The Politics of Emigration: Representations and contestations

Trinity 2021 / Thursdays 4:00pm - 5:15pm, Convened by COMPAS & SEESOX


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International immigrants, by their mere act of crossing national borders, challenge ideologies which make claims for the territorial and ethnic boundedness of the national entity. They constitute ‘problematic exceptions’ to the nationalist image of normal life which prescribes that people should stay in the places where they belong, that is, in ‘their’ nation-states. There is abundant literature in migration studies that problematizes such ideologies for their detrimental impact on (prospective) immigrants in destination countries. However, there is much less attention on their role in informing emigration representations in countries of origin. Diaspora literature suggests that a shift has taken place in recent years with governments changing their narratives from denouncing emigrants as deserters, to celebrating them as an extension of the nation outside the state. To what extent can this be said to be true? What are the different actors shaping discourses on emigration in origin countries and how do these feed in on policies that aim to regulate exit and govern citizens abroad? How do emigrants respond to such representations?

In this series, COMPAS in cooperation with SEESOX, will be exploring these issues by looking at Central and East European cases and beyond

Co-convenors of this series are Manolis Pratsinakis, University of Oxford and Othon Anastasakis, University of Oxford. This is a joint series with South East European Studies at Oxford (SEESOX)