Irregular migration and the EU-external border policy in Africa: historical and philosophical insights
This paper advances a historical and philosophical explanation of the dynamics of irregular migration and the EU-external border policy in Africa. The refugee crisis in Europe has led to tougher security measures, including the EU’s externalization of its boundaries to transit countries with serious implication for human security and regional stability in Africa. In re-assessing the foundation of international migration policies through historical and philosophical lenses, this work brings to the fore the internal contradictions in EU-external border policy in Africa. Whereas migration studies have drawn insights from political and applied moral philosophy, this approach is rare in the debate on irregular migration and informal transborder flows between the EU and Africa. The article particularly unveils the inter-relational complexity between globalization, migration, human rights and development. The approach is qualitative based on the critical analysis of ethnographic survey, government documents, mass media reports and existing literature. Underpinned by the philosophical tenets of the Hobbesian “collective right” and Lockean concept of “inalienable” human rights, as well as the discourse on the “priority thesis”, it concludes that the resolution of the migration dilemma lies in the ethical modification of the immigration laws in line with the universal notion of democratic values, the rule of law, human rights and the reality of global inter-connectivity.
Keywords: Africa, External Border Control, European Union, Development, Human Rights, Irregular Migration; Priority Thesis