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This paper explores the intricate relationship between knowledge and power in migration policymaking. It challenges the notion that knowledge exists as an objective truth awaiting application by policymakers and argues that bridging the knowledge-policy gap in migration requires a deep understanding of the politics of knowledge. This entails grasping the power relations within migration research and policymaking and recognizing the diverse roles knowledge plays within the policy process. By bringing into dialogue literatures on knowledge use and knowledge production, the paper discusses how knowledge is always inherently intertwined with power dynamics, who is deemed legitimate to produce knowledge on migration, how policymakers employ knowledge either instrumentally or symbolically, and how this is shaped by the politicization of migration issues at stake. The paper ends with introducing four key methodological strategies for analyzing the politics of knowledge in migration policy: backtracking dominant assumptions, tracing issue-specific dynamics, identifying temporal shifts, and critically assessing the links between knowledge production and utilization. These strategies form the foundation for the empirical investigation of migration policymaking in the PACES project, which hopes to offer novel insights into the power-knowledge nexus in the field of migration.



Working paper

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migration policy, knowledge, power