The Institute is a partner of the symposium "Questioning the construction of African migration policies" organized at IMERA on 16-17 September 2021.
The multiplication, in recent years, of fieldwork and research on migration controls in Mediterranean and Sahelian Africa can be associated with the growing scientific interest in the question of "outsourcing" in the analysis of the construction of migration policies on the continent associated with European action in this field. While this key concept for European civil society is particularly relevant for thinking about the processes of transformation of rights, norms and practices related to migration, it also finds its limits in the face of certain empirical and theoretical realities. In addition to the Euro-centric approach it implies, it formulates the theoretical postulate that third states, particularly African ones, would be homogenous entities and passive receptacles, subject to taxation and normative transfers from other entities such as the European Union, its Member States and certain international organisations. This concept therefore conceals the existence of political and social dynamics specific to African States, which seize, according to their own agendas, the various opportunities offered by all these "external" cooperation and actors in the fields of migration but also security or democracy. Thus, international pressures and influences on the construction of African migration policies are embedded in strategies of state and non-state actors, at the regional, national and local levels, which are part of new paradigms with a view to (re)legitimising themselves, making them a resource, or repositioning themselves. International dynamics are thus embedded in contexts with multiple variables - be they social, identity-based or political - and in the mobilizing and administrative practices that nourish and guide them.
This colloquium calls for a change of perspective, giving African actors a prominent place in the observation of the construction of migration policies. By crossing various disciplines and scales of analysis, it seeks to question the way in which the "external" dynamics of migration meet the African social and political "terrains", but also to rethink the boundary between what can be considered as external to the continent and what is "endogenous" in the construction of migration policies.