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Decolonial regionalism: Reorienting Southern African migration policy


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Picture by Keenan Constance on Unsplash.

Southern African regional legal and policy frameworks for migration and state practices poorly govern interconnection, understood as lives lived through and across borders. Instead, contemporary approaches to migration governance in southern Africa, and the logics and capacity issues underpinning policy-making in this field, contribute to contemporary problems associated with migration, such as illegality, immobilized poverty, and xenophobic violence. In effect, the existing regional and national regimes and their foreseeable trajectory undercut people’s capacity to sustain independent livelihoods and to enjoy the rights and privileges that the Southern African Development Community (SADC) has identified as entitlements of southern Africans.

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Tamara Last

Tamara Last is an interdisciplinary postdoctoral researcher affiliated with the African Centre for Migration & Society at the University of the Witwatersrand. She holds an MSc in Migration Studies from the University of Oxford, a Bachelor of Law from the University of Warwick, and was awarded her PhD in 2018 by the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam for her research on deaths along the southern borders of the EU. Her research revolves around mobility inequity and migration governance, and she is currently engaged in a range of research projects exploring contemporary European migration to Africa, impacts of regularisation, mobility in the context of environmental change, AU-EU dialogues on migration, and how cross-border movement, mobility and interconnection is (and could be) governed in the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

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E. Tendayi Achiume

E. Tendayi Achiume is Professor of Law at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law, and a research associate of the African Center for Migration and Society at the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa. She is also the UN Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance and is the first woman to serve in this role since its creation in 1994. The current focus of her scholarship is the global governance of racism and xenophobia and the legal and ethical implications of colonialism for contemporary international migration. Her publications include: Migration as Decolonization, Stanford Law Review; Governing Xenophobia, Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law; Syria, Cost-Sharing and the Responsibility to Protect Refugees, Minnesota Law Review; and Beyond Prejudice: Structural Xenophobic Discrimination Against Refugees, Georgetown Journal of International Law.

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