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The Centre for the Study of Global Human Movement

 “Governing migration beyond ‘Fortress Europe’”, event report

The award granted by the Centre of Global Human Movement to Lorena Gazzotti (University of Cambridge), Melissa Mouthaan (University of Cambridge) and Katharina Natter (University of Amsterdam) contributed to funding a 1.5-day conference on “Governing migration beyond ‘Fortress Europe’”, hosted in the Alison Richard Building, University of Cambridge, on 16-17 September 2019. The call for papers attracted over 70 abstracts, and 16 of them were selected for inclusion into the program. Beside the panellists, participants included Prof. Ferruccio Pastore (FIERI, Italy), who delivered the keynote speech, and Dr. Federica Infantino (ULB, Belgium), who presented her newly published book. Speakers were from institutions based in 10 different countries in Europe, North America and Africa, and 13 participants over 18 were women. Very shortly before the conference started, Calvin Minfegue Assouga and Johara Berriane had to cancel their attendance due to visa issues and illness respectively.


During his keynote speech, Prof. Pastore reflected on the state of the debate in the field of migration governance in the South, situating the different papers presented at the conference within the new research avenues. The conference was composed of five panels: “Framing migration policies: Discourses on migration”, “Migration policymaking: Juggling with external influences”, “Migration policymaking: Democratization dynamics, “The role of non-state actors in the politics of “protection”” and “Dynamics on the ground: Street level implementation”. After each round of presentation from the speaker, the panel discussants drew parallels between the papers, and highlighted further questions. The panel structure left wide space for discussion, facilitated by the fact that the papers had been pre-circulated. This format allowed speakers not only to develop new theoretical angles, but also to workshop the papers in view of publication.


The event was concluded with a discussion of publication prospects. Ten authors committed to contribute an article to the special issue. At the moment, a special issue proposal on “Governing migration beyond ‘Fortress Europe’: dissident and dissonant migration policy dynamics in the Maghreb, Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa” is under consideration at a top journal.