Invented, invited and instrumentalised spaces: conceptualising non-state actor engagement in regional migration governance in West Africa

I’m happy to announce a new publication by Amanda Bisong, with whom I had the pleasure to collaborate as part of the Swiss Subsaharan Africa Migration Network.

The article looks at how non-state actors are involved in regional migration policy processes in ECOWAS (the Economic Community of West African States). Different types of actors are differentiated: NGO, civil society organizations, academia, and the media, which reminds me very much of the work we do on the politicization of migration elsewhere. Amanda Bisong uses interviews in conjunction with survey results and an extensive analysis of policy documents to demonstrate how spaces are constructed and instrumentalized by different actors. Overall, non-state actors reinforce regional policies and help circumvent restrictive national agendas with innovative regional approaches.

Bisong, Amanda. 2021. “Invented, Invited and Instrumentalised Spaces: Conceptualising Non-State Actor Engagement in Regional Migration Governance in West Africa.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 0(0):1–19. doi: 10.1080/1369183X.2021.1972570.

Do policies matter? Exploring the Links between Indicators of Integration Policies and Outcomes through MIPEX

Our friends over at MPG are organizing a webinar on the impact of policies. Let’s be frank here, questions of causality will be a challenge, but with the data collected by MIPEX we’ll surely be able to make some headway in this crucial question:

‘Do policies matter? Exploring the Links between Indicators of Integration Policies and Outcomes through MIPEX‘. The webinar addresses what policymakers should know about the impacts of integration policies and what researchers should investigate in the future.

When? 28th May 2021 at 2PM CET

Where? Zoom

Registration and agenda here:


Welcome and introduction – Giacomo Solano, Head of Research, MPG

Exploring the links between MIPEX and migrant integration outcomes: Lessons learned and new avenues for research – Thomas Huddleston, Research and Strategic Advisor, MPG and Giacomo Solano, Head of Research, MPG

2.25PM-2.45PM The effect of integration policies: which policies do matter and for whom?

Sol Juarez, Associate Professor in Public Health Sciences, Stockholm University

Maarten Vink, Professor of Citizenship Studies, European University Institute

Conrad Ziller, Assistant Professor in Political Sciences, University of Duisburg-Essen

Some reflections on MIPEX in German over at the NCCR blog

Together with Gianni D’Amato and Denise Efionayi-Mäder, I have written up some reflections on the new MIPEX results for Switzerland (in German):

We highlight the comparatively poor protection against discrimination in Switzerland, despite growing attention to Black Lives Matter and racism. We encourage policy comparison not to copy and past policies, but to encourage local solutions to do more.

Incidentally, the new results from MIPEX present nothing new — Swiss immigrant integration policies have been stable in the last few years (though historically they have changed much).

Should we come across as criticizing Swiss policy, let’s not forget the innovative and positive policies on health care in Switzerland (ranked “favourable” by MIPEX).

MIPEX 2020 to launch on 9 December

Yes, MIPEX has been brought up to date! The global launch is due:

After months working together with local partners, MPG is now happy to invite you to the International Launch of MIPEX2020 taking place on December 9 from 2PM-3.30PM CET. The event will take place via Zoom Webinar and we very much look forward to welcoming you all to have an enriching discussion about MIPEX2020, its different areas, indicators, and international trends on integration policies. 

You’ll have to register by 6 December 2020: Link to invitation and registration

Ethnic discrimination in hiring: UK edition

The BBC report on a large correspondent test in the UK carried out by the excellent GEMM project. It’s good to see this reach a wider audience; it’s sad to see the results from our meta-analysis confirmed once again.

British citizens from ethnic minority backgrounds have to send, on average, 60% more job applications to get a positive response from employers compared to their white counterparts

What I really like about this short report by the BBC is that the essentials are covered. Yes we see discrimination, but no, it’s not so bad that none of the minority applicants would ever succeed. They also start the piece with an example of someone changing their name on the CV as a strategy to counter expected (or experienced) discrimination — and they highlight that discrimination has not declined despite policy changes, and indeed that discrimination affects native citizens who happen to have a ‘foreign’ name: they pay for an action of their parents or grandparents.

Are employers in Britain discriminating against ethnic minorities?, GEMM project: PDF of report

Zschirnt, Eva, and Didier Ruedin. 2016. ‘Ethnic Discrimination in Hiring Decisions: A Meta-Analysis of Correspondence Tests 1990–2015’. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 42 (7): 1115–34.