République des Savoirs

Laboratoire transdisciplinaire du CNRS, ENS et du Collège de France

Sites webs :

Axes de recherche :

Titre de thèse :

« Digital transformation of the migration regime in Africa: developments and setbacks
between Human Rights and Migration Governance. »

Directeur de thèse :
J. Peter Burgess (ENS)

Année académique d’inscription :


Résumé :
The research project investigates the processes of digitalisation and datafication in Africa targeting forced migrant populations and resulting from the progressive technologization of both border control and humanitarian assistance. Moving from a profoundly interdisciplinary perspective that articulates Critical Security Studies and Science and Technology Studies in dialogue with International Human Rights Law, the project explores the multi-layered implications of these trends in key areas of migration governance, following exemplary technologies deployed by national, regional, and international stakeholders while problematising forms of data extractivism and techno-colonialism. Its ambition is to contribute to the elaboration of juridical and socio-political knowledge on the risks of the deployment of new technologies targeting populations in vulnerable conditions. Firstly, the different strands of the digitalisation of migration will be explored, mapped, and systematised through the analysis of programmes, devices, and relevant legal frameworks. Secondly, the multi-level impact resulting from digitalisation will be assessed through extensive fieldwork in Niger and Senegal, focusing on possible human rights abuses and governance challenges. Lastly, it will be discussed if and to what extent an accountability framework can be established for practices of digital harm evading legal scrutiny.

Mots-clés :
Digitalisation of forced migration; Human Rights; smart borders; datafication; humanitarian assistance; accountability; STS; African studies; IR.