“Migration crisis”? What crisis?

9:30 am
9:30 am

A critical examination of discursive uses of “crisis” in the era of post-humanitarian migration politics

In the summer of 2015 the number of arrivals to Europe via the Mediterranean sea raised to over 1 million before consistently decreasing, with less persons arriving to Europe in 2018 than in 2014 according to the UNHCR data portal. Media outlets were quick in portraying the phenomenon as a migration, or alternatively, refugee crisis, often qualified as the largest since the Second World War. Critical migration scholars emphasised in turn the relatively limited number of arrivals compared to the number of refugees in neighbouring countries across the Middle East, or as a share of the total EU population (Freedman, 2018; Anderson 2017), or else in relation to previous migration patterns such as the European emigration to North America at the turn of the previous century. Notwithstanding these arguments, the “crisis framing” has deeply shaped European responses to recent migration, be it by fostering new policies or consolidating previous ones (Jeandesboz and Pallister-Wilkins, 2016). Four years on, the politics of deterrence tinted with biopolitical humanitarianism seems to have mutated into a post-humanitarian politics of exclusion.

Against this background, this workshop aims at examining the notion of “crisis” within the field of migration through an interdisciplinary dialogue bringing together philosophers, linguists, geographers, sociologists and anthropologists. Through a common etymology, “crisis” and “criticism” share a same semantical value, that of an opportunity offered to new understandings and changes. In contrast, the current discursive use of “crisis” seems to stress historical ineluctability and political inflexibility. How to explain this reversal? How can contemporary reflections around the idea of crisis illuminate its performativity? In what ways is the notion of crisis productive within the field of migration policies at various points in time? What has become of the figure of the migrant along temporalities of the crisis? How do discursive practices around the notion of crisis, changing forms of migration control, and humanitarian politics relate to each other?



9:00 am Introduction
| Alexis Nuselovici (Nouss), Literature Professor, Aix-Marseille University, Chairholder, Collège d’études mondiales, FMSH

9:45 am La crise humanitaire, une (im)posture politique
| Rony Brauman, Doctor, former president of Doctors Without Borders

10:10 am Crises of mobility, exclusionary politics and the humanitarian reason in historical perspective
| Polly Pallister-Wilkins, Assistant Professor in the Department of Politics, University of Amsterdam.

10:45 am Bureaucraties biopolitiques, questionner le rôle des professions médicales dans le contrôle migratoire
| Nina Sahraoui, Postdoctoral researcher GTM-CRESPPA, CNRS and Collège d’études mondiales, FMSH.

11:10 am Clinique de la crise - Le désordre des discours de l’asile
| Marie-Caroline Saglio-Yatzimirsky, Psychologist and Anthropology Professor, Inalco

11h35 Frontières et migrations à l'ère pandémique: la crise sanitaire a-t-elle donné raison aux nationalistes ?
| Benjamin Boudou, Senior Research Fellow, Max Planck Institute

12:00 pm General Discussion



Study day organised by Alexis Nuselovici NOUSS and Nina Sahraoui, Chair Exil et migration.

Published at 16 October 2020