Ethico-political governmentality of immigration and asylum: the case of Ethiopia

Karal, Dilek
This dissertation deals with the construction of ethico-political paradigm for immigration and asylum policies in Ethiopia. Studies on governmentality have problematized the construction of ethico-political paradigm in modern day policy making as a means to create responsibilizing, collectivizing and socializing power (Rose, 1999). Ethico-political power aims to shift burden of states and other governmental bodies in welfare provision to individuals and communities especially on problematic issues such as immigration, crime, illness, and security control. This study unearths how discourses and practices of ethico-political paradigm are embedded and reproduced in global immigration and asylum policy propositions regarding Ethiopia. The dissertation draws from governmentality studies literature to understand construction of ethico-political discourse and rationalities in global policy documents on immigration and asylum. Analysis covers 38 documents limited to annual reports of three organizations UNHCR, IOM, and European Commission published between 2000 and 2013 and 11 interviews conducted with international organizations’ country offices, local NGOs and undocumented migrants residing in Addis Ababa. Based on content analysis of these documents, this dissertation answers these questions: How is ethico-political paradigm constructed in global policy propositions for Ethiopia? And what are the reflections of ethico-political paradigm in governmentality of immigration and asylum in Ethiopia? The findings of the research reveal that ethico-political paradigm reflects on Ethiopia at differing levels such as positioning the country as “safe third country” of the Global North, strengthening of control over immigrants, increasing dependence on individual and community as a part of neo-liberal policy making. In addition, propositions of a western governmentality paradigm in Ethiopian context creates certain “uncalculated effects” on governmentality of immigration and asylum in Ethiopia affecting the state, migrant communities, and individuals.


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Citation Formats
D. Karal, “Ethico-political governmentality of immigration and asylum: the case of Ethiopia,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2015.