AFRICA SEMINAR: Worlds Apart: Europe and Africa in Global Migration Governance

It is an understatement to say that over the past decade, migration has become a central theme in relations between Africa and Europe. In fact, migration is a political and diplomatic issue that seems to have imposed itself on a range of policy agendas, from development cooperation to peacebuilding and counterterrorism, and from climate change mitigation to discussions around Africa’s demographic transition. On the basis of a newly published edited volume, this lecture offers a reflection on how and why migration has gained such prominence in the relations between the two continents, and sets out to explore the extent to which African and European understandings of, and approaches to, migration governance have grown worlds apart. The lecture takes a policy-oriented focus as it reviews the predominant migration policies post-refugee crisis in this context. The presentation emphasises the confrontation between European and African views and understandings of migration governance, and addresses some of the most common misperceptions about the scale and nature of African migration in that light.

The lecture is given by Jesper Bjarnesen, Associate Professor at the Nordic Africa Institute. 

Jesper Bjarnesen

Jesper Bjarnesen is an Associate Professor in cultural anthropology and senior researcher at the Nordic Africa Institute, working mainly on migration and mobility through wartime and peace in West Africa. Other interests include wartime displacement, intergenerational relations, rural-urban connections, informal labour recruitment, transnational migration and urban informal settlement. He is the co-founder and co-coordinator of the AEGIS Collaborative Research Group on African Migration, Mobility, and Displacement (AMMODI).