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Call for papers: The Migration Industry: Facilitators and Brokerage in Asia
January 30, 2017
The migration industry signals both the privatization of migration infrastructures and the increasingly formalized involvement of brokers and agents in migration. It comes as no surprise that the “migrant-broker” or agent has emerged as an important player to understand the dynamics involved in migrant trajectories. While the work of migrants as informal brokers persists – mainly based on the observation that low-skilled migrants pay a considerable price for their services – it has also been observed that without their involvement migration would often simply not be possible. At the same time, an increasing number of brokers operate within formalized networks and/or as part of professional organizations. As such we argue that an understanding of migrant brokers needs to go beyond kinship ties and clientelism and incorporate an understanding of how such networks and organizations operate within the transnational sphere of migration flows. Our aim is to zoom into mediation processes, institutional practice, and multiple activities of “micro-brokerage” involved in the facilitation of migration as well as the infrastructural support of the migration industry.
We are looking for critically and empirically engaged work in the broadly defined topic of migration brokerage, with a specific focus on the role, knowledge practice, and activities of agents, brokers and other types of facilitators. Papers within the context of Asia or dealing with Asian migrants in other parts of the world are welcome.
Conference date 1-2 June 2017