The Invention of “Transit Migration”. Theoretical and Methodological Considerations on Illegal Migration in Europe’s Southeastern Border Region Cover Image
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The Invention of “Transit Migration”. Theoretical and Methodological Considerations on Illegal Migration in Europe’s Southeastern Border Region
The Invention of “Transit Migration”. Theoretical and Methodological Considerations on Illegal Migration in Europe’s Southeastern Border Region

Author(s): Sabine Hess
Subject(s): Anthropology
Published by: LIT Verlag
Keywords: transit migration; illegal migration;

Summary/Abstract: The concern with and the trope of “illegal migration” is one of the main narratives that has been dominating the public and political migration debate since the 1990s. In the following paper I develop an analytical perspective on the topic, which focuses on the political and scientific context and condition of its knowledge production, especially on the invention of the migrational figure of the “undocumented transit migrant”. Thereby I draw on the empirical findings and experiences of the research project called Transit Migration (2007). Transit Migration was an interdisciplinary research project focussing on the Europeanization of migration policies and in particular on the formation of the European border regime in Southeastern Europe, specifically in Turkey, Greece and the Balkans in general. I will show which international and local actors and discourses produce a political scenario in the European peripheries, which can be called “transit migration dispositif”. In contrast to this kind of political usable knowledge production, the ethnographic material rather demonstrates that “transit migrants” are hard to define. But the ethnographic data shows that due to the EU border regime more and more migrants are caught at the fringes of the EU, leading to the emergence of highly “precarious transit zones”.

  • Issue Year: 2010
  • Issue No: 14
  • Page Range: 129-146
  • Page Count: 18
  • Language: English