April 24 2017 - Francois Bonnet.
Emmanuel Macron has emerged as the frontrunner in the first round of elections for the French Presidency. Though, the leading story of the night was the success of Marine Le Pen of the National Front Party in securing second place and an opportunity to participate in the run off election with Macron in two weeks time. The French results are being read as part of a wave of populist electoral successes – in what appears to be a radically redrawn political landscape in Europe and North America. In this week’s podcast Francois Bonnet of the CNRS in France joins us to pick through these results arguing that the National Front may have seriously underperformed.
April 3 2017 – Michael Onyebuchi Eze.
Three weeks ago, Loren Landau conversed with us on how poor, black South Africans use violence to demand the attention of political elites. In this week’s rejoinder Michael Onyebuchi Eze argues that it is more a symptom of a nation much too stuck in its frozen transition to democracy for it to be able to tackle socioeconomic issues of the poor black population. Race still determines one’s access to capital and resources, and because white nationals and foreigners alike may potentially provide jobs, the violent attacks are mostly directed towards poor black immigrants, for they represent the latest threat to the black South Africans’ social livelihood.
March 27 2017 – Sarah de Lange
Whereas the international media has been mostly concentrating on the perceived electoral rivalry between Rutte and Wilders during the last Dutch elections, a more interesting note might be the rise of parties – along with new radical right-wing initiatives – that represent the ‘migrant vote’. Though this signifies the increasing tendency of governmental fragmentation in Europe at large, it could also be seen as a sign of emancipation, for migrants, particularly within the Dutch style of proportional representation, are mobilizing themselves to represent their interests in politics.
13 March 2017 - Loren Landau
South Africans have been rioting against, attacking and murdering foreign nationals since the end of Apartheid. The past month has seen another upsurge of this type of violence. While most have attributed this violence to a deep-seated South African nativism, in this week’s podcast we speak to Loren Landau in Johannesburg about the attacks' political motives. He tells us that poor, black South Africans use this violence to demand the attention of political elites. Increasingly, and disturbingly, their appeal is being heard.
November 14 2016 – Austin Kocher
In this episode we come back to the conversation we had last March with Austin Kocher – PhD student at the Department of Geography of the Ohio State University – on how a possible Trump Presidency would affect US immigration policy. As we all know, against all odds Trump was indeed elected as the new President of the United States. And as becomes apparent now that he will most likely (be able to) come through on his anti-immigration ‘promises’, Kocher concludes that the silver lining in all this is that people are showing up and standing up against xenophobic, racist and sexist immigration issues; and that eventually our only true hope against such forces is a new internationalism: a solidarity movement across borders.
November 7 2016 – Claudio Minca As the authorities have recently fulfilled their mission in clearing the infamous Calais Jungle Camp, once home to some seven thousand migrants and asylum seekers, we in this week’s talk speak with Claudio Minca – Professor and Head of the Cultural Geography chair group at Wageningen University (WUR). Instead of focusing on the internal politics and political symbolism surrounding the jungle camp, this conversation deals with the spatiality and the constant interplay between inclusion and abandonment of the arriving migrants in contemporary refugee camps. These camps have a functional logic of their own, which leads to the construction of a new geography within Europe in which these camps will probably have a permanent presence.
September 26 2016 - Sandrino Smeets
European leaders recently met in Bratislava to sift through the ashes of Brexit and chart the organization's way forward. Migration and asylum dominated the agenda with their Declaration vowing "[n]ever to allow return to uncontrolled flows of last year". This week we asked Sandrino Smeets - an expert on EU Council deliberations, to tell us how European countries came to this position and what this Declaration will mean. He explores the inter-governmental jockeying taking place behind the show of unity, and offers the sobering thought that the document may shape EU migration policy for years to come.
Responding to recent attacks in Ansbach and Wuerzburg, German CDU Minister for the Interior, Thomas de Maiziere recently tabled a proposal for wide ranging changes to Germany’s security and anti-terror policy. The 16 page proposal calls for increases in police numbers, changes to data protection laws and protocols, new methods of popular surveillance and further changes to the country’s already strict laws on dual citizenship. This week we ask Matthias Leese, a Senior Researcher at the Centre for Security Studies in the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology whether immigrants are being scapegoated in the CDU's attempt to get tough on terror.
Will Syrian refugees be better off in Turkey? European leaders are banking on it, but have little idea about the quality of protection Turkey offer Syrian nationals. Can Mutlu, currently based at Bilkent University, is one of the few researchers who has been studying Turkish refugee reception processes up close and on the ground. In this week’s podcast he tells us why some of the temporary protection measures – like offering work permits – have had limited effects, and explores whether there is a long term future for asylum seekers on Turkish soil.
May 30, 2016 – Stanford Mahati. Early this month, Elaine Chase told us how child migrants in Europe struggle to plan for their own future. In this week’s rejoinder, Stanford Mahati argues that we have underestimated the considerable capacity of child migrants to make their own migration plans and establish their own livelihoods in South Africa. He asks us to abandon the term ‘unaccompanied minors’ and instead begin to think about the ways we can assist ‘independent migrant children’ to realise their personal goals.