Tackling the Root Causes of Displacement: the German Discourse Notes du Cerfa, No. 146, Ifri, March 2019
In Germany, an important role is ascribed to development policy when considering the question of how to deal with the causes of displacement and irregular migration. Development policy seeks to enable (potential) migrants to enjoy brighter prospects in their countries of origin through job creation measures so that they do not embark on the dangerous journey to Europe (or Germany) in the first place.
The idea of deploying development cooperation as an instrument for tackling the root causes of displacement is not a new concept. In Germany, this notion was already a matter of debate back in the 1980s. In this context, the analysis of the impact of migration is at odds with important findings in migration and development research. There is, after all, a positive correlation between (socio-economic) development and migration: if employment and wages in a developing country rise, then international migration likewise increases.
An important conclusion for German development policy would therefore be that processes of (regular) migration must be promoted to a greater extent. Moreover, important principles of development cooperation, such as respect for human rights, must be upheld at all costs. If this is not the case, then we risk, unintentionally, playing an active part in exacerbating future processes of displacement and irregular migration.
Benjamin Schraven, born in 1978, studied Political Science and received his doctorate in Development Studies from the University of Bonn in 2010. He has been a Senior Researcher at the German Development Institute (DIE) in Bonn since 2011.