Dace Dzenovska

Dace Dzenovska

Departmental Lecturer in the Anthropology of Migration

+44 (0)1865 284945


Dace Dzenovska is a Departmental Lecturer in the Anthropology of Migration at COMPAS.

She holds doctoral and masters degrees in social cultural anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley, as well as an interdisciplinary masters degree in humanities and social thought from New York University. Her research contributes to analysis of modes of power in the contemporary political landscape in Europe, especially in relation to Eastern Europe. She pursues research along three trajectories: (1) Europe and coloniality; (2) bordering and polity formation; and (3) mobility and governance.
With regard to the first research trajectory, she has just completed a book manuscript entitled Complicit Becoming: Tolerance Work and Europeanization After Socialism. The book is animated by the question of how it is that racialized hierarchies prevail in European public and political life at the same time as tolerance and anti-racism are said to be among Europe’s definitive virtues. She engages this question in an anthropological study of the encounter between liberal politics of tolerance implemented as part of the post-socialist democratization agenda and Latvian nationalism.
The second research trajectory explores the re-bordering of Europe in the context of European Union enlargement on the basis of fieldwork undertaken in Latvia and the United Kingdom between 2005 and 2014. This project is based on two research components: re-constituting polities through bordering and re-constituting polities through migration. The first component draws on ethnographic engagement with the work of the Latvian State Border Guard, including manning the border, policing illegal immigration within the political space of Latvia, and processing asylum cases. The second research component entails ethnographic work on Latvian labour migration to Western Europe, the Latvian government’s attempts to govern its mobile subjects through diaspora politics, and the effects of Eastern European migration on the British political landscape.
As part of the third research trajectory, Dace traces shifts in regimes of sovereignty and forms of statehood on the basis of anthropological analysis of how people and states grapple with the increased intra-European mobility following European Union enlargement.  Moreover, she takes post-European enlargement mobility as a lens onto the crisis of the European political project and of liberal democratic reason. In conditions when the figure of the ‘Eastern European migrant’ is at the centre of struggles over local, national, and European political futures, she asks what public socialities and polities are emerging as states and people grapple with experiencing and governing mobility.