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Van Vollenhoven Lecture 2023

Border externalization and the benefits for peripheral countries

  • Maria Dolores Paris Pombo
Thursday 5 October 2023
Pieterskerkhof 6
2311 SR Leiden
Maria Dolores Paris Pombo

Maria Dolores Paris Pombo will argue that border externalization through formal or informal migration and asylum cooperation agreements is not merely a North-South imposition, but it benefits and empowers peripheral states. The commitment to ensure security and to detain, deport or readmit unwanted migrants and refugees is usually given in exchange for transfers of resources, worker visas, trade agreements, among other advantages. It fuels the migration industry, i.e., all businesses related to the containment or facilitation of human mobility. Peripheral states often present border enforcement and coercive migration policies as acts of sovereignty. They encourage xenophobic ideologies, and they justify the fight against immigration while favouring the retention on their territory of an illegalized and disenfranchised labour force that is particularly exploitable.  

The lecture will be divided in two parts. First, with a few empirical references to the European Union and to North America, it will address the mechanisms of externalization, including remote control, extraterritorial processing of asylum applications, and the formation of buffer zones. The second section will focus on the U.S.-Mexico relations. It will describe border regimes in Mexico explaining the role played by internal and external political actors. She will explain how border militarization allows the Mexican state to strengthen control over social movements, natural resources, criminal markets, and trade routes. The outsourcing of migration management triggers an array of businesses and migration infrastructures, usually financed by the U.S. government or by UN agencies, engaged in processing asylum applications, integrating migrants into the local labour markets, and providing humanitarian services. In conclusion, she will present some reflections on the particularities of North America in outsourcing migration policies.

About Maria Dolores Paris Pombo

María Dolores París Pombo is a full-time professor and researcher at the Colegio de la Frontera Norte (or COLEF), in Tijuana, Mexico. She has been invited professor at the Institut des Hautes Etudes de l’Amérique Latine (Université Paris Sorbonne Nouvelle), at the Université Paris-Diderot, and at the Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO) in Quito, Ecuador. Dr. Paris Pombo is author of four books, editor of six books and she has been featured in several research journals, including the Journal of Borderland Studies, Migrations Société, Latin American Perspectives, Gender, Place & Culture, Mexican Studies, and Migraciones Internacionales/International Migrations. Her book Violencias y migraciones centroamericanas en México (2017) was awarded with the Premio Iberoamericano by the Latin American Studies Association (LASA).

You are welcome to register for this lecture: https://www.formdesk.com/universiteitleiden/form692543512

This lecture can be followed via Zoom

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