Topologies of Governance in the Context of Eastern European Migration to the UK 2015 - 2016


The objective of the project is to map the competing transnational and local practices of governing Latvian migrants in Boston. The post-EU enlargement migration presents challenges of governance in places of arrival, as well as in places of departure. The municipality of Boston, Lincolnshire, is struggling to integrate Latvian migrants and manage communal tensions, while the Latvian government is seeking to support Latvian diaspora in Boston as part of a nation-building and economic development agenda. On the one hand, the project will map the activities of the Boston City Council and the Latvian government that target Latvian migrants. On the other hand, it will investigate how Latvian migrants in Boston experience and react to these activities. In mapping these practices of governance, the project aims to analyse shifts in forms of sovereignty and statehood in the context of EU integration.

Principal Investigator

Dace Dzenovska


The John Fell/OUP Fund


Latvia, UK


European Union




In the process of mapping practices of governance, the project aims to address broader analytical concerns about shifts in forms of sovereignty and statehood in the context of intensified intra-European mobility. Drawing on the theorization of topologies, it might thus be said that the project will trace topologies of governance, that is, shifting forms of power that are produced through pragmatic responses to concrete challenges presented by migration.


The project will entail ethnographic fieldwork in the form of interviews with politicians, civil servants and community members in Boston, Latvian citizens residing in Boston, officials of the Embassy of Latvia and Latvian civil servants and politicians visiting Boston and the United Kingdom, as well as participant observation in Council meetings, Community Forum meetings, diaspora events, and more.


Emptiness and Its Futures: Staying and Leaving as Tactics of life in Latvia” in Focaal: Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology80 (1): 16-29
Journal Article | Dace Dzenovska | 2018

Independence is not always what it seems” in Green, Sarah (ed) “Brexit Referendum: first reactions from anthropology” Social Anthropology24 (4): 478-502
Journal Article | Dace Dzenovska | 2016

Tanya: a migration story
Blog | Dace Dzenovska | 2016

The “new other” and the liberal-left
Blog | Dace Dzenovska | 2016

Know your diaspora! Knowledge production and governing capacity in the context of Latvian diaspora politics” in Sigona, Nando & Alan Gamlen, Giulia Liberatore, Helen Neveu Kringelbach (eds) Diasporas Reimagined: Spaces, Practices and Belonging, University of Oxford
Book chapter | Dace Dzenovska | 2015