On December 16th, 2021 at 11:00 CET, the Department of Migration and Globalisation will host the Interdisciplinary Migration Research Seminar "Performing Policy-Making: The Evolution of Afghanistan's Comprehensive Migration Policy and the Role of the EU" online via Zoom.
- 16.12.2021 from 11:00 - 12:30 CET - Registration here
"Performing Policy-Making: The development of Afghanistan's Comprehensive Migration Policy and the role of the EU" (Liza Schuster & Reza Hussaini)
Afghanistan recently developed a Comprehensive National Migration Policy (CMP). In spite of the significance of migration in Afghan cultural, economic, political and social life - this impulse came, not from the Afghan government or civil society, but from Europe, specifically from European Union Member States such as Germany, who received many of the 250,000 Afghans who applied for asylum in Europe in 2015. Perhaps inevitably the goals of Afghan migration policy were being set by European governments, who are in turn responding to their own domestic pressures and operating within particular ‘policy frames’. This paper explores the role played by the European Union and its Member States in shaping the migration policy of the Afghan government between Taliban regimes, but concentrating in particular on the process leading up to the CMP. Hussaini and Schuster examine who sets the agenda, whose interests are served (and whose ignored), and the challenges in developing and implementing policy in a country at war, and at the mercy of internal and external enemies. Their argument is that this was a colonial and neoliberal agenda that ignored realities on the ground, even as the Taliban advanced towards Kabul in the summer of 2021.
About the speakers
Reza Hussaini is an Afghan researcher and currently a PhD candidate at City, University of London. He was research manager at the Afghanistan Centre at Kabul University, and has worked with national and international organisations on research projects focused on human rights, peace-building and women’s rights. He collaborated with Dr Schuster on an examination of representations of migration in Afghan Oral Culture, a study of the Hopes, Plans and Fears of Afghan Families, and an exploration of the influence of the EU on the development of Afghan Migration Policy. His original PhD thesis was an attempt to use Participatory Action Research with the residents of IDP camps. Interrupted by his evacuation, he has now turned to working with recent evacuees to the UK, combining PAR and autoethnography.
Dr. Liza Schuster is a sociologist at City, University of London. She has spent most of the past decade conducting fieldwork in Afghanistan, where she was based at the Afghanistan Centre at Kabul University (ACKU). Dr Schuster has studied the consequences of deportation for Afghans, their families and communities. Her work in collaboration with Afghan colleagues includes the project described above by Reza. Dr Schuster prepares expert reports on Afghanistan for Immigration tribunals in the UK, and across Europe and contributes to debates on migration in several countries.