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Call for Abstracts: Challenging mobility governance

By October 28, 2021November 10th, 2021No Comments

Call for abstracts: Challenging mobility governance

Reconsidering scales, ethics, and epistemics in the regulation of human movement

Convened by:

Jean Pierre Misago 

University of the Witwatersrand

Loren B Landau

University of Oxford & Witwatersrand

To commemorate the launch of the Witwatersrand-Oxford Mobility Governance Lab (MGL), we invite single or jointly authored abstracts for papers exploring one or more of the lab’s core research themes outlined below. Papers will be presented at an in-person writing workshop scheduled for either Johannesburg or Oxford as travel conditions allow.

Scales of mobility governance: Regulation works across global systems, neighbourhoods, diasporas, and through dynamics geographic and temporal formations. Whether through formal or social institutions, information or imagination, such regulate both motivates and controls. We seek papers that advocate approach that challenge existing scales of analysis or seek to integrate multiple spatial and temporal dimensions. 

Inscribing the self and others:

Regulation is a dialogical process between personal desire and subjectivities and the will, actions, and capacity of others. Self-definition in relation to group, space, race, nation, and family illustrates these dynamics. We invite papers that consider these interactions vis a vis questions of xenophobia, transforming gender roles and regulations; ethnicity, and mobility. 

Emerging urban:

International and domestic mobility contribute to the remaking of cities across the world while urban spaces increasingly shape archipelagic and diasporic connections globally. These configurations produce novel forms of circulation, margins, and strategies for personal and collective action. Cities have long served as centres of mobility regulation. Papers here consider the role of contemporary municipalities in forging or reinforcing such regulations or generating novel modes of shaping movement. 

Engagement & mobilization:

Organization, representation, exclusion and solidarity shape mobility forms and outcomes. The engagements of multiple actors – including migrants – in families, communities, polities and global processes inform self-understanding and enable intervention and political action. Whether reflecting on global philanthropy, networks, activisms or migrant politics and disengagement, papers on these themes consider how actions for, with, or against people on the move are shaping governance regimes. 

Knowledge generation:

Data generation on mobilisation shapes perception, policy, and street level practice. Papers on this theme will explore varied forms of scholarly, popular and political forms of data collection, analysis, and use across multiple scales.

Following the workshop, selected papers will be included in a peer-reviewed special issue intended to become a reference point for the contemporary study of mobility governance. Our goal is a collection that is both conceptually and methodologically provocative: outlining new themes, approaches, and considerations for the socio-spatial and political study of mobility and migration. While we encourage work empirically grounded in one or more sites or scales, selected abstracts will mobilise empirical analysis to speak to universal concerns. We particularly welcome interventions supporting the MGL’s goal of offering original insight and perspectives to scholars, civil society, and practitioners while fostering collaboration and the next generation of engaged researchers from Africa and beyond.

Those interested in participating are requested to submit a 500-750 word abstract by 19 December 2021. The conference organisers will assess the abstracts and potential participants will be provided additional details in late January 2022. Those invited to participate in the workshop will be expected to distribute draft papers in August 2022. As an interdisciplinary workshop, we welcome participants from across the social sciences working from all methodological and theoretical perspectives. We particularly encourage submissions from emerging scholars and people working in and on sites outside Europe and North America. Financial support will be available for those unable to finance their participation. 

All abstracts and queries should be sent here.