Working Paper 190

Exclusion and Migration: by whom, where, when, and how?


Marie-Claire Foblets, Luc Leboeuf, Zeynep Yanasmayan

Abteilung ‚Recht & Ethnologie’

Jahr der Veröffentlichung


Working Paper 190

This working paper aims to present the common research framework elaborated in the context of the research initiative ‘The Challenges of Migration, Integration and Exclusion’ (WiMi) that gathers researchers from the Max Planck Institutes for Comparative Public Law and International Law (Heidelberg), Demographic Research (Rostock), Social Law and Social Policy (Munich), Human Development (Berlin), Social Anthropology (Halle), and the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity (Göttingen). The working paper starts with the presentation of our mapping of recent research projects on migration in the social sciences and in law. The mapping reveals the multidisciplinarity of migration research, its responsiveness to public debates, and its fragmentation along different categories of migrants, which usually correspond to their nationality/ethnicity or legal status. In the second part, the working paper explains the guiding principles of the WiMi initiative, namely commitment to multidisciplinarity, avoidance of groupist designs and use of the concept of ‘exclusion’ as an analytical lens which sheds light on the multifaceted dimensions, which cross and co-constitute each other. Following a brief overview of how exclusion has been studied thus far in the migration literature, the working paper lays out the analytical framework we have developed to study exclusion in its continuum with inclusion. The aim is to arrive at a more sophisticated understanding of exclusion mechanisms and bring to the fore the interdependencies and interactions among the many facets of this comparatively understudied phenomenon. With this intention in mind, the working paper elaborates a multi-dimensional research framework that rests on analytically separating the exclusion of migrants into six constitutive elements: actors, acts, moments, representations, areas of exclusion, and reactions against exclusion. We contend that there are a variety of state and non-state actors that engage in exclusionary acts in specific areas at certain moments. Such exclusionary acts are produced and reproduced by representations of exclusion and contested by reactions against exclusion.

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