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New chapter in ‘Research Handbook on the Politics and Law of Migration’

I feel privileged to have contributed a chapter with Scott Watson to this excellent volume, edited by Catherine Dauvergne, the Research Handbook on the Politics and Law of Migration, which was published yesterday.

There are a number of amazing chapters by some of the leading scholars in migration, such as Yasmeen Abu-Laban, Efrat Arbel, Elspeth Guild, Jenna Hennebry, Leah Vosko and many more. In our chapter, we explore the nature of the controversies that arose during the negotiation of the Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, the impact of designing negotiations as a ‘hybrid forum’ to contain these controversies, and the ‘excess’ controversies that emerged outside of the official negotiation process that ultimately influenced final adoption of the agreement. To do so, we draw upon the literature in science and technology studies (STS) – in particular, actor-network theory (ANT) – to conceptualize and analyse the debate surrounding the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. Specifically, we adapt the concepts of ‘translation’, ‘knowledge controversy’, and ‘hybrid forum’ to examine the controversy that animates the global dialogue on migration. Building on these concepts from ANT, we explore some elements of the controversy surrounding the Global Compact to understand how the international cooperative framework, its text, and related concerns circulated across networks between laypersons, government representatives, and experts.

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New book chapter in ‘The International Organization for Migration: The New ‘UN Migration Agency’ in Critical Perspective’

I have a new book chapter titled Measuring ‘Well-Governed’ Migration: The IOM’s Migration Governance Indicators in the The International Organization for Migration: The New ‘UN Migration Agency’ in Critical Perspective.

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Latest article in International Political Sociology

My most recent article in International Political Sociology is now published. View article

The article draws on my experience as an academic observer at the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) International Dialogue on Migration in 2016, 2017 and 2018 in New York at the United Nations. At the 2016 International Dialogue on Migration, the IOM unveiled its Migration Governance Index, a global benchmarking metric used to evaluate well-governed migration and monitor state progress toward the implementation of the migration-related targets in the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. While the IOM presents itself as a non-normative inter-governmental organization and technical service provider, in reality, I argue it exercises power and autonomy as an expert authority. Using the example of the Migration Governance Index, this article demonstrates how technical artifacts enable the IOM to exercise power at a distance and legitimate its institutional identity as the global lead agency on migration. In a fragmented field in which actors compete for authority, the Migration Governance Index federates and enrolls states and inter-governmental organizations into the IOM’s normative agenda of well-governed migration. Far from being a mere technical artifact, I argue the Migration Governance Index actively contributes to the construction of a global governmentality of migration management in which migration is constituted as a technocratic object of global governance.