zu ihren Forschungsinteressen, den aktuellen (pandemischen) Bedingungen der simbabwischen Migrantengemeinschaften in Südafrika und wie hat sich das Grenzregime zwischen Simbabwe und Südafrika während der COVID-19-Pandemie verändert.

Luisa Gabriela Morales Vega ist Professorin an der Autonomen Universität des Bundesstaates Mexiko und Mitglied des Research in Progress Seminars für kritische Rechtsstudien und Migration an der Nationalen Universität von Mexiko. Wir fragten sie nach ihren Forschungsinteressen, wie sich die COVID-19-Pandemie auf die Bewegung und die Bedingungen von Migrantengemeinschaften in Mexiko ausgewirkt hat und nach den jüngsten Entwicklungen im Grenzregime zwischen Mexiko und den USA.

Weitere Informationen zum Projekt

 

Donnerstag, 24. Juni 2021

ALMA Reviews Blog: “Europe” from “Here”: Syrian Migrants/Refugees in Istanbul and Imagined Migrations into and within “Europe”

Souad Osseiran; Migration Research Center at Koç University, Turkey

Published in 2017 by Duke University Press

Available at: https://doi.org/10.1215/9780822372660-008

In this book chapter, Souad Osseiran explores the processes of constructing specific understandings and perceptions of Europe and the EU by Syrian “migrants/refugees” located in Istanbul, Turkey in 2012 and 2013. Osseiran, who is an anthropologist and migration researcher at the Migration Research Center at Koç University, shows how these understandings and perceptions are “discrepant” (pp. 185, 187) from the officially “established political boundaries” (p. 185) of Europe and the EU, and how they are fundamentally shaped by the knowledge shared over social networks and as a reaction to the heterogeneous and fragmented asylum policies of the EU and its member states.

Osseiran clearly states in the beginning that no objective meaning of Europe or the EU exists (p. 185). Rather, she takes the official presentation of Europe and the EU – as spaces with clear external borders – and contrasts this with the imaginings of these two entities by Syrian migrants/refugees in Istanbul. She explains this differentiation by relying on a critical engagement with the concept of transit. While a transit country for the official Europe and EU is the space beyond their external borders, countries like Italy, France, Greece and Bulgaria are rendered de facto transit countries by Syrian migrants/refugees, since they engage with them as places not of permanency, but of temporariness, and hence transition. These countries are never labelled as transit countries by the EU and its member states “despite the significant [migration] flows through [them]” (Düvell 2010, p. 418). In other words, what is not a transit country for the official EU and its member states is actually dealt with very much as a transit country by the migrants and refugees. Osseiran, therefore, rightly proposes the application of the term “transit zones”, as developed by Sabine Hess (2010), as an analytical tool in this context instead of “transit country”. For Hess and Osseiran, transit zones are spaces both within and outside the borders of the EU which are connected by the “discourse and practical trajectories” of migrants’ journeys. In this sense, both Turkey and France, for example, are regarded as transit zones for the Syrian migrants/refugees who are intending to reach another country, such as Sweden. 

When planning their journeys from Istanbul through Europe towards the intended destination, Syrian migrants/refugees are relying very much on the information and anecdotes provided by their predecessors who are already on their journeys or have reached their intended destinations. This accumulated knowledge, which is shared via personal connections and social media platforms, forms what Osseiran calls a “common fund of information” (p. 193). Osseiran also tells us that in most of the cases, only recent and up-to-date information is relevant for Syrian migrants/refugees, because of the different and continuously changing bordering techniques and asylum policies of the different European states. The journey trajectories and destination countries are decided upon by the migrants/refugees in response to the general asylum policies (and their actual application) of fingerprinting, family reunification, length and type of residency permits, and the processing time of asylum applications. For some migrants/refugees whom Osseiran interviewed, France and Italy are temporary places because of low asylum recognition rates. In another very specific example, if a refugee was fingerprinted in Hungary, then Austria could no longer be considered a destination country, because the refugee would be returned to Hungary.

Though she briefly engages with the debate about the refugee/migrant divide (p. 188), Osseiran uses the two terms together, because in her consideration, a person on the move could be a migrant and a refugee simultaneously. At the same time, Osseiran decides against using the generic term “migrant” as an umbrella term that also includes refugees. She thus adopts the expression “Syrian migrants/refugees”, which fits very well with her topic, and uses it around sixty times in her 25-page chapter without concern about any tediousness this might create, nor any attempt to abbreviate the expression. What makes the chapter even more interesting is Osseiran’s high level of awareness of different aspects of a complex topic. The information she chooses to share with the readers about and produced by her interlocutors implies deep and close interpersonal interactions. One step forward from this chapter could be looking at how migrants/refugees see Europe today in terms of temporariness and/or permanence (individual security). From my standpoint in Germany, I see a mixed picture that includes rhetorical expressions such as “Europe is a blessing” and “Europe is a lie” – with a wealth of interpretations between and beyond them.          

Reviewed by: Dilshad Muhammad

_______________________

To all contributions of the ALMA Reviews Blog

Foto: ©Cynthia Matonhodze, Harare, Zimbabwe

Donnerstag, 24. Juni 2021

ALMA Reviews Blog: “Europe” from “Here”: Syrian Migrants/Refugees in Istanbul and Imagined Migrations into and within “Europe”

Souad Osseiran; Migration Research Center at Koç University, Turkey

Published in 2017 by Duke University Press

Available at: https://doi.org/10.1215/9780822372660-008

In this book chapter, Souad Osseiran explores the processes of constructing specific understandings and perceptions of Europe and the EU by Syrian “migrants/refugees” located in Istanbul, Turkey in 2012 and 2013. Osseiran, who is an anthropologist and migration researcher at the Migration Research Center at Koç University, shows how these understandings and perceptions are “discrepant” (pp. 185, 187) from the officially “established political boundaries” (p. 185) of Europe and the EU, and how they are fundamentally shaped by the knowledge shared over social networks and as a reaction to the heterogeneous and fragmented asylum policies of the EU and its member states.

Osseiran clearly states in the beginning that no objective meaning of Europe or the EU exists (p. 185). Rather, she takes the official presentation of Europe and the EU – as spaces with clear external borders – and contrasts this with the imaginings of these two entities by Syrian migrants/refugees in Istanbul. She explains this differentiation by relying on a critical engagement with the concept of transit. While a transit country for the official Europe and EU is the space beyond their external borders, countries like Italy, France, Greece and Bulgaria are rendered de facto transit countries by Syrian migrants/refugees, since they engage with them as places not of permanency, but of temporariness, and hence transition. These countries are never labelled as transit countries by the EU and its member states “despite the significant [migration] flows through [them]” (Düvell 2010, p. 418). In other words, what is not a transit country for the official EU and its member states is actually dealt with very much as a transit country by the migrants and refugees. Osseiran, therefore, rightly proposes the application of the term “transit zones”, as developed by Sabine Hess (2010), as an analytical tool in this context instead of “transit country”. For Hess and Osseiran, transit zones are spaces both within and outside the borders of the EU which are connected by the “discourse and practical trajectories” of migrants’ journeys. In this sense, both Turkey and France, for example, are regarded as transit zones for the Syrian migrants/refugees who are intending to reach another country, such as Sweden. 

When planning their journeys from Istanbul through Europe towards the intended destination, Syrian migrants/refugees are relying very much on the information and anecdotes provided by their predecessors who are already on their journeys or have reached their intended destinations. This accumulated knowledge, which is shared via personal connections and social media platforms, forms what Osseiran calls a “common fund of information” (p. 193). Osseiran also tells us that in most of the cases, only recent and up-to-date information is relevant for Syrian migrants/refugees, because of the different and continuously changing bordering techniques and asylum policies of the different European states. The journey trajectories and destination countries are decided upon by the migrants/refugees in response to the general asylum policies (and their actual application) of fingerprinting, family reunification, length and type of residency permits, and the processing time of asylum applications. For some migrants/refugees whom Osseiran interviewed, France and Italy are temporary places because of low asylum recognition rates. In another very specific example, if a refugee was fingerprinted in Hungary, then Austria could no longer be considered a destination country, because the refugee would be returned to Hungary.

Though she briefly engages with the debate about the refugee/migrant divide (p. 188), Osseiran uses the two terms together, because in her consideration, a person on the move could be a migrant and a refugee simultaneously. At the same time, Osseiran decides against using the generic term “migrant” as an umbrella term that also includes refugees. She thus adopts the expression “Syrian migrants/refugees”, which fits very well with her topic, and uses it around sixty times in her 25-page chapter without concern about any tediousness this might create, nor any attempt to abbreviate the expression. What makes the chapter even more interesting is Osseiran’s high level of awareness of different aspects of a complex topic. The information she chooses to share with the readers about and produced by her interlocutors implies deep and close interpersonal interactions. One step forward from this chapter could be looking at how migrants/refugees see Europe today in terms of temporariness and/or permanence (individual security). From my standpoint in Germany, I see a mixed picture that includes rhetorical expressions such as “Europe is a blessing” and “Europe is a lie” – with a wealth of interpretations between and beyond them.          

Reviewed by: Dilshad Muhammad

_______________________

To all contributions of the ALMA Reviews Blog

Foto: ©Cynthia Matonhodze, Harare, Zimbabwe