Theorizing the Entanglements of Public and Private Authority within Migration

This project examines the roles played by private actors within migration schemes around the globe. As migration and migration services are increasingly provided through non-state entities it considers the implications of this ‘commodification’ of migration. As analytical tools, it draws upon both the ideas of the migration industry, as well as drawing from critical security studies—a field which has long considered the ramifications of shifting core state functions to private actors. Thus, using critical security studies as an inspiration, this project examines the kinds of migration services being bought and sold and what these signal about the relationships between private actors and the state. In doing so, it seeks to explore more deeply issues of how migration functions both as a ‘public good’ and as a commodity and the implications of states increasing reliance on governing migration through the market.