Migration, Citizenship, Employment and Relationships

Panel Code

This session addresses how changing practices of bordering and policing affect the scholarship on migration and citizenship. As productions of difference become increasingly nationalised, racialised, religionised and securitised, the comfort of residence and citizenship can no longer be taken for granted. Practices of removal are imposed on those already present within physical borders. Access to citizenship rights, the right to remain, employment rights and other privileges are challenged by bureaucratic walls that threaten revocation or at its most benign, uncertainty. The line separating ‘regular’ from ‘irregular’ migration is blurred by shared stories of precariousness, impermanence and insecurity. A corollary of such border controls and restrictions are acts of resistance on the ground, potentially unifying unlikely groups through common causes. On a broader level, the ethos of global governance is at its most vulnerable as conservative governments turn inward, contrary to scholarship that not long ago insisted on the rise of transnationalism and decline of the nation-state. Political developments such as Brexit, conservative populism and insular migration policies indicate a need to revisit how we understand border practices and resistance, as well as citizenship and transnationalism as frameworks for analysis. Only then may we in turn use them as lenses to understand identities, lived experiences and forms of redress.