An article by Nicola Piper and myself has just been published as part of a Special Issue on “Rethinking Resistance in Development Studies”. The goal of this Special Issue of the Journal for Development Studies (JEP) is to “unfold different theoretical understandings of resistance that have led empirical research on struggles against ,for and within‘ development’ since the 1990s”. The article includes research based on our participation in the United Nations High-Level Dialogue on Migration and Development (UN-HLD) in 2013 in New York. Here is the link to the Journal and the abstract:
Nicola Piper, Stefan Rother: More than Remittances: Resisting the Dominant Discourse and Policy Prescriptions of the Global ‘Migration-Development-Mantra’, in: JEP, 30(1), 2014.
During the past decade there has been an increased level of activity surrounding the governance, at the global level, of worker migration. One of the discursive frameworks under which much migration policy is discussed is the migration-development nexus. Parallel to state-led efforts such as international commissions and fora, has been the formation of migrant rights activist networks. They have begun to voice their resistance against the dominant migration policy paradigm, which is based on very little concern for the rights of migrant workers and their families. We thus argue for a theory of resistance rooted in transformative justice that occurs in the form of institutional change pushed from below (i.e. sub-state or transnational). We then offer a critique of the ‘management’ discourse for having led to an instrumentalisation of the migration-development-nexus through its focus on remittances. The final section outlines and analyses the strategies of the two main activist networks in Asia. Their different tactics notwithstanding, both groups focus their resistance on the discursive level – by challenging the dominant paradigms of migration and development and by promoting more inclusive concepts of human development and migrants’ rights as human rights.