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Globalisation and Irregular Migration: Does Deterrence Work?

  • Matilde RosinaEmail author
Chapter
Part of the International Political Economy Series book series (IPES)

Abstract

While the changes and pressures brought about by globalisation greatly incentivise out-migration, including in its irregular forms, policy responses to unauthorised entries have often focused on measures based on deterrence. Indeed, deterrence has a notable appeal for policymakers, due to its ease of applicability in both explaining irregular migration and providing a solution to it. But can it be effective in curbing migratory flows? In this chapter, I propose a research framework to address this question and provide insight into whether, in the cases characterised by luck of success, the reasons for such results lie in the inadequate application of deterrence principles or in other, more structural, problems. To do so, I link the international political economy discussion of migration governance with the criminological understanding of deterrence. In particular, I analyse the key elements on which deterrence strategies rest, emphasising the role of legal and social costs and perceptions, and then identify four pitfalls that are likely to backfire on the effectiveness of measures. These include communication and unconscious biases, the political dimension, the lack of positive incentives, and the availability of alternatives.

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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.King’s College LondonLondonUK

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