The IOM’s Humanitarian Border Management in the West African Ebola Crisis (2014–2016)

  • Tilmann ScherfEmail author
Part of the International Political Economy Series book series (IPES)


The chapter focuses on the role of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in putting forward a humanitarian rationality to the governance of West African borders in response to the 2014–2016 Ebola virus epidemic. It reconstructs how the IOM as a central global actor in border security governance has sought to promote and apply its concept of ‘Humanitarian Border Management’ (HBM) to assist governments and border authorities with a more effective management of their borders. Through the analytical framework of ‘nodal governance’, the chapter analyses how the IOM aligns with and reproduces a political rationality of the ‘humanitarian border’ in its Ebola crisis response initiatives in West Africa. The chapter argues that the implementation of HBM carries significant ramifications for the reinforced linkage between humanitarian and security rationalities of governance in the regulation of West African mobility.


International Organization for Migration Nodal governance Border management West Africa Ebola virus epidemic 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Freie Universität BerlinBerlinGermany

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