Forced Migrants as Illegal Migrants

Scheel, Stephan and Squire, Vicki. 2014. Forced Migrants as Illegal Migrants. In: Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh; Gil Loescher; Kathy Long and Nando Sigona, eds. The Oxford Handbook of Refugee and Forced Migration Studies. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 188-199. ISBN 978-0-19-965243-3 [Book Section]

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Abstract or Description

This chapter examines how many of those refugees and asylum seekers making transnational journeys are classified as irregular migrants by states who seek to make such movements illegitimate. It considers the framing, targeting, and active production of ‘forced migrants as illegal migrants’ in the literature and highlights the importance of the labels of ‘forced’ and ‘illegal’ in the governing of migration. It discusses the concept of ‘figures of migration’, which is based on the notion that categorizations of people on the move such as the ‘refugee’ or the ‘illegal migrant’ do not represent distinct social groups sharing characteristic features. Furthermore, it looks at how academic knowledge production might intervene in the contested politics of mobility in order to refuse, destabilize, or subvert the terms by which the rendering of ‘forced migrants as illegal migrants’ has become unambiguous.

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Book Section


refugees, asylum seekers, transnational journeys, irregular migrants, forced migrants, illegal migrants, migration, figures of migration, politics, mobility

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12 June 2014Published

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Date Deposited:

19 Jan 2015 10:13

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 16:05


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