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Shahram Khosravi's research interests include anthropology of Iran and the Middle East, migration, human rights, forced displacement.

After Deportation (2017-2019)

This is a study of post-deportation outcomes. It focuses on what happens to asylum seekers after deportation from Sweden and their experiences. Although there is a growing literature on detention and deportation, academic research on post-deportation is scarce. My previous research on irregular migration and undocumentedness in Sweden has brought out the significance of analysing what happens after deportation (Khosravi 2009, 2016). Building on these findings, the current project will produce knowledge about the consequences of forced removal for the deportee’s adjustment in the home country. Theoretically, I will focus on the concept of ‘embeddedness’ (Ruben et al. 2009) to capture the multidimensional aspects of the condition of post-deportation, rather than the concept of reintegration. Empirically, the project pay attention to Afghan deportees from Sweden. Theoretically, based on previous research which shows that deportation is not the end of the migration cycle but rather just a phase of recirculation, this project aims to show how post-deportation studies can contribute to migration studies.

Waiting (2017-2019)

This is a study of undocumented migrants waiting for residence permits in Sweden. It focuses on their experiences of time and how their ‘irregular’ status is articulated while waiting. Migration is generally perceived and studied as a spatial process and the temporal aspect of migration has received much less attention. The everyday life of an undocumented migrant is characterized by waiting, either for papers or for deportation. Long-term confinement in detention centres awaiting deportation is also part of the experience of waiting. Empirically, the project focuses on undocumented migrants’ act of waiting in Stockholm.

Selected publications



  • Lo Sone Confine (translation: 'Illegal' Traveler: an auto-ethnography of borders' into Italian), Elèuthera



  • Laiton matkaaja: Paperittomuus ja rajojen valta (translation of ‘Illegal’ Traveler: an auto-ethnography of borders into Finnish), Helsinki: GAUDEAMUS Helsinki University Press.


  • The ‘Illegal’ Traveler: an auto-ethnography of borders, Palgrave.


  • Young and Defiant in Tehran, University of Pennsylvania Press.

Articles in Peer-Reviewed Journals


  • What do we see if we look at the border from the other side? Social Anthropology, 27: 409-424

  • Un anthropologue avec accent : approche autoethnographique Monde Commun, September 03. 






  • Graffiti in Iran, Anthropology Now, vol. 5(1).


  • White Masks/Muslim Names: Name Changes among Muslim Immigrants in Sweden, Race & Class, vol. 53(3).


  • An Ethnography of Migrant ‘Illegality’ in Sweden: Included yet Excepted?, Journal of International Political Theory, vol. 6(1).


  • Gender and Ethnicity among Iranian Men in Sweden, Journal of Iranian Studies, vol. 42(4).
  • Detention and Deportation of Asylum Seekers in Sweden, Race & Class, vol. 50(4).


  • The ‘Illegal’ Traveler: an auto-ethnography of borders, Social Anthropology, vol. 15(3).


  • Reordering Public and Private in Iranian Cyberspace: Identity, Politics and Mobilization (with Mark Graham), Identities, vol. 9(2).


  • Displacement and Entrepreneurship: Iranian small businesses in Stockholm, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, vol. 25(3).


  • ‘Home is Where You Make It: Repatriation and Diaspora Culture among Iranians in Sweden’ (with Mark Graham), Journal of Refugee Studies, vol. 10(2).

Chapters in Edited Volumes


  • Deportees as ‘reverse diasporas’, in Routledge Handbook of Diaspora Studies, edited by Robin Cohen and Carolin Fischer, London: Routledge.



  • Waiting, in Migration: A COMPAS Anthology, edited by B. Anderson and M. Keith, Oxford.


  • An Ethnography of Migrant ‘Illegality’ in Sweden: Included yet Excepted?, in Human Rights and Migration: Trafficking for Forced Labour, edited by Christien van den Anker and Ilse van Liempt, Palgrave Macmillan.


  • Medförfattare till kapitel Papperslös, in Social rapport 2010, Stockholm: Socialstyrelsen.


  • På undantag i folkhemmet: irreguljära immigranter i Sverige, in Ojämlikhet och utanförskap, Socialförsäkringsrapport 2008:4.


  • Territorialiserad mänsklighet: irreguljära immigranter och det nakna livet, in Välfärdens gränser: ett villkorat medborgarskap i diskrimineringens skugga, edited by Paulina de los Reyes, (SOU).
  • Manlighet i exil: genus och etnicitet bland iranska men i Sverige, in Orienten i Sverige: samtida möten och gränssnitt, edited by Lena Gerholm and Simon Ekström, Lund: Studentlitteratur.


  • Klass och status bland iranska företagare, in Marginalisering eller Integration: invandrarföretagande i svensk retorik och praktik, Stockholm: Nutek.

Research networks

  • Critical Border Studies Initiative
    Supported by CEMFOR this initiative started during the Fall 2017. Critical Border Studies Initiative is a forum for interdisciplinary studies on borders. We use border studies to scrutinize practices such as debordering, rebordering, securitization and crossing of borders.
    The Initiative is a network for academics, artists, and activists who are interested in border studies. Critical Border Studies Initiative aims to push forward collaborative research projects; organize conferences and workshops; create a forum for contacts and collaboration between researchers. Hosted by CEMFOR the Initiative is affiliated with the ENGAGING VULNERABILITY program at Uppsala University and the Department of Social Anthropology at Stockholm University.