New topographies of African migration: education, entrepreneurship and trade from Africa towards East and West
Heike Drotbohm (Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz)
Michaela Pelican (University of Cologne)
Start time:
29 June, 2013 at 9:00
Session slots:

Short abstract:

The panel will assemble case studies of African migration to East (Asia and the Arab World) and West (Latin America)

Long abstract:

One of the current trends of international African migration is its reorientation towards new geographical destinations. These alternative topographies relate to global transitions towards a new multipolar world order, in which European and North American destinations gradually loose their attraction: Entry into the so-called Global North has become highly restricted, controlling state practices are applied more rigidly, and expressions of xenophobia and islamophobia are more common than ever before. Additionally, labour markets in the Global North shrink due to the global financial crisis, wages decline and rights to old age pensions need to be readjusted. In consequence, many migrants search for more promising opportunities in other geographical areas. They turn East (to Asia and the Arab World) or West (to Latin-America), mostly with the aim of establishing business or trading partnerships, to find work or to improve their education. In some cases, they can build on historical alliances, a shared language or religion. In others, they may give preference to countries that provide relatively easy access and seem receptive to migrants' entrepreneurial spirit or their specific skills. In this sense, South-West or South-East African migration challenges the theorization of transnationalism and circular migration by questioning ideas of center and periphery that have typically entailed a crossing of hemispheres. In this panel we intend to assemble different case studies of African migration to other destinations than the Global North in order to discuss new methodological and conceptual approaches for understanding variegated experiences of contemporary African transmigration in this multipolar world.