The drive for securitised temporariness
Title: The drive for securitised temporariness
Author: CASSARINO, Jean-Pierre
Citation: Anna TRIANDAFYLLIDOU (ed.), Circular migration between europe and its neighbourhood : choice or necessity ?, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013, pp. 22-41
Never before has the term ‘circular migration’ been used and mentioned by so many diverse actors ranging from scholars, think tank experts, policy makers, migration stakeholders, and officials from the European Union (EU), the United Nations and the World Bank. Over the last seven years or so, a plethora of studies, reports, policy briefs, communications and recommendations have been produced to address the logic and relevance of circular migration. Clearly, in the West, this plethoric production coincides with the renewed attention paid by European leaders to the regulated temporary stay of foreign workers. In 2005, the Global Commission on International Migration (GCIM) underlined ‘the need to grasp the developmental opportunities that this important shift (i.e., circular migration) in migration patterns provides for countries of origin’, even if, as noted by Stephen Castles, this positive assumption of circular migration remained undefined in the GCIM Report. The same year, the European Commission presented policy recommendations aimed at ‘encouraging circular migration, by giving a priority for further temporary employment to workers who have already worked under such schemes and have returned at the end of their contract, and also offering appropriate rewards to participating migrants’. Later, in May 2007, the European Commission defined circular migration ‘as a form of migration that is managed in a way allowing some degree of legal mobility back and forth between two countries’. The objective of this chapter is not to review the literature that has proliferated like a ripple effect on circular migration over the last few years, nor is it aimed at explaining whether ‘circular migration programmes’ are a winner in the so-called management of international migration, serving the interests of countries of destination and of origin as well as those of migrants. Rather, this chapter sets out to contextualise the introduction of EU-sponsored circular migration programmes while explaining that something anchored in the past may account for policy-makers’ current focus on temporary and circular migration. In other words, this chapter shows that circular migration programmes do not only build upon past practices designed to regulate the movement of international migrants (e.g., with temporary labour migrant schemes); they also react against such inherited practices in a subtle manner by linking the adoption of temporary and circular migration programmes with new security-driven safeguards. This unquestioned though questionable linkage is reflective of the consolidation of powerful drivers and predominant schemes of understanding that today structure migration talks and orient policy options as applied to the management of international migration.
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