PUBLI : Oelgemöller, C., Lenoël, A., & Black, R. (2024). ‘Beneficiary-Ownership’? Redemptive Knowledge and Policy-Making on Migration in West Africa. Geopolitics, 1–28.

Résumé : West Africa sees major acti­vity in the deve­lop­ment of migra­tion poli­cies, promoted by inter­na­tional orga­ni­sa­tions, funded by govern­ments mainly of Europe. Policy deve­lop­ment is couched in terms of ‘bene­fi­ciary-owner­ship’, stres­sing the parti­ci­pa­tion of West African govern­ments. This is proble­ma­tised as playing down the influence of Euro­pean and inter­na­tional orga­ni­sa­tions. We argue that policy-making on migra­tion in West Africa is better unders­tood through the lens of ‘subjec­tional diplo­macy’, a one-sided yet complex rela­tion­ship between national and inter­na­tional actors that conso­li­dates parti­cular discourses of the ‘problem’ of migra­tion. We find inter­view and docu­men­tary evidence from NGOs and govern­mental actors across Senegal, The Gambia and Guinea as well as ECOWAS Head­quar­ters and inter­na­tional govern­mental orga­ni­sa­tions in Abuja that the logic of bene­fi­ciary-owner­ship is not symme­tric. We show how the IOM holds ‘redemp­tive’ know­ledge that turns the civi­li­sing mission of old into a profes­sio­na­li­sing mission embed­ding neo-colo­nial relations.

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