Economic Liberalization, Dispossession, and the Current Migrant Crisis in the Maghreb

By: Angela Joya  

In the first part of the twenty-first century, we have witnessed a large number of refugees and migrants from the Middle East and North Africa seeking refuge in Europe and beyond. While the wars and conflicts in the region have been a main driver of displacement of people, the economic imperatives associated with the globalization project have also played an important role. The latter however has not been studied sufficiently to establish the links between forced displacement in the region and the globalization project’s main architects—the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Since the Arab uprisings of 2011, a significant body of research has considered the links between market reforms, youth unemployment, and movement of youth from the Maghreb region. In this paper, I examine the cases of Morocco and Tunisia to explore the extent to which the economic reform policies of the period of market liberalization (1980s-1990s) contributed to the current wave of migration from the Maghreb region.

Mediterranean,Globalization, Dispossession, Maghreb
2019 Special Focus—Border Crossing Narratives: Learning from the Refugee Experience
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Angela Joya

Assistant Professor, International Studies, University of Oregon, United States
United States