Trading rights for migration and is there any light for the displaced Rohingya?

Is there a trade-off between migration and the rights of migrants? Chris Bertram, Professor of Social and Political Philosophy at the University of Bristol, and Martin Ruhs, Associate Professor of Political Economy at the University of Oxford, start this episode by discussing this dilemma. Next, Sarnata Reynolds, a human rights lawyer and director of Strategy for Humanity, tells us about the situation of the displaced Rohingya, who face ethnic cleansing in Myanmar (Burma).

We don’t think it would be justifiable to reduce the rights of native-born citizens for an aggregate gain in welfare and the same should go for other people who also have a moral claim to membership.

Chris Bertram

In a recent book, the economist Branko Milanovic has argued that migrants’ rights should be restricted in order to enable more migration, which in turn would reduce global inequality. Chris Bertram, who has written on the ethics of exclusion, has taken issue with this. Bertram argues hat restricting for example political rights of migrants would create an apartheid-like society.

Rather than restricting migrants’ access to the welfare state, why don’t we just change the welfare state and make it more contributory? The answer depends entirely on what perspective you are taking. Do you take a global perspective or do you take a national perspective?

Martin Ruhs

Martin Ruhs has argued in this book The Price of Rights, as well as in a recent research paper on EU migration, that there is a trade-off between openness to migration and the welfare state. He argues that welfare states that are more contributory, rather than based only on needs, find it easier to absorb more migrants.

Malaysia, as bad as it is, and it is really bad, is still considered to be better than Indonesia and Thailand. If you can get to Malaysia, you’re on your way to a better life.

Sarnata Reynolds

Last year, as thousands of Rohingya, a Muslim minority in Myanmar (Burma), fled persecution, neighbouring countries initially refused to let them in and they ended up stuck at sea. A year on, Sarnata Reynolds tell us that the situation has not improved, with the Rohingya having access to almost no rights in the countries that did let them in and there is very limited international assistance. Read more about their situation here and here.

What is the right to asylum and why are people crossing the Med?

This episode starts with a debate on the right to asylum and Europe’s response to the refugee crisis between Professor David Owen and David Goodhart, followed by an interview with Professor Heaven Crawley on new research on who is crossing the Mediterranean to Europe and why.

Europe’s bluff has been called. The EU has broadened and broadened the criteria under which people can come here. It didn’t really matter when people were locked away in prison states like Iraq and Syria. Now the prisons are open.

David Goodhart

David Goodhart is the director of the Integration Hub and former director of Demos. David Owen is Professor in Social and Political Philosophy at the University of Southampton.

Whereas David Owen puts forward the view that the entire world order of states suffers a legitimacy problem when refugees go unprotected, David Goodhart argues that it is a fantasy to talk about people having human rights when their own states are not protecting them.

Yes, we need a system of global refugee protection in place. We don’t have it. Now the question is what do we do under the present conditions. It is perfectly right that those who come to Europe get protection here.

David Owen

David Owen has made his argument about justice in international refugee protection in a recent contribution to a new book on the ethics of migration and here. David Goodhart has debated the issue here and here.

People who maybe moved to Libya for work have found themselves being caught up in a lawless situation where they effectively turn into refugees. So this idea that people are either economic migrants or refugees is challenged by our evidence.

Heaven Crawley

Heaven Crawley is Professor is chair in International Migration at the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations at Coventry University. She leads the research project MEDMIG: Unravelling the Mediterranean Migration Crisis, which she tells us about in this episode [33 minutes in]. Their first findings show that there is an increasing number of families travelling from Turkey to Greece and that people have mixed motivations for making the journeys. To read the full research briefing click here.

What Muslims might think and what’s going on in the EU

In this first ever episode of Talking migration, we talk to Professor Ruud Koopmans on attitude surveys of Muslims in Europe and to Professor Andrew Geddes on his forthcoming book The Politics of Migration and Immigration in Europe.

In Europe we have a strongly conservative Muslim population that is confronted with the most secular people in the world.

Ruud Koopmans

In light of the attitude survey What Muslims Really Think that ICM commissioned for British Channel 4, we talked to Professor Ruud Koopmans, who has extensive experience of studying attitudes and issues relating to ethnic diversity. The ICM survey was criticised for its methodology and the programme for how the results were reported, yet perhaps many of the results were not all that surprising.

Koopmans also discusses his research on religious fundamentalism and out-group hostility amongst Muslims and Christians in Europe. He points out that the difference between Muslims and Christians is much bigger in Europe than in the US.

The deal with Turkey is part of a wider trend of externalising migration governance.

Andrew Geddes

Geddes forthcoming book The Politics of Migration and Immigration in Europe, co-authored with Professor Peter Scholten, could not be more relevant. In a Europe that is seemingly tearing itself apart over asylum ans immigration politics, what is the future for cooperation? Professor Geddes provides insights about the future of Schengen, EU’s relationship with Turkey and how Europe is in a way creating the refugee crisis by its border policies. Find out more about Geddes’s research here.