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Ilse van Liempt

As Castles and Miller have rightly noted, we are living in an ‘Age of Migration’ (2003) and global mobility is on the rise. At the same time we are also witnessing increasing intensification of border control in various parts of the world. This has given rise to a global ‘industry’ that makes migration accessible to those whom States have identified as unauthorised migrants. The global migration industry involves all sorts of actors, including transnational criminal organisations, often referred to as human smugglers. Even though the body of academic literature on human smuggling is growing, the field (still) suffers from sensationalist media accounts, public and political agendas that want to ‘fight’ smuggling, and difficulties in generating data. The empirical work that is available on human smuggling is disciplinary bound, and often regionally focused or case study based. This chapter provides an overview of various disciplinary readings of the literature on human smuggling and identifies the gaps in the literature.

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Ilse Van Liempt and Francesco Vecchio

Refugees are both the outcome and the cause of processes of globalization. Their number has increased in recent years, illustrating the massive population shifts away from rural, marginalized and impoverished lives into larger, networked cities. When refugee networks expand, new resources become available; eventually more people are able to move along these established paths. Simultaneously, different state policies, politics and refugees’ growing dependency on third parties for their migration impact on and cause a distortion in refugee mobility. While many refugees continue to head for hard-to-reach yet desirable cities in Europe – for example, London – other refugees in developing countries now pragmatically head for countries – such as Hong Kong – that are more open to migration and/or less capable of enforcing immigration regulations. This chapter examines the interplay between global economics, states and refugees, arguing that Agamben’s conditions of ‘exception’ in relation to refugee camps also apply to those of refugees in cities. At the same time, such conditions are conducive to certain refugee agency.

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Ilse Van Liempt and Veronika Bilger