Bridget Anderson - The politics of mobility and migration

15 February 2018, 5.00 PM - 15 February 2018, 7.00 PM

G1, 7 Priory Rd

The Centre of Ethnicity and Citizenship Seminar Series

Bridget Anderson (University of Bristol)

The politics of mobility and migration


Migration is unavoidably political: who is in the community, who belongs, what are their duties and responsibilities, what values do we promote and what binds us together now and across the generations? These are all fundamentally political questions that underpin contemporary responses to migration. Attempts to make migration not disruptive are increasingly difficult to sustain and do not challenge the underlying bottom line that ‘we’ are frightened about too many of the wrong kind of people. But how do we repoliticise migration – or perhaps better, mobility – and make it into the right kind of problem? I will consider three of the ways in which migration is depoliticised: de contextualisation, technocracy, and humanitarian borders. I will explore how migration can be re-politicised to take us beyond the ‘anti-migrant’ ‘pro-migration’ dichotomy by paying attention to how citizens are affected by immigration controls, and how citizens’ mobilities and temporalities are also governed. I will argue for the importance of finding ways to challenge the constructed difference between the migrant and the citizen in part by unsettling the citizen.


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