Ruben Andersson, Oxford

Migration Matters

Will deals like the one with Turkey reduce migration?

In our political and media narratives, we often operate with binary notions: secure or insecure borders, legal or illegal immigration. Ruben Andersson, an anthropologist and Associate Professor at Oxford University who researches undocumented migration from West Africa to Southern Europe, challenges this way of thinking. Andersson immerses himself in the reality of migration, accompanying migrants, border guards, and aid workers to present the impact of the migration control industry from their perspectives.


In this video, Andersson analyses the EU-Turkey deal through a historical perspective, comparing it with the partnership between Spain in 2006 and some West African countries to stop migration. He points out that this only switched the flow of migration towards other routes and didn’t solve the migration problem. Moreover, he highlights the risks of the dynamics created where these countries can use the idea of migration as a threat as means to put pressure on europe to provide larger concessions.

An added perspective - by Sowmar Kreker, 2018 alumnus

Look out for...

  • EU-Turkey deal
  • Comparison to other partnerships to stop migration
  • Flows of migration
  • Migration as a bargaining chip