Seminar on “Irregular Migration”
In coordination with the Political and Social Science Department at the Faculty of Humanities at the UoD, Dr. Synnove K. N. Bendixsen, a citizen of Norway and a postdoctoral fellow at IMER Bergen (International Migration and Ethnic Relations, which is a multidisciplinary research unit at University of Rokkansenteret), presented a seminar on “Irregular Migration”.
The seminar was held at the Faculty of Humanities, at Badlis hall, on January 30, 2013. The seminar was opened by a colleague from the Department of Political Science and Sociology, Dr. Fereydoon Rahmani, who gave a welcome message on behalf of the department and the University of Duhok, and a brief introduction about Dr. Synnove and the seminar content.
Dr. Synnove’s seminar was on “Irregular Migration” in European countries and believes this generally happens due to the lack of legal residence. The new immigrants and refugees arrive in modern countries, which mostly fail them by lack of proper integration or even fair or legal recognition. According to the United Nation 3% of the world’s population are migrants, out of which 30 to 40 million are estimated to be irregular migrants.
Why do we call this “irregular migration” and not “illegal migration” or undocumented migration or the like? She answers her own question so; the term illegal is not only discriminative but also non-academic and very much stigmatizing. The term “irregular migration” is more acceptable and neutral within the sociological approaches.
On the other hand today’s influx of new immigrants to European countries is not something new but is the continuation of the liberal market which was started in the 1960s to build a cheaper labor market. Dr. Synnove touches on a paradox within the liberal ideology (Liberal Paradox) which from one side wants a cheap labor market and from other side wants to control its political borders and minimize its public services. The extreme police control, strong border surveillance and identity searches towards the new immigrants in Europe are all issues related to the migration process. A border also does not have the traditional meaning any more, but rather it is delocalized.
At the end of the seminar, the audience participated in the question and answer period with many students and professors getting involved in the academic discussion.