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FRIAS-Workshop “Challenging State Sovereignty in the Age of Migration: A multi-level approach to Southeast and East Asian migration” (27-28 April 2017)

The movement of labour migrants and refugees in Southeast and East Asia is as diverse as the – often insufficient - politics on these issues. In a region, where governments place particularly high importance on norms of state sovereignty and non-interference, mobility is often seen as a challenge if not threat to these norms. The goal of this workshop is to analyse these challenges from a multi-level and multi-actor perspective, spanning all levels of governance (from the sub-state level to the transnational/bilateral and regional level).

Furthermore, the contributions to the workshop analyse various types of migration: labour and refugee migration, as well as “mixed migration;” legal and unauthorized migration and mobility more broadly – e.g. students, skilled workers/professionals and gendered migration. Accordingly, the contributions discuss sovereignty from the perspectives of a diverse range of actors, including governments, civil society, the private sector and the migrants themselves. The theoretical and methodological approaches of the contributors are informed by an equally wide variety of disciplines, including political science, sociology, anthropology and law.

Papers presented & discussed:

Prof Sandra Lavenex & Dr. Flavia Jurje, University of Geneva: Mobility Norms in Asian Free Trade Agreements: a New Type of Migration Governance”


Prof Juergen Rueland, Freiburg University (SI co-editor): “ASEAN Economic Community and Labour Migration”


Dr. Elisa Fornale, Bern: “Regional Migration Governance and ASEAN at the intersection of multiple normative layers”


Prof Nicola Piper, FRIAS & University of Sydney (SI co-editor), and Sohoon Lee (University of Sydney), “Migrant Domestic Workers as “Agents” of Development in Asia: state-civil society relations at the intersection of temporarlity and transnationality


Dr. Anja Karlsson, Franck, Emanuelle Brandstroem and Joseph Anderson, University of Gothenburg: “Navigating migrant trajectories through private actors: Burmese labour migration to Malaysia” 


Dr. Mirjam Luecking, Freiburg University: “Working in Mecca: How informal pilgramage-migration from Madura, Indonesia, to Saudi Arabia challenges government policies“


Dr. Sebastien Moretti, IFRC (International Federation of the Red Cross, Geneva; affiliated with the Graduate Institute of international and Development Studies Geneva: “Refugee Governance in Southeast Asia from historical and legal perspective: the case of Vietnamese and Rohingya”


Dr. Sriprapha Petcharamesree, Mahidol University, Bangkok/Thailand: “Statelessness and Sovereignty in Southeast Asia”


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