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Deprivation of Lives - Root Causes of Forced Migration in the MENA Region
The chapter presents the root causes of forced migration in the MENA region as immanent in authoritarian rule. It is divided into two sections. The first shows why forced migration has been a relevant feature of MENA politics by taking stock of the phenomenon in cross-regional trends and figures of the past decades. In addition to data on migration flows, results from various representative polls among the region’s populations on their migration experiences and aspirations are taken into account (such as Arab Barometer, Arab Opinion Index, German polls among refugees). The second section sheds light on the persistent and systemic factors that leave people with few choices but to flee. Authoritarian rule that deprives the largest parts of the region’s population of an inclusive, just, participatory, financially viable, healthy, safe and ultimately free existence is considered the core root cause of forced migration (various datasets are analyzed here, such as HDI, World Bank data, MPI, EIU democracy Index and evaluations from reports, like Freedom House, AHDR, ILO, AI, etc.). Armatya Sen’s approach (Development as Freedom, 1999) is thus key to this chapter’s understanding of the developmental deficits as underlying reasons for persistent migration out of and within the region throughout the last decades. The counterargument from mainly IR literature that points to the fact that not all non-democratic states produce mass exodus or that forced migration remains a factor in large parts of Latin America despite democratization trends, will be accounted for and discussed. This is a core chapter out of a monograph preliminarily titled «Germany’s fight against forced migration in the MENA region» which asks why Germany - as the fifth of the worlds’ main countries of asylum (UNHCR 2022) - is not addressing the root causes of forced migration in the MENA region effectively, destpite its claims to do so. The research investigates how a possible gap between a) rhetoric and practice of German foreign policy makers and b) official German policy goals and socio-political realities in MENA countries may occur. By analyzing both foreign policies and their interactions with authoritarian rule, this research is at the intersection of both disciplines, International Relations as well as Comparative Politics. Although this research focuses on Germany, both its research question and the methodology allows for transferrable implications and insights into other cases.
Political Science
Geographic Area
All Middle East
Sub Area