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Transnationalism from above and below

Migration management and how migrants manage (MIGMA)

Returned Nigerian migrant in Benin City planning to re-migrate explains her route to Europe. Photo: S. Plambech

About the project

Transnationalism from above and below: Migration management and how migrants manage (MIGMA) examines European attempts to return Nigerian migrants, enacting a project of exclusion and excision in the pursuit of governance.


MIGMA will offer a theoretically informed empirical exploration of legal instruments central to the sustainability of current migration management, and explore their effects and efficiency. The aim of the research is to contribute with knowledge relevant to European policy development, by linking migration management to wider circuits of migration and understanding it in a broader comparative framework.


The phrase ‘migration management’ has come to replace ‘immigration control’ and puts a more positive spin on it. Borrowed from the corporate world, the term ‘management’ suggests control and efficiency, and glosses over the multiple conflicts that are often involved, within states, between states, and between states and migrants. Is it possible to manage migrants who prefer to manage their own lives?

Managing rejected Nigerian asylum seekers is particularly challenging, due to a combination of factors including a high prevalence of criminal activity, transnational human trafficking networks, vulnerable victims of human trafficking, high rates of disappearances from reception centres, escalating violent conflict in Nigeria and the refusal of Nigeria to enter into a readmission agreement. Some of these factors are also conducive to the re-migration of returned asylum seekers following their return to Nigeria, undoing Norway’s efforts and increasing costs.



MIGMA is financed by the Research Council of Norway.




UiO’s partners in the project are the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS) and the Faculty of Law at the University of Bergen (UiB).

Published Sep. 11, 2015 12:40 PM - Last modified June 26, 2019 1:32 PM