Decentering the Study of Migration Governance: A Radical View
This paper argues in favour of a radical de-centring of our understanding of international migration governance that privileges the viewpoints of origin and transit countries, non-state actors and includes both urban and rural perspectives. Building on the contributions to this Special Issue, I propose a plural understanding of governance and elaborate on the different dimensions along which we can de-centre our understanding of the governance of international migration (and of the related political and policy discourses). The paper starts by discussing the 21st century context within which migration governance is inscribed and proposes a working definition of de-centring and pluralizing our understanding of migration governance. I then introduce the multiple ways in which we can think of this de-centring: along a geopolitical approach that gives primacy to the role that countries play in migration processes; along a spatial approach (views from the city vs views from rural areas); or with reference to the actors involved (state, civil society, private sector, migrants and their households). The paper concludes by discussing the importance of such radical de-centring for our thinking and speaking about migration.