In this talk, Gerasimos Tsourapas examines the importance of Egypt in the management of migration flows across the Middle East and the Mediterranean, drawing on insights from his latest book. How do countries in the Southern Mediterranean manage human mobility, and what lessons can be drawn for the future of European policy-making on migration?
Over the decades, Egypt has evolved from being the main source of labour migrants in the Middle East to serving as the gatekeeper of refugees into Europe.
Dr. Tsourapas identifies the key role that Egypt has played in the regulating cross-border mobility from colonial times until the 2015-16 migration crisis, demonstrating how Egyptian policymakers have been far from passive targets of EU policymaking: in fact, successive Egyptian regimes - from Gamal Abdel Nasser and Anwar Sadat to Hosni Mubarak and Abdel Fattah el-Sisi - have aimed to use migration as an instrument of political power. Tsourapas focuses on both Egypt-MENA and Egypt-EU relations in order to paint a complex picture of migration diplomacy in the broader Mediterranean.
About the Speakers
Gerasimos Tsourapas is senior lecturer in Middle East politics at the Department of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Birmingham. His research focuses on the politics of migrants, refugees, and diasporas in the broader Middle East. Tsourapas received his Ph.D. in political science from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London in 2016. His thesis, which identified the importance of labor emigration in sustaining authoritarian power in Egypt, received the 2016 Best Dissertation Prize on Migration & Citizenship by the American Political Science Association.
Eftychia Mylona (discussant) is Tutor in Middle Eastern Studies at Leiden University - Campus The Hague. Her research explores the dynamics and mobilities of labor and citizenship of the Greek community that remained in Egypt after the implementations of Gamal Abd al-Nasser’s Nationalization Laws in 1961 until the launching of the infitah policies by Anwar al-Sadat in 1976. This different reading of the post-1961 Greek presence in Egypt reveals the multiple layers of mobility diasporic communities expressed through labor and citizenship, and challenges the construction of a homogeneous social and economic post-colonial Egyptian state.
Room B2.04Nieuwe Achtergracht 166