PUBLI : Céline Cantat, Antoine Pécoud and Hélène Thiollet, « Migration as Crisis », American Behavioral Scientist, 2023, online


Over the past decades, and across different contexts world­wide, migra­tion has become inse­pa­rable from a narra­tive of crisis. This article analyses the connec­tion between migra­tion and crisis. It proposes a migra­tion as crisis frame­work, desi­gned to unders­tand and analyze the emer­gence of this specific percep­tion of migra­tion, on the basis of an inter­play between social “subjec­tive” construc­tions of reality and “objec­tive” migra­tion dyna­mics. Migra­tion as crisis rests upon a frag­mented, chan­ging, and contested assem­blage of events, repre­sen­ta­tions, and prac­tices, which in turn call for specific ways of gover­ning migra­tion. The link between migra­tion and crisis can be acti­vated or not, and may or may not be corre­lated with empi­rical reali­ties. By enga­ging with migra­tion as crisis (rather than migra­tion crisis), the article dena­tu­ra­lizes and histo­ri­cizes the rela­tion­ship between migra­tion and crisis, and unpacks the processes through which key actors (inclu­ding media, poli­cy­ma­kers, civil society, and acade­mics) frame migra­tion as such.

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