POSTPONED – Reappraising the Governance of Migration and Asylum

The #escapes2020 conference has been postponed until 2021
due to COVID-19 outbreak

VI Escapes Conference – #escapes2020
Reappraising the Governance of Migration and Asylum
Resistance and Action at Times of Ambivalence and Uncertainties

Università degli studi di Milano, 25-26 June 2020

The 2001 International Agenda for Migration Management as well as the Global Compact for Safe Orderly and Regular Migration adopted in 2018 by the majority of UN Member States in Marrakech have reaffirmed states’ sovereign right to determine their own national migration policies in terms of admission, asylum, naturalization and expulsion, “in accordance with international law.”

Tensions between states’ international obligations to respect the fundamental rights of persons (be they migrants or non-migrants) and their attempt to protect their sovereign preserve in the field of migration policies have been addressed by the scholarship across various disciplines.

Yet today, the oft-cited reference to “tensions” may not suffice to address the emergence of mechanisms, legal provisions and policy decisions aimed at deterring people from seeking safer harbour abroad and at delegitimizing their aspirations for decent living conditions. Nor is the reference to tensions between international law and states’ sovereignty enough to analyse the widespread diffusion of ambivalent notions (e.g. “saving lives”, “safe third country”, “safe harbour”, “controlled centres”, “regional disembarkation platforms”), the banal acceptance of fuzzy political constructs (e.g. “safe return”, “circularity”, “mobility”, “economic migrants”, “voluntary vs. forced return”) and the common use of atypical arrangements (e.g., exchanges of letters, memoranda of understanding, administrative arrangements, deals) having severe implications for human rights observance and protection. These developments have been conducive to the expansion of grey zones where distinctions between conventional categories and definitional limits have become gradually unclear. Today, they are also visible at local, national, regional and multilateral levels.

The 2020 Escapes conference is aimed at interrogating these unprecedented developments (Why is it so and not otherwise?), their attributes (How have they been apparent?) as well as their implications for migrants and citizens alike. Finally, shedding light on the existence of a grey zone, where euphemism, ambivalence, removal and violence converge, is a prerequisite to limiting its expansion and to defining alternative patterns of resistance and action.

The conference will be organized into 4 thematic strings:

  1. Understanding the present. The origin of institutes, practices and dispositives
  2. Resistances, practices, actions
  3. Looking at the “shadow zones”
  4. Refugee hosting in Europe’s sovereignisms

Scientific Committee:

Carlo Caprioglio, Jean-Pierre Cassarino, Luca Ciabarri, Emanuela Dal Zotto, Francesco Ferri, Elena Fontanari, Lucia Gennari, Letizia Mancini, Chiara Marchetti, Monica Massari, Barbara Pinelli, Martina Tazzioli, Andrea Tomaso Torre.

Abstracts should be sent by March April 30, 2020

call for papers EN
#escapes2020 ITcall for papers IT