Universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York – A White Rose Collaboration Fund Network
European countries are facing serious security and humanitarian challenges amidst unprecedented levels of forced migration. The response, from the EU and beyond, has been characterised by a tension. On one hand, we see increasingly exclusionary policies, a failure in solidarity and a retreat from the Union. On the other, we see calls for ever greater co-operation on matters of security, counter-terrorism and border control. The language of crisis and novelty is used by actors from all sides to invoke the multiple ‘new’ (in)securities that are being generated by current migration – from the vulnerabilities of refugees to mobile terrorist threats. It is the case, however, that the current crisis is re-posing longstanding and intractable political, social and ethical problems relating to (in)security. Indeed, the claim that Europe’s migration and security crisis is entirely new must be treated critically.
Europe, Migration and the New Politics of (In)security is a White Rose Collaboration Fund Network that is examining Europe’s ‘new’ politics of (in)security. We are broadly interested in what the invocation of novelty and crisis in relation to migration allows governing authorities to do in the name of security.
We are interested in paper proposals for three network workshops:
Experiencing (in)securities – Friday 3 March 2017, University of Leeds
Keynote speaker: Dr Nando Sigona, University of Birmingham.
Abstract: This workshop builds from the premise that the experience of migration produces inherent vulnerabilities: from physically perilous journeys and exposure to exploitative criminality, to precarious living conditions and desperate survival strategies. It is also the case, however, that the governing of migration in the name of security and humanitarianism ‘crisis’ generates (in)securities in turn. The field is characterised by multiple initiatives from various authorities that seek to distinguish, first, between different kinds of mobility, but also to intervene on lives to create recognisable and tractable subjects. These initiatives shape the experience of migrants in Europe, of course, but also spiral into and out from the European context. That is, the ‘new’ relationship between security and mobility within the current crisis is re-articulating long-standing social, economic and cultural divisions in Europe and beyond.
This workshop is motivated by a concern to understand and document what is both new and enduring about the lived (in)securities being experienced within the contemporary
migration/security context. Questions to be examined may include (but are not limited to):
• How is (in)security experienced, embodied and expressed by migrant subjects?
• What is the role and significance of ‘intermediaries’ (e.g. government, civil society, private actors including labour market intermediaries, and others) in shaping lived experiences of (in)security?
• What social, cultural, and ethical dilemmas and demands accompany interventions seeking to mitigate migrant insecurity?
• Who and what are the networks and flows of knowledge related to lived (in)securities?
We invite paper proposals (abstracts of 200 words) addressing these and related questions in different areas from a theoretical, empirical, and/or normative perspective. The workshop is particularly interested in papers that examine the social, political and ethical dynamics of knowledge production within the crisis and how the research community can best generate knowledge about, with and for people affected by the migration crisis.
Please send abstracts to Deirdre Conlon (firstname.lastname@example.org) by Friday 27 January 2017.
Further details and registration instructions will follow, and will be posted on our website.
Governing (in)securities – Friday 30 June 2017, University of York
The migration crisis has seen multiple apparent failures in the European project – of solidarity, response and co-operation. In this sense, the new politics of (in)security applies as much to the troubled internal dynamics of the Union as it does to the management of insecure and vulnerable migrants. There is, however, political potential in the deployment of crisis language and the invocation of novel (in)securities. That is, the dynamic of disintegration and collapse that has accompanied the European response (from the re-assertion of sovereign borders to the rejection of EU initiatives by individual member states) has been productive of new authorities, interventions and relationships in the field of migration and security. Key here is the devolution of bordering practices to non-EU partners (across Africa, Asia and beyond), the inexorable rise of private security authorities and expertise, and the wholesale turn to technologies to secure borders and manage migration. Motivated by a concern to understand what the claim to novelty allows governing bodies to do in the name of security, this workshop will explore (but is not limited to) the following questions:
• What (new) forms of expertise and authority have arisen in the wake of the migration crisis?
• How is the migration/security field spreading away from European borders, to encompass new partners and actors?
• How are the divisions between internal and external security further dissolved (and reinstated) within the ‘crisis’?
We invite paper proposals (abstracts of 200 words) addressing these and related questions in different areas from a theoretical, empirical, and/or normative perspective. The workshop is particularly interested in papers that examine the social, political and ethical dynamics of knowledge production within the crisis. What are the challenges of producing critical knowledge from within situated relationships between researchers, security and migration authorities?
Please send abstracts to Alex Hall (email@example.com) by Friday 28 April 2017.
Further details and registration instructions to follow, and will be posted on our website.
Mediating (in)securities – University of Sheffield, Wednesday 27 September 2017
The European migration crisis raises crucial and difficult questions in its mediation. How the media represents crises fundamentally impacts how the public understand the complex drivers and consequences of different forms of mobility. The communication of needs, problems and solutions within the crisis is essential to garner public support for the allocation of resources or the implementation of policy. How the powerful and the powerless are being represented shapes discourses about these needs, creates categories of ‘us’ and ‘them’, enables integration or segregation, and raises debates important for how we understand identity and citizenship in our modern world. These are questions of importance for a range of state and non-state actors, corporations, NGO’s and communities across Europe whose needs, identities, activities and relationships are intertwined with migration. Moreover, mediation refers to the practices of advocates, agencies and authorities engaged in multiple (complementary and conflicting) forms of representation.
The digital age raises questions about the use (and misuse) of information and media technologies for social control and policing borders – from campaigns of disinformation and propaganda to the visualisation of mobility via data. The crisis has also affirmed the power of single iconic images of suffering, death and trauma, as well as individuals’ increasing dependency on the affordances of technologies. Indeed, individual documentation of perilous journeys via smartphone has brought us closer to understanding lived realities within the crisis. At issue here is authorisation within a contested economy of mediation.
This workshop is concerned to examine the politics of mediation at play within the current crisis, and the way in which new forms of documentation, representation and visualisation are proliferating within the migration crisis. Questions to be explored will include (but are not limited to):
• How are dominant forms of media challenged (and complemented) by new mediations?
• How do visual and other media artefacts circulate within the crisis, and with what effect?
• How do technologies enhance (and impede) vulnerable subjects’ strategies for survival?
We invite paper proposals (abstracts of 200 words) addressing these and related questions in different areas from a theoretical, empirical, and/or normative perspective. The workshop is particularly interested in papers that examine the social, political and ethical dynamics of mediating knowledge about (and for) mobile subjects within the contemporary crisis.
Please send abstracts to Emma Briant (firstname.lastname@example.org ) by Friday 28 July 2017.
Details about registration to follow, and will be on our website.