African Migrants and the Refugee Crisis

Sabella Abidde Announcement
Subject Fields
African History / Studies, Contemporary History, Immigration & Migration History / Studies, Political Science, World History / Studies

African Migrants And The Refugee Crisis

Editors: Olayiwola Abegunrin and Sabella O. Abidde


Since independence, many African nations have yet to experience a decade of sustained peace, sustained growth and development, and sustained democratic rule. But instead, immoderations, malevolence, conflicts and acute deficiency in Basic Human Needs has been common in many of these states and societies. In recent years, however, there have been some bright spots and beacons of hope -- necessitating scholars, observers, and institutions to be optimistic about the future of the continent. Despite the abundance of optimism and the recent counsel that one must not interrogate, explain, or view the continent from a single lens, one cannot but ask “what’s going on in Africa?”


This, after all, is a continent where excesses, inhumanities, and illiberal regimes have forced an untold number of Africans to abandon the continent in search of economic security and political safety in distant lands. Available evidence suggests that such departures are not new. Modern humans, starting out in Africa, have been on the move in response to climatic and geological conditions, conflicts, and the need to survive and thrive. Not much has changed. According to the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the number of refugees, internally displaced persons, and the stateless has, as of December 2018, risen to more than 68.5 million people worldwide. The number keeps growing and there is no reason to believe that this pattern will abate anytime soon.


In the last four decades, many of these migrants have trekked the Sahara Desert eventually reaching and crossing the Mediterranean sea -- with the hope of reaching Europe, North America and other safe havens.  In their attempt to reach their destination, some were taken captive (as modern slaves or held in detention camps in places like Libya), while others have lost their lives during the dangerous treks or drowned at sea. While it is true that there are migrants and refugees from other parts of the world including Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Yemen who are desperately trying to reach France, Italy, Germany, Spain, the UK, and North America, we are particularly concerned with African migrants and refugees. Specifically, we are interested in the cause and consequences of these movements and the implications therein.


We are not interested in the obvious or in the regurgitation of events. But rather, we seek scholars, fieldworkers, diplomats, and members of the Civil Society who are able to engage in critical analysis of events and phenomenon and which must be supported with qualitative and or quantitative data. In addition to other salient questions, what are the factors that gave rise to and or exacerbates migration and the refugee crisis? How does Africa’s colonial past and or current relationship (neocolonialism, post-911 alliances and realities) contribute to the refugee crisis? What should be done to stem the tide of the crisis? Are African governments complicit in the crisis? And what’s the role/responsibility of Non-Governmental Organizations, regional blocs, the United Nations, and the African Union in managing the crisis?


Contributors may suggest topics that are not listed but which falls within the overall theme of the book. However, listed below are some suggested areas of interrogation and analysis:

  • Migration and Refugee Crisis in World History
  • Statelessness and Internally Displaced Persons
  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in African migrant/refugee population
  • Sexual abuse, neglect, and exploitation within African migrant/refugee population
  • Theorizing Migration and Refugee Crisis
  • The impact of globalization and/or globalizing forces on migration
  • Cold War politics and migration
  • The Dangers: Crossing the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean Sea
  • The Human Cost of Migration/Refugee Crisis
  • Libya’s detention centers and death camps
  • African migrants and refugees in Eastern and Western Europe
  • African migrants and refugees in Latin America and the Caribbean
  • African Migrants/Refugees in Oil-rich Arab countries
  • The impact of migration on African states and societies
  • Public Policy: How to curb Africa’s migration and Refugee Crisis
  • European and African-based Non-Governmental Organizations and the Refugee Crisis
  • The African Union and the Refugee Crisis
  • The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the African Refugee Crisis
  • Xenophobia and Nativism in Europe and North America
  • The European Union Migration Policy
  • Migration and Human Rights in Africa
  • Human smugglers/traffickers
  • Refugee camps in Kenya, Tanzania, and Ethiopia



  1. Please submit a detailed abstract: 300-350-words, and a 100-125-words biography (About the Author), along with your official contact information by 25 March 2019.
  2. You will be notified of acceptance or rejection of abstract by 25 April 2019.
  3. Your chapter - 7500-8500 words including endnotes and references - is due 30 September 2019.
  4. Information regarding formatting/citation will be transmitted to contributors at a later date.
  5. Please send your abstract, brief biography, contact information, and any inquiry about topics to: and then cc the co-editor at:



Olayiwola Abegunrin is Professor of International Relations, African Studies, and Political Economy, Howard University and the University of Maryland. He was formerly Chair, Department of International Relations, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. He is Carnegie Mellon Foundation Fellow. He is the author, co-author, editor and co-editor of fifteen books, book chapters and many articles in refereed journals. His teaching and research focus is on International Relations, African Politics, Political Economy and U.S. Foreign Policy. His most recent book is Nigeria-United States Relations, 1960-2016 (Lexington Books, 2018).


Sabella O. Abidde (Ph.D. Howard University) is an associate professor of political science and member of the graduate faculty at Alabama State University where he teaches courses in comparative politics, international relations, African politics and institutions, and the politics of developing nations. He is the editor of Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean: The Case for Bilateral and Multilateral Cooperation (Lexington Books, 2018); and the coeditor of Africans and the Exiled Life: Migration, Culture and Globalization (Lexington Books, 2017). Dr. Abidde is a member of the Association of Global South Studies (AGSS); Latin American Studies Association (LASA); African Studies & Research Forum (ASRF); the Caribbean Studies Association (CSA); and the Canadian Association of African studies (CAAS).


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