The Nordic Africa Institute – Publications

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  • 1.
    Abu Hatab, Assem
    The Nordic Africa Institute, Research Unit.
    Climate Change and Migration in North Africa: Projections, Impacts, and Implications for Adaptation2022Other (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [en]

    This policy brief takes a regional perspective based on a rapid review of the extant literature to cascading climate risks and their links with migration in North Africa. Understanding the climate-migration nexus in the context of North Africa is a cornerstone for taking informed decisions and developing strategies to mitigate the adverse impact of climate change, including potential human mobility.

  • 2.
    Akinola, Adeoye O.
    et al.
    Institute for Pan-African Thought and Conversation (IPATC), University of Johannesburg, South Africa..
    Bjarnesen, JesperThe Nordic Africa Institute, Research Unit.
    Worlds Apart?: Perspectives on Africa-EU Migration2022Collection (editor) (Refereed)
  • 3.
    Bjarnesen, Jesper
    The Nordic Africa Institute, Research Unit.
    A mobile life story: tracing hopefulness in the life and dreams of a young Ivorian migrant2019In: Reader in Qualitative Methods in Migration Research / [ed] Ibrahim Sirkeci, Theodoros Iosifides, Carla DeTona, Annalisa Frisina, London: Transnational Press London , 2019, p. 129-138Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The analysis suggests an adaptation of the life history interview as a method in qualitative migration studies. By joining four analytical concepts into an overall methodological framework, the mobile life story is intended to guide the exploration of the subjective experiences of migrants at various stages of a migrant trajectory. The notion of ‘mobility’ evokes a holistic orientation in the study of migrant biographies; the unpredictability that characterises the social practice of migrants is captured through the concept of ‘hopefulness’; the concept of ‘vital conjunctures’ is argued to provide a temporal delimitation and a focus for the organising of a life history interview; and the spatial dimension of the methodology is delimited through the concept of ‘emplacement’. As opposed to a migration history, the mobile life story explores the significant transformations that have characterised the migrant’s past and relates these defining moments to the broader migration history.

  • 4.
    Bjarnesen, Jesper
    The Nordic Africa Institute, Research Unit.
    Africa–EU migration: Worlds apart?2022In: Worlds Apart?: Perspectives on Africa-EU Migration / [ed] Adeoye O. Akinola and Jesper Bjarnesen, Sunnyside: Fanele , 2022, p. 23-45Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 5.
    Bjarnesen, Jesper
    The Nordic Africa Institute, Research Unit.
    Aligning European migration policies with African priorities: policy advice on African migration for Nordic decision makers2023Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Bridging European and African perspectives on migration governance will result in more sustainable migration policies. Under Sweden's EU presidency, Nordic decision makers have an opportunity to lead the way. They should adopt a holistic and long-term approach, informed by a research-based understanding of the dynamics of African migration that takes the aspirations of African migrants and the perspectives of policymakers more seriously.

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  • 6.
    Bjarnesen, Jesper
    The Nordic Africa Institute, Research Unit.
    Book Review: African Football Migration2023In: The international migration review, ISSN 0197-9183, E-ISSN 1747-7379Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 7.
    Bjarnesen, Jesper
    The Nordic Africa Institute, Migration, mobility and transnational relations.
    Rethinking the Mediterranean crisis: advice for policy makers facing a humanitarian catastrophe2015Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Create legal entry points into the EU and start recruiting labour through EU embassies in Africa. But don’t forget to take into account the individual aspirations and capabilities of the migrants. Here are some recommendations for policy makers seeking a solution to the Mediterranean crisis.

    • The significant proportion of migrants from Sub-Saharan Africa must be taken into account when seeking solution to the Mediterranean crisis
    • Interventions should prioritise long-term solutions that take the aspirations and capabilities of migrants and refugees into account
    • Creation of legal entry points into the EU should be a central priority, in order to remove the incentive for future migrants to risk their lives at sea
    • Active recruitment of labour through EU embassies in Africa would further reduce the incentive to pursue illegal means of entering Europe.
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  • 8.
    Bjarnesen, Jesper
    The Nordic Africa Institute, Research Unit.
    Shifting the narrative on African migration: the numbers, the root causes, the alternatives – get them right!2020Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The overall message of this policy note is that negative public opinion in Europe is a major obstacle to holistic and sustainable policies relating to African migration. It argues for a shift in wording and perspective away from politicised opinions about immigration, or misplaced ideas of humanitarian responsibilities, towards a more constructive and pragmatic focus on labour migration management.

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  • 9.
    Bjarnesen, Jesper
    The Nordic Africa Institute, Research Unit.
    The paradoxes of migrant in/visibility: understanding displacement intersectionalities in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso2020In: Invisibility in African displacements: from structural marginalization to strategies of avoidance / [ed] Jesper Bjarnesen and Simon Turner, London ; Uppsala: Zed Books ; Nordiska Afrikainstitutet , 2020, p. 236-251Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 10.
    Bjarnesen, Jesper
    The Nordic Africa Institute, Research Unit.
    The root causes of African migration to Europe: a European perspective2022In: Worlds Apart?: Perspectives on Africa-EU Migration / [ed] Adeoye O. Akinola and Jesper Bjarnesen, Sunnyside: Fanele , 2022, p. 339-367Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 11.
    Bjarnesen, Jesper
    The Nordic Africa Institute, Research Unit.
    Zouglou Music and Youth in Urban Burkina Faso: Displacement and the Social Performance of Hope2017In: Hope and Uncertainty in Contemporary African Migration / [ed] Nauja Kleist and Dorte Thorsen, New York: Routledge, 2017, p. 58-75Chapter in book (Refereed)
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  • 12.
    Bjarnesen, Jesper
    et al.
    The Nordic Africa Institute, Research Unit.
    Bisong, Amanda
    European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM), Maastricht, The Netherlands; The Faculty of Law, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
    Africa without Borders2023In: Routledge Handbook of Contemporary African Migration / [ed] Daniel Makina and Dominic Pasura, London: Routledge, 2023, p. 329-345Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    During the past decade, Euro-African relations have once more revolved around borders, now in relation to irregular African migration towards Europe and the ensuing efforts by European powers to impose increasingly invasive policing of African state borders. African leaders and activists, in response, have reemphasised the centrality of free movement and exchange as core values of African unity and regionalisation. In light of this renewed struggle over the role and significance of African borders, this chapter offers a reflection on the notion of an Africa without borders as an alternative perspective on some of these current debates with particular attention to policies and practices relating to the free movement of persons. We take the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) as a main point of reference, given its historical commitment to the principle and implementation of free movement within the subregion. Our closing reflection suggests that, more than any political or epistemological differences, the discrepancies between principle and practice in the management of African borders should be a key field of investigation and analysis.

  • 13.
    Bjarnesen, Jesper
    et al.
    The Nordic Africa Institute, Research Unit.
    Turner, Simon
    Centre for Advanced Migration Studies, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.
    Introduction: the production of invisibility in African displacements2020In: Invisibility in African displacements: from structural marginalization to strategies of avoidance / [ed] Jesper Bjarnesen and Simon Turner, London ; Uppsala: Zed Books ; Nordiska Afrikainstitutet , 2020, p. 1-15Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 14.
    Bjarnesen, Jesper
    et al.
    The Nordic Africa Institute, Research Unit.
    Turner, SimonCentre for Advanced Migration Studies, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.
    Invisibility in African displacements: from structural marginalization to strategies of avoidance2020Collection (editor) (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    African migrants have become increasingly demonised in public debate and political rhetoric. There is much speculation about the incentives and trajectories of Africans on the move, and often these speculations are implicitly or overtly geared towards discouraging and policing their movements. What is rarely understood or scrutinised however, are the intricate ways in which African migrants are marginalised and excluded from public discourse; not only in Europe but in migrant-receiving contexts across the globe.

    Invisibility in African Displacements offers a series of case studies that explore these dynamics. What tends to be either ignored or demonised in public debates on African migration are the deliberate strategies of avoidance or assimilation that migrants make use of to gain access to the destinations or opportunities they seek, or to remain below the radar of restrictive governance regimes.

    This books offers fine-grained analysis of the ways in which African migrants negotiate structural and strategic invisibilities, adding innovative approaches to our understanding of both migrant vulnerabilities and resilience.

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  • 15.
    Eriksson Baaz, Maria
    The Nordic Africa Institute, Conflict, Displacement and Transformation. Göteborgs universitet.
    Successive flops and occasional feats: development contributions and thorny social navigation among Congolese return migrants2015In: Africa's return migrants: the new developers? / [ed] Lisa Åkesson and Maria Eriksson Baaz, London ; Uppsala: Zed Books ; Nordiska Afrikainstitutet , 2015, p. 23-43Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 16.
    Kleist, Nauja
    et al.
    Danish Institute for International Studies, Copenhagen, Denmark.
    Bjarnesen, Jesper
    The Nordic Africa Institute, Research Unit.
    Mediating Mobility in West Africa: Improvisation, Culture, and Volatility in Migration Infrastructures2023In: The international migration review, ISSN 0197-9183, E-ISSN 1747-7379Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    How do migrants enact their mobilities in contexts where formalized labor migration is minimal, and where the European fight against irregular African migration is restricting the possibilities for informal border crossings? And which roles do cultural norms, social institutions, and individual agency play in facilitating migration? To answer these questions, this article offers a comparative reflection on the growing interest in the mediation of migration that emphasizes the actors and structures that shape and facilitate a migrant trajectory. Drawing on our own research in various West African contexts, and on a broader reading of research evoking the mediation of mobility, we engage primarily with the emerging scholarship on migration infrastructures. As a contribution to the study of how mobility is mediated by actors and structures external to the migrant, we suggest that it is important to move beyond the tendency to restrict analysis in a migrant-/institution-centric trade-off in which emphasis is either placed on migrant aspirations and capabilities or the institutionalized mediation of migration. We further propose to analytically distinguish between the mediation of migration—denoting the processes of facilitation and restriction of mobility through institutions, external interventions, and socio-cultural practices—and the modular components of connection and organization through which actual migration occurs. To accentuate the shifting and volatile configuration of these elements, we suggest a concept of migration infrastructural assemblages. We thereby emphasize the benefits of incorporating improvisation, culture, and volatility in our understanding of the meditation of migration in West Africa and beyond.

  • 17.
    Kleist, Nauja
    et al.
    Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS).
    Bjarnesen, Jesper
    The Nordic Africa Institute, Research Unit.
    Migration infrastructures in West Africa and beyond2019Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Infrastructure is becoming an influential field of inquiry across the social sciences as it has been in policy related research for some time. In migration and mobility related research, the recent introduction of the concept of “migration infrastructure” represents an attempt to theorise the infrastructural approach in relation to the multifaceted mediation of migration. This MIASA working paper considers the usefulness and limitations of the concept of migration infrastructures in understanding labour mobilities in various West African contexts. This juxtaposition of West African cases with the Asian examples that informed the articulation of the concept of migration infrastructures suggests that the framework holds potential for moving beyond migrant-centred analysis, while leaving some open questions regarding the role of migrant agency, the discrepancies between intentions and uses of (migration) infrastructures, the significance of culturally embedded migrant imaginaries, and the impact of global migration governance on national or regional regulatory frameworks.

  • 18.
    Sow, Papa
    The Nordic Africa Institute, Research Unit.
    Climate Variability and New Fish Eldorados In Africa2023In: Routledge Handbook of Contemporary African Migration / [ed] Daniel Makina and Dominic Pasura, London: Routledge, 2023, p. 374-388Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 19.
    Udelsmann Rodrigues, Cristina
    et al.
    The Nordic Africa Institute, Research Unit.
    Bjarnesen, Jesper
    The Nordic Africa Institute, Research Unit.
    Intra-African Migration: study2020Report (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [en]

    This study provides a broad perspective of the main trends in intra-African migration,emphasising its regional variations and complex drivers. The analysis is focussed on mappingand describing the structures – routes, hubs, settlements and sites of migration within the continent – as well as identifying the relevant infrastructures that facilitate these movements – ranging from road, railway and transportation networks to social connectivities and brokerage. The analysis not only of spaces and flows, but also of infrastructure within these networks shows that there is a multiplicity of interrelations, interconnections and interdependences that need to be captured and understood in order to address both the potential and problems for intra-African migration. By grasping the ‘big picture’ of intra-African migration, policies and activities generated by both the African Union and the European Union will be capable of providing comprehensively integrated and tailored responses. Recommendations are directed towards: improving knowledge of the many structures and infrastructures, along with their articulations and functioning; identifying the negative and positive aspects of migration conducive to sustainable development; and addressing the present Africa-Europe polarisation of views through diplomacy and monitoring. 

  • 20.
    Utas, Mats
    The Nordic Africa Institute, Conflict, Displacement and Transformation. The Nordic Africa Institute, Urban Dynamics.
    Assiduous exile: strategies of work and integration among Liberian refugees in Danane, Ivory Coast2004In: Liberian Studies Journal, ISSN 0024-1989, Vol. 29, no 2, p. 33-58Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 21.
    Åkesson, Lisa
    The Nordic Africa Institute, Migration, mobility and transnational relations. Göteborgs universitet.
    Obstacles and openings: returnees and small-scale businesses in Cape Verde2015In: Africa's return migrants: the new developers? / [ed] Lisa Åkesson and Maria Eriksson Baaz, London ; Uppsala: Zed Books ; Nordiska Afrikainstitutet , 2015, p. 152-172Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 22.
    Åkesson, Lisa
    et al.
    The Nordic Africa Institute, Migration, mobility and transnational relations. School of Global Studies, the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Eriksson Baaz, MariaThe Nordic Africa Institute, Conflict, Displacement and Transformation. School of Global Studies, the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Africa's return migrants: the new developers?2015Collection (editor) (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Many African migrants residing abroad nurture a hope to one day return, at least temporarily, to their home country. In the wake of economic crises in the developed world, alongside rapid economic growth in parts of Africa, the impetus to 'return' is likely to increase. Such returnees are often portrayed as agents of development, bringing with them capital, knowledge and skills as well as connections and experience gained abroad. Yet, the reality is altogether more complex.

    In this much-needed volume, based on extensive original fieldwork, the authors reveal that there is all too often a gaping divide between abstract policy assumptions and migrants' actual practices. In contrast to the prevailing optimism of policies on migration and development, Africa's Return Migrants demonstrates that the capital obtained abroad is not always advantageous and that it can even hamper successful entrepreneurship and other forms of economic, political and social engagement.

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  • 23.
    Åkesson, Lisa
    et al.
    The Nordic Africa Institute, Migration, mobility and transnational relations. Göteborgs universitet.
    Eriksson Baaz, Maria
    The Nordic Africa Institute, Conflict, Displacement and Transformation. Göteborgs universitet.
    Introduction: [Africa's return migrants]2015In: Africa's return migrants: the new developers? / [ed] Lisa Åkesson and Maria Eriksson Baaz, London ; Uppsala: Zed Books ; Nordiska Afrikainstitutet , 2015, p. 1-22Chapter in book (Refereed)
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  • 24.
    Refugee problems in southern and central Africa1966Collection (editor) (Other academic)
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