Fifty years of Technocracy: International migration management as an evolving discourse coalition.

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Migration studies not only includes the actual movement of migrants, but increasingly as well the way governments and international organisations deal with migration and its national and international challenges. Over the past 30 years the scholarly debate on international migration has been characterised by a focus on globalisation and a paradigm shift to the study of migration management. The key actors in migration management are not only the nation states but also the international meetings, the Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) or organisations consisting of trained experts. The heavy involvement of the experts in migration management gives it a technocratic character, that has become the subject of current discourses around the legitimacy of governance and especially its eventual democratic shortcomings. We argue that this technocracy has deep roots and a long history, and that it stems from an informal association of (migrant) administrators and scholars that formed a discourse coalition in the 1950s. In this essay we analyse its evolution and the relation with technocracy over a period of fifty years, combining digital analysis of networks and title content with analog archival sources for the political context.
Original languageEnglish
Article number20220004
JournalJournal of Digital history
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 09 Mar 2023


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