Welcome to the Migration seminar Start up seminar: Critical Examination of repatriation programmes in the EU periphery (The case of Kosovo)

Presenter

Valon Junuzi, PhD Candidate in International Migration and Ethnic Relations, Malmö University

Abstract

This start-up seminar will present main ideas, theoretical framework, and methodological choices for my doctoral project on repatriation and reintegration programmes organised in Kosovo.

Repatriation programmes have received attention only in the recent years, mainly due to some arbitrary imposed preconceptions on migration studies which have erroneously considered that with the physical return of the deportee to the country of origin comes the end of the migration cycle. This sedentarist bias has been criticized increasingly by scholars that reject the reified equation ‘repatriation=homecoming’, and instead have urged for a scientific engagement that examines what happens beyond the act of deportation, and document hardships and unsettling truths of the repatriated. However, these contributions have been parsimonious in both opening new avenues of research and interrogating the rising policing techniques of repatriation. More specifically, the accounts of what happens to the repatriated tend to consider deportation as a conclusive act of ‘taking out’ from the territory the undesirable migrants, failing to take into consideration ways through which the deporting state stretches its expulsionary practices beyond its national territory through financing repatriation programmes in countries of origin. Similarly, the role of countries of origins in shaping subjectivities have been largely undertheorized, rendering repatriation a neutral state enterprise.

The research aims to address these theoretical gaps by situating repatriation programmes within exigencies of global mobility regime that enact and reproduce forced immobility in a world of flows and perpetual motion. It does so by examining repatriation programmes as techniques of extended expulsion which ensure that those that have been deported are demotivated to initiate a new migratory cycle. It also critically interrogates the content of these programmes and how they are utilized to push forward neoliberal agenda of ‘crafting’ risk-taking, self-interested, entrepreneurial, and apolitical citizens.

The seminar will be held in English and via Zoom.