Social Determinants of Forced and Unforced Migrations Between Africa and Europe

Mao-Mei Liu , University of California, Berkeley

What are the drivers of refugee and forced migration? On one hand, political or environmental crises have often been assumed to explain refugee and forced migration entirely. However, while crisis possibly affects nearly the entire population of an area, individuals and families will differ “in their ability to respond to those crises” (Hugo 2018: 10). On the other hand, major theories of migration barely mention refugee and forces migration, but Hugo and colleagues argue that even ‘forced’ movers have agency, and that these theories do have relevance. Using retrospective multi-sited data collected in DR Congo, Ghana, Senegal and Europe, this paper seeks to examine the social determinants of forced and unforced African migrations to Europe. In addition, it seeks to contrast determinants of South-South and South-North migrations and contribute new knowledge to our understanding of how gender, social status and education influence such migrations.

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 Presented in Session 30. Forced Migration