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Comparative Politics

B01(b) - Migration: Policies and Practice I

Date: Jun 4 | Time: 08:45am to 10:15am | Location: SWING 109

Chair/Président/Présidente : Ahmed Khattab (Georgetown University)

Discussant/Commentateur/Commentatrice : Isabelle Côté (Memorial University of Newfoundland)

A Dualism of State Sanction: The Emigrant-Citizens of Egypt and Tunisia: Ahmed Khattab (Georgetown University)
Abstract: This paper aims to explore how political change within a home country is associated with the politicization of its emigrant communities. The series of post-2010 upheavals in the MENA region provide a fertile testing ground for how major political events shape this emigrant-home country political exchange, and how this induces a redrawing of the political parameters these extraterritorial citizens envision for themselves versus those envisioned by their home governments. In the aftermath of the Arab Spring, Egypt and Tunisia witnessed discursive bargaining over political rights and the notion of extraterritorial citizenship in the form of constitutional amendments, judicial reinterpretations of constitutional articles and laws, nationality and citizenship law modifications, and contested voting procedures and candidacy requirements that accompanied the political turbulence in both countries. This paper attempts to examine how these developments increasingly reveal the contentious politics of activating and deactivating diasporic communities.


Not Local Enough: Opposition to Internal Migration and Subnational Migration Controls in Asia: Isabelle Cote (Memorial University of Newfoundland), Mira Raatikainen (Memorial University of Newfoundland)
Abstract: Regulating population movements has historically been the domain of the state; but recently, provinces and other subnational units have been asking for an increasingly large say over migration –both international and, more controversially, domestic. What explains the rise of opposition to internal migration? Why was this opposition translated into sub-national decrees regulating migratory movements in some regions but not in others? How did multinational states react to regionally-made obstacles to population movements that encroached into its jurisdiction and challenged the creation of an inclusive democratic citizenship? This study provides an examination of economic/utilitarian motives and nativist discourses used to curtail flows of inter-provincial migrants in federal (India and Malaysia) and non-federal (Indonesia and China) states. Notwithstanding the empirical focus on Asian countries, this paper takes stock of local responses to internal population movements around the world and provides important theoretical and policy insights for other countries in Asia and elsewhere.


Trading Liberty: Assisted Repatriations in Liberal Democracies: Konrad Kalicki (National University of Singapore)
Abstract: Surging flows of international migrants challenge the state’s capacity to control borders. In liberal democracies, they pose a dilemma for policymakers of how to deny presence to those deemed unwanted without contravening the state’s fundamental liberal democratic principles. This problem is particularly acute when it comes to vulnerable asylum seekers and irregular migrants as publics are simultaneously increasingly unwilling to support their presence, but also unwilling to support their forced deportation. Against the backdrop of these realities, this paper traces the development of monetized means of inducing voluntary repatriations. In contrast to the argument that this phenomenon exemplifies neoliberal economization of belonging, I contend that, paradoxically, the growing practice of paying migrants to leave should be conceptualized as a subset of immigration policies rooted in the liberal outlook.