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HomeMigrations, development and citizenship - APAD conference

Migrations, development and citizenship - APAD conference

Migrations, développement et citoyennetés

Conférence APAD

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Published on Wednesday, May 31, 2017


L'émergence de la dernière « crise migratoire » invite à engager et à repenser de manière critique le nexus entre migrations, développement et citoyennetés. Partout et de tout temps, la mobilité humaine et les migrations ont façonné les sociétés. La conférence pose comme point de départ la relation complexe entre migrations et développement pour élargir notre compréhension des migrations contemporaines et de leurs liens à la fois avec les processus et pratiques de développement, de la citoyenneté, du changement social, d'aide et d'intervention humanitaire. Notre objectif est de comprendre comment ces migrations produisent de nouvelles conceptions et de nouvelles pratiques de la citoyenneté et leurs implications, pour les groupes de migrants, pour les communautés d'accueil ainsi que pour les politiques publiques, dans les pays d’origine, d’accueil et de transit.


APAD Conference on Roskilde University, Denmark, 23-25 May 2018

Call for Panel Proposals

The Association for the Anthropology of Social Change and Development (APAD)[1], Copenhagen University and the Department of Social Sciences and Business (Roskilde University) organize together an international conference on Migration, Development and Citizenship.

The conference will be held at Roskilde University, 23-25 May 2018.

The Conference’s focus

The emergence of the latest so-called ‘migration crisis’ invites the critical engagement and rethinking of the migration-development-citizenship nexus. Human mobility and migration have shaped societies around the world for centuries. States have devised various means to organize or control human mobility by allowing or restraining migrants’ rights and access to resources and services.

Migrants share mixed identities, in their home society and communities, as well as in their host societies, as is the case with African migration within Africa and abroad (in Europe, America, the Middle East, China, etc.).

Recently, security, development and citizenship have been forced together in powerful and politicized ways, manifesting in the increased policing and tightening of African, European and American borders. Yet, restrictive policy does not prevent migration; it only redirects it. Such prohibition also alters the ways migrants or refugees adapt and find niches in host societies, and it conditions the relations to their families at ‘home’, their sense of belonging and their identities.

The conference takes its point of departure in the complex relation between migration and development with the aim to challenge and broaden our understanding of contemporary migration for its connections to the processes and practices of development, citizenship, social change and aid and humanitarian intervention. Our aim is to understand how these migrations produce new practices and conceptions of citizenship and what this means for migrant groups and host communities, as well as for public policies in origin, host and transit countries.

Researchers on these issues, as well as social workers, policy-makers and development practitioners, are invited to submit panel proposals for the 2018 APAD Conference on Migration-Development-Citizenship nexus. We welcome submissions in French and English and from all disciplines in social science and humanities, with a focus on in-depth empirical research.

The migration-development-citizenship nexus

While global media seem increasingly concerned with African and Middle-Eastern migration to Europe, migration is still primarily an intra-regional phenomenon. In many parts of Africa and the Middle East, mobility and migration have long constituted livelihood strategies. It is salient in West Africa where temporary migrations are prominent. It is also true for other African regions where environmental constraints are harsh, resources particularly limited and economic opportunities scarce. Equally, Middle Eastern migration and refugee movements have predominantly been intra-regional. However, lack of economic opportunities, civil wars and regional conflicts, political turmoil have increased the movement between regions; from Africa and the Middle East toward Europe, America, and Asia, and from Africa also to the Middle East. As a result, multiple transnational African and Middle Eastern communities have settled in a variety of continents.

From the first foundation of cities and empires, countless actors - including colonial and postcolonial administrations, independent states and decentralized powers, traditional chieftaincy, militias and rebel groups, bilateral and multilateral development agencies, corporations and development projects - have claimed the right and ability to control, organize or restrain people’s movement and to define who may have access to what types of rights.

Modern states are concerned with the boundaries between nationals and foreigners and have formalized and legalized differentiated rights, privileges and obligations most significantly in their effort to define national citizenship. However, nation states are not the only authorities that define relevant political identities. Above as well as below the level of nation state, institutions condition the lives and prospects of people on the move. Above, international law and institutions contribute to define categories and allocate rights, and below, local social norms, interdigitate with national laws to structure daily lives.

By citizenship, we understand more than membership of the nation-state. This conference sees national citizenship as one particular form of political membership alongside others which, at times, can be equally important. National citizenship intersects with forms of belonging and identity such as race, gender, ethnicity, class, creed, and conviction; all of which co-determine the individual’s ability to exercise his and her rights. Rights may well be enshrined yet not fully enjoyed.

In order to better understand processes of social inclusion and exclusion, we must take into account all these constituent parts of political identity. In this conference, we are interested in communities of foreigners who settle and claim rights as much as in communities on the move who negotiate access to shelter and resources. Ultimately, it is about the rights to have rights. We are therefore also interested in the competition between host societies, international institutions, development and humanitarian organisations, and state authorities over the authority to allocate or deny rights to new comers.

Conceptions and practices of citizenship vary between and among groups. However, what citizenship means and how it functions remains largely unexplored in many contexts, especially in countries where international institutions and funding play a significant role. The conference will study how migrant communities negotiate, acquire, and protect their rights by claiming legal status (such as refugee or asylum seeker), or by cultivating membership to a variety of political communities (EU, a nation-state, a region, a city, an ethnic or religious group, etc.). While migrants are not national citizens in their new surroundings, they are not exactly non-citizens, either. Host societies grant them certain rights. But their rights to the city, the job market and access to economic resources, social welfare and public services are effectively governed by institutions other than government or public institutions. North and South forms of claiming and negotiating rights and duties are diverse. Sometimes discreet reliance on personal networks allows people to avoid public institutions. Sometimes, clandestine lives involve corruption and violence, as forms of protection. It is obvious that context matters for citizenship. Therefore, it is important to look at the ways in which various groups in host societies are proposing hostility or hospitality, exclusion or inclusion, in contexts increasingly contentious.

In the field of migration research, the study of transnationalism in the 1990s has renewed the understanding of international migrations by showing the limited role of the nation-state and by looking beyond the boundaries of the host nation and paying attention to diasporas, the attachment to home, remittances.

Interestingly, migrant communities from developing countries who maintain ties and connections with people in their country of origin play a crucial role in the development arena. Through investments and remittances, transnational migrants attempt to meet the socio-economic needs of their families and home communities. In fact, today the remittances from African diasporas exceed the financial transfers of bilateral and multilateral aid institutions.

This dynamic takes place in evolving contexts where development aid from Europe is increasingly reoriented towards the fight against irregular migration and terror. This leaves nation-states ‘under aid regime’ in even more delicate situations to provide adequate public services to their citizens. Since most African populations are likely to experience increased levels of uncertainty, precariousness and poverty, such policies might well give more incentives for migrating outside the African continent. Yet, this requires empirical answers.

From a European perspective, irregular migration has been seen as a source of insecurity and a threat to social welfare and the job market. It has become a highly political issue in most member states of the European Union. Restrictive policies and political decisions in European countries have resulted in the fragilisation of individual and collective rights of certain groups of migrants while other groups are welcomed and have gained more rights and privileges. Decision makers, media, politicians and academics fiercely debate whether and how host societies should grant or deny rights to diverse categories of people (autochthones, new settlers, indigenous people, nationals, foreigners, expatriates, etc.).

Unwanted migrations towards Europe are being increasingly ‘subcontracted’ by the EU to African and

Mediterranean governments and a series of restrictive and pre-emptive measures have been taken by African governments. This includes increased border controls, criminalization of smuggling activities, new technologies of surveillance, etc. From an African perspective, less ‘spectacular’ and more ordinary forms of mobility are being increasingly constrained despite regional agreements on the free movement of people (ECOWAS, EAC, SADC). African migrants and ordinary citizens crossing borders encounter a variety of bureaucratic obstacles to their mobility including increased harassment of travelers, corruption, increased number of control offices. These later development seems to indicate a return of the nation-state in the governance of migrations. Moreover, considering that migrants are often economic entrepreneurs, the implementation of restrictive migration policies raises the question of their effects on migrants’ access to job opportunities and more generally on social change and economic growth in Africa, in Europe and in regions to where migrations are reoriented.

In this conference, we want to address the citizenship-migration-development nexus in order to better understand the complex relation between migrations and citizenship, in home societies as well as in transit countries and in host societies, in Africa and Europe. How do migrations affect social change and economic development and how do development aid and security policies shape migration patterns? We also want to understand how groups of actors whose rights are denied or threatened, organize in formal or informal networks, home-town associations and guilds to compensate for their initial dis-enfranchisement or to protect their rights. We wish to examine how different organisational structures intersect and produce the actual governance of migrants as well as the governance of rights and duties.

In development contexts, public services are often provided by different state and non-state actors. What is the relationship between people’s various citizenships and multiple service providers? What is the relationship between large-scale migration, the economic and developmental configuration of society, and the acquisition or denial of basic rights? How does development aid address migrants’ hopes, expectations and strategies? How do aid policies affect migration patterns? What is the impact of better service delivery on migrations? How do refugees and returnees affect their host societies?

Ultimately we seek to bridge the gap between the academic and the practice by addressing the question of how academic knowledge can feed public policies, humanitarian and development aid practices and integration policies.

The Conference and the panels, workshops and roundtables

This APAD conference seeks to stimulate research around this specific field of research at the intersection between migration, international development and citizenship and to promote exchanges between academic knowledge, development practitioners and the governance of migrations.

The organizing committee welcomes thematic panels, workshops and roundtables on any of the abovementioned issues.

The keynote speakers will explore of how discourses, regulation and law produce political and social categories of good and bad migrants, locals and outsiders, of enfranchised and legal minors, of citizens and strangers and how these categories are contested, negotiated or, on the contrary, reproduced by mundane practices, social movements and political claims.

A round table will gather scholars, policy makers as well as practitioners, from North and South, in order to discuss the results and political implications of the conference.

We would also like to invite visual anthropologists and film-makers to propose panels or submit films for public screenings.

Authors will have the possibility to submit their written communication to Anthropology and development, APAD peer-reviewed bilingual journal, to other academic journals and in an edited book. Policy briefs in French and English will sum up some results of the conference.

Practical information and deadlines

The Conference languages are English and French.           


  • Full rate for standard registration: €160. The standard registration fee includes documentation, lunch, coffee-breaks, cocktail and APAD fees for 2018 (+ including one issue of Anthropology & development, APAD journal).
  • Concession rate (APAD members): €120.

A specific page on APAD website is open for the Conference: http://apad-association.org/en/2018conference/

Panels will gather 4 communications around a specific issue.

Panel proposals can explore diverse dimension of the migration/development/citizenship nexus. They can focus on home, transit as well as host countries and places, on the way specific migrant groups move and share links with these different spaces, or on the policies and practices of institutions (at local, national or international level) toward migrants, as well as ordinary citizens’ practices.

All panel organizers must submit an outline and a call for paper of max. 600 words. The proposal must contain the name, email and institutional affiliation and position of panel conveyor(s). It can include bibliographical suggestions. It has to be send by email

no later than 15th June 2017

to the organizing committee at conference2018@apad-association.org.

The scientific committee will inform panel conveyors about the result of panels selection on 15th August 2017.

The call for papers for the different panels will be launched by Conference organizing committee and panel conveyors before the end of June.

Deadline for communication abstracts is 15th October 2017. Panel conveyors will select the abstracts and propose a full programme of their panel for the 15th November 2017. Panel programs will be evaluated by the scientific committee.

Full communication papers are required for April 2018, for inclusion on website.

Some grants will be available for African scholars. APAD will organise a writing workshop in March 2018 for young African scholars with a selected paper.

About APAD

Created in 1991, the Association for the Anthropology and Social Change (APAD) is an international network of scholars which seeks to advance scientific exchanges as well as dialogue with development actors on issues of social change and development, in Africa and elsewhere.

APAD organizes an international conference every third year, which brings together academic and development professionals who explore development issues through empirically grounded and contextualized studies. The conferences serve as the association’s public forum for academic exchange, critical reflections and public debates on pressing global and developmental questions. The most recent conference held in Cotonou (Benin) in 2015 addressed ‘the fabrication of public action in countries ’under an aid regime’.

APAD joins forces together with the University of Copenhagen (KU), and RUC (Roskilde University) which hosts the event, to invite scholars, policymakers and practitioners to a three-day conference to engage in new approaches to understand global challenges and reflect on paths forward.

Comité scientifique (to be finalized)

  •  Oliver Bakewell (IMI, Oxford University, UK)
  •  Sylvie Bredeloup (IRD, France)
  •  Marion Frésia (Université de Neuchâtel, Switzerland)
  •  Eric Hahonou (Roskilde University, Denmark)
  •  Hans Lucht (DIIS, Denmark)
  •  Christian Lund (Copenhagen University, Denmark)
  •  Catherine Neveu (CNRS, France)
  •  Giulia Scalettaris (CERAPS/Université de Lille, France)
  •  Mahamet Timera (URMIS, Paris Diderot, France)
  •  Simon Turner (AMIS, Denmark)

Comité d’organisation du colloque

  • Veronica Gomez-Temesio, Copenhagen University
  • Eric Hahonou, Roskilde University
  • Kasper Hoffmann, Copenhagen University
  • Gabriella Körling, Uppsala University
  • Philippe Lavigne Delville, IRD, Montpellier
  • Christian Lund, Copenhagen University
  • Oumy Thiongane, Université de Dalhousie - Tirza Van Bruggen, Copenhagen University 

[1] www.apad-association.org.


  • Roskilde University
    Roskilde, Denmark


  • Thursday, June 15, 2017


  • migration, citoyenneté, développement, politiques publiques, frontières, Afrique, Asie, Europe


  • Marion Fresia
    courriel : marfresia [at] icloud [dot] com
  • Philippe Lavigne Delville
    courriel : philippe [dot] lavignedelville [at] ird [dot] fr
  • Christian Lund
    courriel : clund [at] ifro [dot] ku [dot] dk

Reference Urls

Information source

  • pascale Moity-maïzi
    courriel : pascale [dot] maizi [at] supagro [dot] fr


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« Migrations, development and citizenship - APAD conference », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Wednesday, May 31, 2017, https://doi.org/10.58079/xqd

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