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What is Unprivileged Migration

Handbook of Research on Transitional Justice and Peace Building in Turbulent Regions
Migration seeks to bridge both a temporal and spatial gap, seeking for future establishment elsewhere. If migration is not privileged by lawful procedures, economic promises, comfort and social respect, but faces political and social exclusion and criminal exploitation, its underlying life project becomes an existential risk. Unprivileged migration here is a dangerous travel for one’s own sake to a better, but not a welcoming world.
Published in Chapter:
Informality and Informalization among Eritrean Refugees: Why Migration Does Not Provide a Lesson in Democracy
Magnus Treiber (Felsberg Institute, Germany)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9675-4.ch008
Transnational migration has important implications on the respective country of departure and its political dynamics. This article addresses informal practices and processes of informalization during migration from dictatorially ruled Eritrea in North-East-Africa. On the base of dense ethnography among refugees and migrants in neighboring Ethiopia the article discusses migration's cultural and social effects and sheds a light on the potential role of migrants in Eritrea's expected political transition. It will be argued that refugees and migrants are unable to fully liberate themselves from Eritrea's authoritarian political culture while seeking prosperity, democracy and human rights elsewhere. Instead they blunder into informal practices such as deceit, exploitation and denial of solidarity, which inevitably backfire on social and political life.
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