This debate forum aims to explore how the contours of power and belonging are represented and constructed through politics, citizenship, and ethical responses to migration. At a time when global geopolitics, public attitudes, and policymaking increasingly foreground migration and its impacts (real as well as perceived), it is vital to reflect upon what these developments mean for researchers and practitioners alike.
Suggested readings draw from diverse literature in politics, cultural studies, and law—as well as related disciplines such as anthropology and sociology. Also, photojournalism and artistic works are welcomed as ways of critically revisiting concepts like ‘illegality’ or ‘The Citizen’.
What do ideas like ‘irregular’, ‘illegal’, and ‘undocumented’ bring to debates about migration—and what are their limitations? What do they reveal about exclusion, protection, or the role of states? What kinds of ethical and political challenges do researchers encounter when communicating about irregular migration to the public? What factors help to determine patterns of irregularity—and how should policymakers respond to them?
What does the concept of ‘citizenship’ achieve in current geopolitical, economic, and interconnected contexts? Why might people want or not want citizenship? How does this differ from ‘naturalisation’? To what extent do ‘imagined places’ and senses of belonging figure in migrants’ agency, migration policy, or public debate? What role does (or should) nationalism play in debates about citizenship and how it is thought about?