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date: 18 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines how many of those refugees and asylum seekers making transnational journeys are classified as irregular migrants by states who seek to make such movements illegitimate. It considers the framing, targeting, and active production of ‘forced migrants as illegal migrants’ in the literature and highlights the importance of the labels of ‘forced’ and ‘illegal’ in the governing of migration. It discusses the concept of ‘figures of migration’, which is based on the notion that categorizations of people on the move such as the ‘refugee’ or the ‘illegal migrant’ do not represent distinct social groups sharing characteristic features. Furthermore, it looks at how academic knowledge production might intervene in the contested politics of mobility in order to refuse, destabilize, or subvert the terms by which the rendering of ‘forced migrants as illegal migrants’ has become unambiguous.

Keywords: refugees, asylum seekers, transnational journeys, irregular migrants, forced migrants, illegal migrants, migration, figures of migration, politics, mobility

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