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date: 11 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the regional dynamics of different types of forced displacement in West Africa, focusing on conflict-induced displacements, forced expulsions and ‘mixed migration’ in a historical perspective. It discusses the politics and practices of asylum in the region and highlights some of the unintended effects of a West African ‘protection’ regime in terms of labelling processes, the intensification of certain conflicts, and the emergence of increasingly rigid categories of belonging. It also analyses the influence of the European Union in the development of immigration discourses and policies in the region and the role and potential of the Economic Community of West African States in recognizing the importance of mobility in the everyday lives of displaced populations.

Keywords: forced migration, West Africa, Economic Community of West African States, European Union, immigration, displacement, mixed migration, politics, asylum

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