Academic journal article Refuge

The Coloniality of Migration and the "Refugee Crisis": On the Asylum-Migration Nexus, the Transatlantic White European Settler Colonialism-Migration and Racial Capitalism

Academic journal article Refuge

The Coloniality of Migration and the "Refugee Crisis": On the Asylum-Migration Nexus, the Transatlantic White European Settler Colonialism-Migration and Racial Capitalism

Article excerpt


This article departs from the discussion by Stephen Castles on the migration-asylum nexus by focusing on the political and cultural effects of the summer of immigration in 2015. It argues for a conceptualization of the asylum-migration nexus within the framework of Anibal Quijano's "coloniality of power" by developing the analytical framework of the "coloniality of migration." Through the analytical framework of the "coloniality of migration" the connection between racial capitalism and the asylum-migration nexus is explored. It does so by first focusing on the economic and political links between asylum and migration, and how both constitute each other. On these grounds, it discusses how asylum and migration policies produce hierarchical categories of migrants and refugees, producing a nomenclature drawing on an imaginary reminiscent of the orientalist and racialized practices of European colonialism and imperialism. In a second step, it focuses on migration and asylum policies as inherent to a logic of racialization of the workforce. It does so by first exploring the racial coding of immigration policies within the context of settler colonialism and transatlantic White European migration to the Americas and Oceania in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and second, by discussing migration policies in post-1945 Western Europe.


Cet article se demarque de la discussion de Stephen Castles sur le lien entre l'asile et la migration en ciblant les effets politiques et culturels de lete migratoire vecu en 2015. Il plaide pour une conceptualisation du lien entre l'asile et la migration dans le cadre de la <> d'Anibal Quijano, et ce en elaborant le cadre d'analyse de la <>. C'est dans ce dernier qu'il explore la connexion entre le capitalisme racial et le lien asile-migration. Pour cela, l'article cible d'abord les liens politiques et economiques entre asile et migration, et la maniere dont l'un et Vautre se constituent l'un par Vautre. Sur ces bases, en etablissant une nomenclature qui s'appuie sur une reminiscence fictive des pratiques orientalistes et racialisms du colonialisme et de Vimperialisme europeens, il discute la manure dont les politiques d'asile et de migration produisent des categories hierarchiques de migrants et de refugies. Dans la deuxieme partie, l'article cible les politiques d'asile et de migration en tant que politiques indissociables dune logique de racialisation de la main d'oeuvre. Pour cela, il explore tout d'abord le codage des donnees raciales des politiques d'immigration dans le contexte du colonialisme de peuplement et de la migration transatlantique des blancs d'origine Europeenne vers les Ameriques et l'Oceanie aux XIXE et XXE siecles; il discute ensuite des politiques de migration dans l'Europe de l'Ouest de l'apres-1945.


During August and September 2015 the media constantly replayed images of refugees traversing the Balkan route to Austria, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and Norway. This migration was initially met with hospitality through Willkommenskultur (welcome culture). However, this had changed by autumn 2015 when right-wing populists and nationalists blamed Merkel's government for allowing European societies to be "over-run" by Muslim refugees from "archaic" societies. This is exemplified in reports of New Year's Eve in Cologne 2015/16, when North African and Muslim men were accused of sexual assaults and attacks, portrayed in the media as mainly targeting white German women in the main train station. (2) This reactivated the dichotomy of civilization and barbarity, constructing black and brown racialized masculinities as "premodern," lacking control over their sexuality and having a patriarchal, misogynist mindset. In political talk shows, experts reiterated that the problem was the poor adjustment of these men to the ruling "normative gender order. …

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