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Irregular Migration in times of global economic crisis – perceptions and realities in Europe, Africa, Latin-America and Asia

Migration policies are guided more by fears than by facts. Many fears are rooted in economic arguments. They are thus intensified in times of economic crisis. In receiving regions, natives fear that immigrants will take their jobs or put additional strain on social infrastructure and the welfare system. In sending regions, there is the fear of losing the migration option and of decreasing remittances. The moral panic generated by changes in migration situation can often lead to a fear of and hatred for "the other" and social crisis.

This pilot project seeks to explore perceptions and realities of irregular migration in 4 European countries (Germany, United Kingdom, Spain and Finland) and 3 non-European countries (China, Nigeria and Ecuador) and develop a larger international research project on these issues under the “Europe and Global Challenges” Programme, jointly organised by the a consortium of foundations composed of the Compagnia di San Paolo (Italy), the Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (Sweden) and the Volkswagenstiftung (Germany).

• To elaborate a comparative theoretical and methodological approach suitable for the study of the perceptions and realities of irregular migration
• To prepare reports about the state-of-art concerning perceptions and reality of irregular migration in times of global economic crisis in the selected European and non-European countries
• To integrate theoretical, methodological and organisational approaches into a coherent project and team structure

Project duration: 2009-2010
Funding: Volkswagen Foundation
Project coordinator: Dita Vogel (Hamburg Institute of International Economics)

Project partners:
Centre for International Prospective Studies and Information (FR), Universidad de la Laguna (ES), University of Helsinki (FI), University of East London (UK), Olabisi Oanabanjo University (Nigeria), Commmunication University of China, Andean University Simon Bolivar (Ecuador)


Albert Kraler and Madalina Rogoz (2011): "Irregular migration in the European Union since the turn of the millennium - development, economic background and discussion". Database on Irregular Migration, Working paper No. 10.