Beyond convergence: Irregular migration and transnational crime

In this NCHS webinar, Luigi Achilli (European University Institute) and Alice Massari (University of Copenhagen) led a discussion about irregular migration and transnational crime and claims about their increasing convergence. This webinar was held in conjunction with the launch of the Public Anthropologist special issue, ‘Migration, Smuggling and the Illicit Global Economy’.

The claim that organised crime actors – from migrant smugglers to drug traffickers to terrorists – are increasingly coming together to bypass, corrupt, and subvert state controls designed to counter irregular migration is not new.

Despite its lack of empirical backing and its implications on the lives of the people it designates as criminal – often racialised men from the global south – the notion of convergence remains at the core of policy debates on humanitarianism, migration enforcement and border control.

This webinar explored how analyses critical of the ways in which race, class and gender are mobilised in organised crime and migration research and discourse can provide an evidence-based, counter-narrative of criminal convergence and better inform policy making.

The webinar was moderated by NCHS Director, Antonio De Lauri (Research Professor, Chr. Michelsen Institute).