Ahmed Ibrahim

Thesis title

The governance of migration: Border crossing in Northeastern Algeria.


When it comes to international migration in the North African region, Algeria plays a pivotal role. Through its land, six countries are geographically connected to the Mediterranean Sea, and most migrants found on the Western Mediterranean route were of Algerian nationality.

In this sense, Algeria serves as a gateway toward Europe and neighbouring countries, notably Morocco and Tunisia. Besides being a country of origin and transit, Algeria serves as an endpoint for some migrant streams.

Despite this scale of migration, the state has opted not to join foreign alliances to control migration to the same extent as in neighbouring countries and favoured independence, which is part of the Algerian non-cooperation policy.

However, irregular migration governance in the country is by far an overlooked case. Through semi-structured interviews and field observations, this research aims to assess the governance of irregular migration in Northeastern Algeria. By governance, I mean the motives, functions, and institutions that control and order irregular migration, whether official or informal.

I investigate how the interests of various actors, namely Algerian security forces, the government, local communities and migrants with their strategies and paths intersect and how they attempt to achieve their individual goals.

Geographically, I focus my fieldwork on Algeria’s borders with Tunisia, mainly because research on irregular border crossing in this area is lacking or rare. The main research question is: How is irregular migration governed in Northeastern Algeria?


  • Prof. Bertrand Taithe
  • Dr. Oliver Bakewell

Research Interest

  • Migration
  • Humanitarian emergencies
  • Armed Conflict
  • Gangs and Non-state armed groups

Professional Background

I have been a humanitarian aid worker for over seven years, working mainly with Doctors Without Borders (MSF) and other humanitarian organizations. In these roles, I focused on designing projects and strategies in humanitarian emergencies.

My main area of work was helping migrants and IDPs. This involved providing aid, protection, and advocacy to migrants who made their way to North Africa from North Niger. Other projects covered migration along the Mediterranean coast in Egypt and supported Syrian communities in North Lebanon.

In addition to migration projects, I led efforts to assist internally displaced persons affected by conflicts, gang violence, and natural disasters in South Sudan, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Cameroon, and recently Haiti.

Previous Education

  • Master of Advanced Studies in Humanitarian Action, University of Geneva and the Graduate Institute, Switzerland.
  • Bachelor's degree in Pharmaceutical Science, Alexandria University, Egypt.