International workshop organised by Shahram Khosravi and Ruben Andersson, Deptartment of Social Anthropology, Stockholm University

By invitation only.


  • Dr Andrew Burridge. Dept. of Geography, University of Exeter
  • Dr Nicholas de Genova. Dept. of Geography, King’s College (London)
  • Dr Karolina Follis. Security Lancaster, Lancaster University
  • Prof Sarah Green. Dept. of Anthropology, University of Helsinki/Manchester
  • Dr Barak Kalir. Dept. of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Amsterdam
  • Dr Magdalena Kmak. Erik Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights, University of Helsinki
  • Dr Polly Pallister-Wilkins. Dept. of Political Science, University of Amsterdam
  • Dr Gilberto Rosas. Dept. of Anthropology, University of Illinois
  • Dr Harel Shapira. Dept. of Sociology, University of Texas (Austin)
  • Prof William Walters. Depts. of Political Science and Sociology/Anthropology, Carleton University (Canada)
  • Dr Johan Lindquist. Dept. of Social Anthropology, Stockholm University
  • Dr Ruben Andersson. Dept. of Social Anthropology, Stockholm University

Presenters' abstracts (180 Kb)

Programme (131 Kb)

A growing body of interdisciplinary work on the bordering of Europe has emerged in recent years in relation to one of the main catalysts for the accelerating fortification of the frontiers: the irregular migrant. Ethnographically informed work has much to contribute to these interdisciplinary debates – not least in questioning their parameters.

Pioneering studies are doing precisely that, focusing on issues such as the socio-legal production of illegality (de Genova 2002), the transnational formation of migration policy (Feldman 2012), the politics of refugee encampment (Agier 2011), the ‘biopolitics of otherness’ (Fassin 2001) and the embodied experiences of border controls (Coutin 2005; Khosravi 2010; Willen 2007). This workshop seeks to consolidate the existing ethnographic findings on the European border regime while mapping out future terrains of exploration, with a view towards a broader comparative perspective on contemporary bordering processes. Taking the cue from the fine-grained material approach to the power dynamics at the border proposed by William Walters (‘viapolitics’: Walters 2012) and Didier Bigo (2010), the workshop seeks to explore concrete aspects of the border regime, ranging from humanitarian mechanisms and the defence industry’s laboratories to the vehicles used in human smuggling and the surveillance and policing technologies that facilitate the scanning of these vehicles. The aim is to provide complex ethnographic roadmaps for what is still a little-explored field – that is, the concrete means (vehicles, roads, machinery, manpower) by which Europe’s border regime is constituted. It is hoped that this focus on the materialities of the border can contribute with new ethnographic frames on migration in which the views from the ‘top’ of policing and politics may be combined with the views from ‘below’ – that is, from the perspective of migrants traversing time-spaces of control, whether in Europe or in other regions with similar bordering dynamics.

The workshop will have a limited number of participants working on pioneering research in this field. The rationale for the small format is twofold: first, to develop common agendas and research tools while pooling existing findings, with the view to future collaboration and dissemination via the participants’ own research networks. Second, to produce a thematic issue of a leading peer-reviewed journal, including versions of papers presented at the workshop. The limited number of participants also allows for extensive discussion among peers during the workshop, with 40 minutes dedicated to each paper. Scholars working on non-European migration regimes will contribute with crucial comparative perspectives.

Participants will be encouraged not just to present existing findings, but to suggest future research pathways and methodological innovations (with the latter a crucial factor in the study of European borders owing to limitations in access to data). The transdisciplinary nature of the workshop will allow for the sharing of research techniques, and will also allow for extensive participation by the large number of researchers in the Department of Anthropology who are working on migration issues.