Migrants, Borders and Global Capitalism: West African Labour Mobility and EU Borders

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2013-04-08
  • Publisher: Routledge

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This book provides a multi-scalar analysis of contemporary West African migration towards Europe, examining the local dynamics of a migration regime that positions itself in the tensions between broader agendas of labour mobility, development and security. In the West African phenomenon of 'step-wise' journeys to Europe by land and sea, competing territorial and economic policies regulate an unstable and unpredictable trajectory. The sum of displacement, borders and labour exploitation can be conceptualised as 'unfree labour mobility'. This complex regime is not, however, deterministic and from conception of the journey to wage labour and the sending of remittances, there are localised struggles and alternatives. Hannah Cross analyses the process of becoming an 'illegal' migrant and of entry to the labour market. This entry takes place at different levels and in different country contexts. Case studies from Senegal, Mauritania, Spain and along West African migration routes offer an explanation of migration and labour mobility which identifies the role of global capitalism in regulating flows of people. Differential forms of capitalist inclusion and exclusion, and particularly dispossession, emerge as a significant dynamic in the causes and consequences of migration. This book offers new insight into the forces behind step-wise mobility. It examines the causes and consequences of multifarious trajectories, including staying and returning. Migrants' interactions with the state political economies and global security or labour regimes that they enter form the focus, rather than the mechanisms of a particular network or stream viewed as a single socio-cultural entity. The themes and patterns that emerge, in their context of inter-generational change, present a challenge to the accepted wisdom about the individual and household dynamics of labour migration. This book will be of interest to students and scholars of migration, transnationalism, politics, security, economics, and sociology.

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