Talking at Cross-Purposes? On Ambigous Relationships between International Policies on Return and Reintegration and their local Conceptualisations in Ghana, the Gambia and Senegal

Release date: 2022-11

This Working Paper explores and compares return to and reintegration in Ghana, the Gambia and Senegal while setting different positionalities of migrants against migration and return regimes and broader socio-economic inequalities. The Paper first highlights the trajectories and motivations of migrants and returnees, including a group-centred perspective on the continuous relevance of relations with the communities of origin. Then, it relates migrant journeys to diverging national political economies and policies. Differing return policies on the one hand and conflicting interests and expectations of the involved actors on the other create unequal options and expectations of mobility. The case studies show that diverging experiences of return, thus, not only depend on the individual situations, such as differences in age, gender, legal status or social class, but also the broader social context, the existing economic situation—and finally the politicised relations and interests between stakeholders in the migration and return processes. The findings on circular mobility and division of labour respectively widen the perspective on return and reintegration policies, which have traditionally been shaped by a uni-linear uni-directional bias.