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Brokering High-Risk Migration and Illegality in West Africa : Abroad at Any Cost (Hardcover) (Maybritt

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In the face of ever-increasing difficulties in obtaining papers and the considerable economic costs of travelling, the desire of young Africans to emigrate is unrelenting. Why, in the face of uncertainty, do aspiring migrants trust and hand over large sums of money to migration brokers? How and to what extent are relations between aspiring migrants and migration brokers affected by failures? How do aspiring migrants handle family expectations and legal constraints? How do aspiring migrants relate to the risk of a deportation?

Maybritt Jill Alpes takes paradoxes between mobility and closure as her starting point and demonstrates local attitudes towards migration risks against the backdrop of high migration aspirations and the difficulties for Cameroonians to realize these through legal channels. Placing trafficking within a wider framework of high-risk migration, this book examines a multitude of actors and factors that create vulnerabilities for aspiring migrants. Based on prolonged and empathetic ethnographic research with aspiring and failed migrants, migration brokers, consulate officers and family members, this book provides a vivid account of a context of departure. In doing so, the book does not so much study migrants and their experiences, but processes that create conditions of illegality and exploitation. Ultimately, Alpes demonstrates how the state’s monopoly over the legitimate means of mobility leads to people resorting to fraud and criminality in order to achieve their aims.

Much of the state-of-the-art literature on trafficking and smuggling has been produced over 10 years ago. With its focus on migration brokerage, the book seeks to contribute to a second generation of studies engaging with migration policies on illegal border crossings. This interdisciplinary text will appeal to those in the fields of migration and development studies, anthropology, sociology, criminology and law.


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