The new Global Compacts on Refugees and Migrants are important documents of the global politics of migration. They are also valuable documents to understand the way migration is politically and intellectually constructed as a research and policy issue. In their multi-stakeholder and market-inspired approach, these documents identify the role of migration/migrants in global economy prioritizing and according varying responsibilities on different groups of actors within the language of rights and humanitarian protection to secure sustainable “orderly and safe” migration. The concepts of responsibility and protection are central to the architecture of a global system of protection envisioned in these documents. They are giving shape to the 21st century notion of humanitarianism. The public debate aims to put these compacts under scrutiny to explore their semantics, blind spots, as well as their political and social implications in dealing the complex reality of global migration. We ask “what are the terms, the sites, scales, and strategies of protection”; “what are the economic and political logics informing them”; and “how are the responsibilities of different groups defined and envisaged to be shared, and to what consequences”.
Head of the IOM Country Office for Austria
Professor at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Vienna University;
IWM Permanent Fellow
Head of UNHCR Austria
Em. Distinguished Professor; Chair in Discourse Studies, Lancaster University/Vienna University; IWM Visiting Fellow
Professor of European Governance, University of Amsterdam