Between Neoliberal Orthodoxy and Securitisation: Prospects and Challenges for a Borderless Southern African Community

  • Christopher C. NshimbiEmail author
  • Inocent Moyo
  • Trynos Gumbo
Part of the Advances in African Economic, Social and Political Development book series (AAESPD)


This contribution considers the possibility of a borderless Southern Africa—under the auspices of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). This is done against the realities and understandings of migration and contested notions of citizenship and development in Southern Africa. A thorough review of legislative and policy frameworks of different types of migration at the regional and national levels in Southern Africa was conducted. Primary data were obtained through personal interviews with policy-makers, migrants and other non-state actors whilst participant observations were also conducted at border posts, government immigration offices and refugee application centres. The chapter proffers that Southern Africa is characterised by open borders, with substantial formal and informal cross-border movements that have political and socio-economic costs. However, the most preferred destinations by migrants in the region have systematically opposed the establishment of a formal free-movement-of-people regime across the region for over 20 years. Still, regional legislation and the realities of formal and informal movement across national borders in the SADC region show the necessity for member states to establish a migration management regime devoid of borders. This, however, will have to be carefully crafted, fully considering the region’s history and the challenges associated with migration.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher C. Nshimbi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Inocent Moyo
    • 2
  • Trynos Gumbo
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Political SciencesGovInn, University of PretoriaPretoriaSouth Africa
  2. 2.University of ZululandKwaDlangezwaSouth Africa
  3. 3.University of JohannesburgJohannesburgSouth Africa

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