Rents, rights, rejections and resistance: West African migrants, the EU's migration regime and militarisation in Mauritania

Cross, Hannah 2011. Rents, rights, rejections and resistance: West African migrants, the EU's migration regime and militarisation in Mauritania. International Journal of Human Rights. 15 (6), pp. 827-846.

TitleRents, rights, rejections and resistance: West African migrants, the EU's migration regime and militarisation in Mauritania
AuthorsCross, Hannah
Abstract

European Union (EU) migration policy prescribes dialogue and cooperation with the transit countries south of the Mediterranean, embodied in the Barcelona Process from 1995 onwards. This dialogue inflexibly favours the prevention of unwanted migration, which frequently arises as a result of political and economic crisis. Furthermore, the War on Terror has provided the conditions for a militarised ‘buffer zone’. At a time when several Mediterranean and Middle Eastern countries are renegotiating their state regimes and external relations, this article examines the development of a securitised migration regime. It argues that rentier politics, which underpin international exploitation of Mauritania's mineral resources and the management of its borders, have contributed to the governance of migration. This undermines the holistic aims of EU policy. As a result, Mauritania engages in a dual role: first as receiver of ‘returned’ migrants from Europe; and secondly as ‘returner’ of sub-Saharan migrants who may attempt to proceed to Europe. This strains established but precarious patterns of West African trade and labour migration, but also offers opportunities in migrant communities to overcome the hazards of attempting to enter the EU. This article examines the dynamics of West African migration and migrants' resistance to the EU's border and labour policies.

JournalInternational Journal of Human Rights
Journal citation15 (6), pp. 827-846
ISSN1364-2987
Year2011
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1080/13642987.2011.586859
Publication dates
Published2011

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