Black, R., « Migration drivers and migration choice : interrogating responses to migration and development interventions in West Africa », Comparative Migration Studies, 2022

Black, R., Bella­gamba, A., Botta, E., Ceesay, E., Cissokho, D., Engeler, M., Lenoël, A., Oelgemöller, C., Riccio, B., Sakho, P., Wotem Somparé, A., Vittu­rini, E. et Zingari, G.N. (2022), « Migra­tion drivers and migra­tion choice : inter­ro­ga­ting responses to migra­tion and deve­lop­ment inter­ven­tions in West Africa », Compa­ra­tive Migra­tion Studies

Abstract : The notion of migra­tion as being at least partly about ‘choice’ is deeply rooted in both academic thought and public policy. Recent contri­bu­tions have consi­dered migra­tion choice as step-wise in nature, invol­ving a sepa­ra­tion between ‘aspi­ra­tion’ and ‘ability’ to migrate, whilst stres­sing a range of non-economic factors that influence migra­tion choices. But such nuances have not prevented the emer­gence of a signi­fi­cant area of public policy that seeks to influence choices to migrate from Africa through ‘irre­gular’ chan­nels, or at all, through a range of deve­lop­ment inter­ven­tions. This paper explores evidence from West Africa on how young people formu­late the boun­da­ries of such choice. Drawing on approaches in anthro­po­logy and elsew­here that stress the value of a ‘future-orien­tated’ lens, we show how present uncer­tainty is a central framing that funda­men­tally limits the value of thin­king about migra­tion as a choice. This has impor­tant impli­ca­tions for policy on ‘migra­tion and development’.

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