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Migrants as strategic actors in the EU's global approach to migration and mobility
journal contributionposted on 2023-06-07, 17:00 authored by Michael CollyerMichael Collyer
The European Union's discourse of ‘partnership’ in the Global Approach to Migration and Mobility and the widely expressed critique of this discourse as a process of ‘externalization’ of EU policy both depend on unitary accounts of the main policy actors involved. Two separate literatures contest such unitary accounts. Within political science and international relations, institutional approaches identify a range of strategic actors involved in policy development; in anthropology, there is a well-established interest in the strategic behaviour of disempowered actors. In this article, I set out to link these two approaches with an examination of undocumented migrants as strategic actors. I use a case study of events at the borders between Morocco and the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla in late 2005, which have proved extremely influential in the continued development of the EU's global approach, to identify the ways in which even highly marginalized migrants were able to develop transnational social organizations.
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