The Jean Monnet Erasmus+ Network grant The Comparative Network on Refugee Externalisation Policies (CONREP) is an international, interdisciplinary network of experts from seven universities in Australia and Europe.
CONREP researches the impact and effects of the externalisation of refugee policies in two regions: Australia’s activities in Southeast Asia and the Pacific; and the European Union and its member states’ activities in North Africa. These policies exploit power asymmetries to transfer state and regional obligations and responsibility for asylums seekers and refugees to neighbouring states. At their most destructive, externalisation policies can prevent refugees from reaching safety, and breach their human rights.
Externalisation policies reshape the boundaries of sovereignty and blur the lines of responsibility among states. By avoiding their legal and political responsibility, many states violate their legal obligations. Externalisation deflects responsibility, transforming the governance of refugee protection and border control. Regional cooperation for refugee protection is weakened, and human rights protections are undermined. At a global level, migration pathways are disrupted and refugees are often trapped in transit, placing them at risk. Nationally, some governments gain electoral advantage by being ‘tough’ on border protection. The accelerating phenomenon of externalisation characterising these ‘tough’ border protection policies requires a comprehensive analysis by researchers, civil society actors, refugees and policy makers.
The project is co-funded by the European Union under the Erasmus+ Programme – Jean Monnet Activities (599660 EPP-1-2018-1-AU-EPPJMO-NETWORK).
The network partners are:
Professor Philomena Murray – Director of CONREP
Philomena Murray is Honorary Professorial Fellow at the University of Melbourne. She has directed several international research projects. She holds honorary positions at Trinity College Dublin and the United Nations University Institute for Comparative Regional Integration Studies, Bruges. She holds Australia’s only Jean Monnet Chair ad personam.
She is Director of the Comparative Network on Refugee Externalisation Policies. She is a founder of Academics for Refugees. Research interests include refugee externalisation policies; EU legitimacy; comparative regionalism; EU-Asia and EU-Australia relations.
Her distinguished contribution to her field is characterised by research excellence; leadership in international research consortiums; innovative pedagogy; teaching excellence and engagement with policy communities and the media.
Dr Margherita Matera – Research Coordinator CONREP
Margherita Matera is a research fellow in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne. Her research and publications focus on the European Union’s security and defence cooperation, the EU as a foreign policy, security and crisis management actor, the externalisation and securisation of EU refugee policy, NATO and the transatlantic relationship, EU-Australia relations, and comparative regionalism. In 2015, she was the recipient of the Summer Research Scholar Program Grant from the European Union Center of Excellence and European Studies Center at the University of Pittsburgh. She teaches on EU integration, comparative European politics and international relations. She co-edited a special issue of the Australian Journal of International Affairs on EU-Australia Relations, published in 2018 with Professor Philomena Murray. In 2017 she was awarded, along with Professor Murray, a two-year Jean Monnet Project to further explore EU-Australia relations.
Dr Tamara Tubakovic - Research Coordinator CONREP (2020-21)
Tamara Tubakovic is a Lecturer in Public Policy and European Studies in the Department of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Warwick. Tamara was awarded a PhD in Political Science from the University of Melbourne in 2021. Her research intersects the fields of public policy, European Union politics, and refugee and border studies. Her work focuses on the politics of EU asylum policy reforms; the interaction between ideas and crises in public policy; and the construction and consequences of refugee externalisation policies.
Tamara has published widely on EU, UK, and Australian asylum policy and politics in both academic and policy relevant sources. She has also published work comparing the EU and ASEAN regional approaches to refugees and the prospects for an EU-Australia rights-based approach in Southeast Asia. Her current research explores processes of policy convergence on refugee externalisation practices, and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on asylum policies in Australia, the UK and Europe.
Tamara has undertaken several visiting fellowships, including at the Refugee Studies Centre at the University of Oxford and at the Migration Policy Centre at the European University Institute in Florence. She has taught widely on EU politics and integration; public policy theory and analysis; crisis management; and on refugee policy, politics, and law.
Dr Claire Loughnan
Claire Loughnan is a Lecturer in Criminology, at the School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Melbourne. Her research examines the modes, practices and effects of living and working in sites of confinement and on the carceral expansion accompanying border control practices. She has published in Globalizations, UNSW Law Journal, Asia Pacific Journal of Migration, Crime Media Culture and Law Text Culture. Her first book, on the institutional effects of immigration detention, is under contract with Routledge (forthcoming 2022). She is currently exploring practices of 'neglect' as a tool in the externalisation of refugee policies. Claire is a committee member of the Carceral Geography Network, and Co-convenor of the University of Melbourne branch of 'Academics for Refugees'. In 2021, she collaborated with artist Hoda Afshar in 2021, on a film created by Afshar - Agonistes - which examined the experiences of staff speaking out about institutional violence, including those working in immigration detention and offshore processing centres.
Kelly Soderstrom is an academic staff member in the Faculty of Business and Economics at the University of Melbourne. Her recently submitted PhD thesis in Politics and International Relations (Faculty of Arts, University of Melbourne) examines the role of state responsibilities in shaping the German government's response to the 2015 refugee crisis. She holds a Bachelors degree (cum laude) in Political Science / International Relations from Carleton College (USA) and a Masters degree (distinction) in International and European Politics from the University of Edinburgh (UK). Her research interests include asylum governance, European integration, NGOs, and sustainability/CSR. In 2018, she was awarded a graduate fellowship at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy.
Dr Amy Nethery
Amy Nethery is Senior Lecturer in Politics and Policy at Deakin University. She researches the development and impact of asylum policies in Australia and Asia, with a focus on transnational cooperation on border control. An important theme of her work is the analysis of asylum policy according to democratic norms of policymaking. She has a particular interest in immigration detention: its history, evolution, diffusion, legal status, consistency with democratic norms, and human impact. Her article “Australia-Indonesia Cooperation on Asylum Policy” (Australian Journal of International Affairs, 2014) was awarded the 2014 Boyer Prize for the best article published in that journal that year, and was assessed most likely to have lasting impact on policymaking.
On Australian asylum policy, Dr Nethery’s PhD thesis entitled Immigration Detention in Australia won the Isi Leibler Prize in 2011 for the thesis that best advances our knowledge of racism in Australia. An edited volume entitled Immigration Detention: the Migration of a Policy and its Human Impact (with SJ Silverman, Routledge 2015) provides a global survey of the now ubiquitous, yet quite diverse, policy of immigration detention. Dr Nethery was a visiting fellow to the Refugee Studies Centre at the University of Oxford in 2013. She teaches the unit Asylum Challenges in Australia and Asia, and supervises research students on this topic.
Associate Professor Maria O’Sullivan
Maria O’Sullivan is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Law, Monash University and a Deputy Director of the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law. Her teaching and research interests are administrative law, public law and international refugee law. Maria has completed a PhD thesis on cessation of refugee status under Article 1C(5) of the 1951 Refugee Convention and is the author of a number of international and national publications on the subjects of refugee law. She was granted the Faculty of Law Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research by an Early Career Researcher, in recognition of outstanding academic achievement in 2016, and was a Nominee for the Monash University Vice Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Research by an Early Career Researcher.
Her latest publication is an edited volume on access to refugee protection and procedures: States, the Law and Access to Refugee Protection – Fortresses and Fairness (Hart, 2017), co-authored with Dallal Stevens, University of Warwick. This brings together contributions from international leading scholars and examines two of the most pertinent current challenges faced by asylum seekers in gaining access to international refugee protection: the obstacles to physical access to territory and barriers to accessing a quality asylum procedure. It includes papers on border issues in Turkey; the interdiction and screening of asylum seekers at sea, obstacles to entry for Central America refugees in the United States, the asylum system in South Africa and access to justice for Syrian refugees in Lebanon. She is currently writing a monograph on the durability of refugee protection, to be published by Routledge in late 2018. Maria is a regular media commentator on refugee law and policy and has been published by The Conversation, Refugees Deeply and Asylum Insight.
Associate Professor Azadeh Dastyari
Azadeh Dastyari is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Law at Western Sydney University with expertise in international refugee law, human rights law, international maritime law, and constitutional law. She is particularly interested in the interception of people seeking protection at sea; offshore and extraterritorial processing; and immigration detention. She also researches the regulation and control of dissent and protest. Azadeh has been a visiting scholar at Harvard Law School (Fulbright and Lionel Murphy scholar); the European University Institute; Georgetown University and the University of Bologna. She is a former Deputy Director of the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law at Monash University.
Azadeh has developed training resources for UNHCR staff in the Middle East and North Africa Region on protection at sea. She is a partner on the Comparative Network on Refugee Externalisation Policies (CONREP), an interdisciplinary network of experts from six universities in Australia and Europe researching the impact and effects of externalisation in two regions: Australia’s activities in Southeast Asia and the Pacific; and the European Union and its member states’ activities in North Africa. CONREP is funded by the European Union under the Eramus+ Programme-Jean Monnet Activities. Azadeh is also engaged in the Search and Rescue Observatory for the Mediterranean (SAROBMED), a collaboration with researchers and NGOs in Australia and the EU to improve law and practice in relation to the search and rescue of boat migrants and refugees.
Asher Hirsch is a Senior Policy Officer with the Refugee Council of Australia, the national umbrella body for refugees and the organisations and individuals who support them. His work involves research policy development and advocacy on national issues impacting refugee communities and people seeking asylum. Asher is also completing a PhD at Monash University in refugee and human rights law. His research investigates Australia’s migration control activities in Southeast Asia, which aim to prevent asylum seekers from reaching Australian territory and seeking protection. He holds a Bachelor of Arts, a Master of Human Rights Law, a Juris Doctor and a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice.
Professor Pierluigi Musarò
Pierluigi Musarò is Full Professor of Sociology, Culture and Communication at the Department of Sociology and Business Law, University of Bologna, Italy. He is Honorary Professor at Melbourne University, and Research Fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science, at the Institute for Public Knowledge-New York University (USA), and at Monash University (Australia). He is author of several books and papers in the field of media and migration, borders and human rights, performing arts and active citizenship. He is President of the Italian NGO YODA; founding Director of IT.A.CÀ_migrants and travellers: Festival of Responsible Tourism; and a founding member of the Italian Network against Hate Speech.
Associate Professor Marco Borracetti
Marco Borracetti holds a PhD in EU Law from the University of Bologna; he is Researcher and Senior Lecturer of European Union Law of the Alma Mater Studiorum - Università di Bologna, School of Political Science, where he teaches EU Institutional Law and EU Immigration Law. He was recently appointed as co-director of the European Regional MA Programme in Democracy and Human Rights in South East Europe where he teaches Migration and Human Rights.
He is the director of MigLab-Studi sulle Migrazioni, a center of the Department of Political and Social Sciences, University of Bologna and he is member of the Editorial board of Diritto Immigrazione Cittadinanza (Journal on Migration Law Citizenship). His current main research interests include migration, trafficking in human beings and human rights; the right to water and the EU development cooperation; the EU external borders policy; the judicial protection of fundamental rights in the EU. He is member of different Bologna teams working on migration issues: GLOBUS, a H2020 research project that critically examines the European Union’s contribution to global justice; ESPON 2020 Programme ECTG, on Territorial and Urban Potentials Connected to Migration and Refugee Flows; AMIF, Arts Together, Integrating migrant children at schools through artistic expression
Marco was Visiting Scholar at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, European Union Center (2015), and Visiting Professor at Université Libre de Bruxelles – Institut d’Etudes Européennes (2011).
Adjunct Professor Federico Ferri
Federico Ferri is Adjunct Professor of EU Law and Tutor of International Law at the University of Bologna and works within the Schools of Law and Political Science. He holds a PhD in European Law from the Universities of Bologna and Strasbourg (2015) and a Specialising Masters in Human Rights and Humanitarian Intervention (2011). Federico is also a civil attorney in the municipality of Bologna and collaborates with companies, institutions and reviews in Italy and abroad. In particular, he monitors the evolution of the EU secondary law and jurisprudence on migration on behalf of the journals Immigrazione.it and Diritto, immigrazione e cittadinanza. He conducts research in a variety of fields relating to sustainable development and innovation, environment, energy, alternative finance, an intellectual/industrial property. Federico has a special interest in the concept, nature and legal implications of sustainable development, migration, and the protection of fundamental human rights.
Dr Elena Giacomelli
Elena Giacomelli is a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Sociology and Business of Law at the University of Bologna. She is now working on environmental change and migration dynamics. She obtained a PhD, conducting an ethnographic research on social workers with asylum seekers and refugees. In order to anchor her research to practice, she worked for two years as a social worker with asylum seekers and refugees with the Association Centro Astalli. Her research and publications focus on social work with asylum seekers and refugees, migration dynamics, ethnography, cultural sociology. She has conducted many studying and working experiences abroad. In 2018 Elena was a visiting research fellow at the University of the Western Cape (South Africa). In 2016 she took an internship in the Australian Population and Migration Research Center (University of Adelaide). She conducted her Master dissertation in the Third World Studies Center, in The Philippines, focusing internally displaced people due to environmental change. During her Masters, she spent one semester in the Metropolitan University of Prague, where she took part in the research project “Current Migration to Europe: Research of Smart Population Dynamics”. In 2014, she was a Bachelor exchange student at the University of Melbourne.
Professor Sandra Lavenex
Sandra Lavenex is Professor of European and International Politics at the University of Geneva and Visiting Professor at the College of Europe where she teaches European asylum and immigration policies in their internal and external dimensions. Sandra Lavenex obtained her PhD from the European University Institute in Florence in 1999 for a thesis on The Europeanization of Refugee Policies: between human rights and internal security (Ashgate 2001) and has pioneered the study of EU external migration policies with her book Safe Third Countries. Extending the EU asylum and immigration policies to Central and Eastern Europe (Central European University Press 1999). These topics have remained an important pillar of her research and have been expanded to the field of international cooperation on migration more broadly including the nexus with development and trade policies and the comparative analysis of regional cooperation on refugee protection, mobility and migration.
Professor Gregor Noll
Gregor Noll and has been recently appointed to a chair in international law at the School of Business, Economics and Law at Gothenburg University after holding the chair of international law at Lund University between 2005 and 2018. His research is mainly in the areas of migration law, the law of armed conflict, the theory of international law, and the effects of AI on law. Noll held the prestigious Pufendorf Chair at Lund University from 2012 to 2016 and co-launched the Gothenburg / Lund/ Uppsala Migration Law Research Network in 2011. With a group of junior and mid-career research fellows, he transformed Lund into a brand for interdisciplinary research in international law. He has regularly published on the asylum and migration laws and policies of the European Union, and is currently researching the interaction between demography, democracy and migration law.
Karin Åberg’s dissertation topic, Humanizing European Migration Law concerns the development of asylum law as expressed in EU law and under the ECHR. She specifically examines how law and legal expectations interact with humanitarianist values as well as ideas of the irregular migrant as an economic actor. Beside European asylum law, Åberg also writes about impoverished (Roma) EU migrants as well as the correlation between law and grassroot activism and is active in public debates on these subjects. Åberg has previously practiced law in Greece and Sweden, and worked with human rights advocacy in Brussels.
- Ms Annabel Brown, Centre for Policy Development
- Dr Jeff Crisp, Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford
- Prof Guy Goodwin-Gill, Kaldor Centre, University of New South Wales
- Ms Josephine Liebl, European Council on Refugees and Exiles
- Ms Pia Oberroi, Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights
- Mr Paul Power, Refugee Council of Australia
List of books by academics of the Comparative Network on Refugee Externalisation Policies
List of book chapters by academics of the Comparative Network on Refugee Externalisation Policies
List of journal articles by academics of the Comparative Network on Refugee Externalisation Policies
Lists of policy reports created by CONREP and CONREP researchers
Commentaries by academics of the Comparative Network on Refugee Externalisation Policies
Conversations on externalisation policies, migration pathways, human rights protection, border protection, sovereignty, state and regional obligations and other interesting and relevant topics
Lead academic contact
Professor Philomena Murray
Phone: +61 3 8344 5151
Dr Tamara Tubakovic
Comparative Network on Refugee Externalisation Policies
School of Social and Political Sciences, the University of Melbourne
Parkville, VIC 3010, Australia.
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