"We Paid and Then We Could Continue”: Corruption during the Migration Trajectory, the Experience of Afghan Migrants

University essay from Göteborgs universitet/Institutionen för globala studier

Author: Björn Hummerdal; [2015-09-30]

Keywords: ;

Abstract: It is a common argumentation that contemporary world is characterized by globalization and the dissolving of borders. Flows of information, goods and people are argued to be fundamental in this new world. However, it seems as these flows are not applicable for all. The rise of border policies in Europe, as a way of controlling international migration, has created a situation where states strive towards a strict control of those crossing the borders. These hindrances often force migrants to deal with illegal means in order to continue their journey. Corruption is argued to be a fundamental part of these means, and conceptualized by large international organisations as a great threat towards the maintaining of solid borders. Others argue that corruption could be seen as part of everyday life, and important for migrants when negotiating their illegal status towards states. The aim of this thesis, based upon semi-structured interviews, is to explore the role of corruption during the migration trajectory. Questions stated are how migrants organize their trajectory and with the help of which actors, how migrants experience corruption during their trajectory and what this might tell us about the role of corruption in migration more broadly. By exploring the interviewees’ narratives this thesis could raise that corruption is a fundamental means throughout their journey. It creates possibilities to pass hindrances on their way, as well as negotiate their status towards actors who aim towards controlling them. Which consequently will raise their level of agency. Furthermore, corruption is part of the blurring of boarders, making the legal and illegal intertwined, enabling an expansion of the migration industry.

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