Most social science theory emerges from observations of actors, processes, institutions or other entities, where we surmise patterns in the ways they operate. From this, we develop abstract concepts and put forward theoretical statements. Yet, these remain shaped by the context in which the observations are originally made. In academic papers concerning migration governance, it is all too common to use key concepts unqualified, such as migration ‘governance’, ‘management’, ‘policy’, or ‘regular’, ‘irregular’ and ‘orderly’ migration. The abstraction and application of such concepts and related theories reflect geopolitical and hegemonic power structures, as much migration governance theory derive from observations of movement within or towards North America and Europe. These are then applied in areas where migration is seen as problematic, as e.g. with current migration from poorer regions of the world, so-called south-north migration. Migration governance theory will remain very limited if dominated by the experience of a limited portion of the globe. And there is therefore a need for more theory emerging from observations of migration governance, actors, processes, and institutions in the Global South.
This panel calls for papers that postulate or use theories and concepts on migration governance/policy/management based on empirical realities in the Global South. This includes contributions that de-centralize the state, and/or question dominant narratives concerning ‘good’ governance and ‘good’ migration. Proposals should include a 250-word abstract and the affiliation and contact details of the author(s). Deadline for submission is 3 December 2022.
Please submit your proposal to