Daily Archives: Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Centre for Possible Studies


From the upcoming publication New Voices (2012)


11am – 6pm

Centre for Possible Studies
21 Gloucester Place
London W1U 8HR (on the corner of George Street)

This one-day exhibition brings together works from New Voices, a photography project run by the Migrants Resource Centre. These works were produced over a period of four months with six young people aged between 18 and 24 who were invited to produce photographic work around the themes of culture, migration and life in London using analogue photography techniques. A book of the work produced will be available to view and order from the exhibition. Also on show are works from Young Voices, an offshoot photography project by 13-15 year olds at JusB Youth Centre in Bromley, as well as works from Cultural Mosaic, a media4us photo competition.

Implicated Theatre, the theatre group in residence at the Centre for Possible Studies will be…

View original post 26 more words

CMRB – Contesting senses of belongingness in the making of a diaspora: The case of Chinese migrants’ political mobilisation in Paris

*** Apologies for Cross Posting ***

CMRB would like to invite you to the following research seminar:

Contesting senses of belongingness in the making of a diaspora: The case of Chinese migrants’ political mobilisation in Paris

Ya-Han Chuang

Time: 14:00–16:00, Wednesday 30th January 2013

Place: EB 1 40, Docklands Campus, University of East London (http://www.uel.ac.uk/campuses/docklands/)

CMRB is delighted to invite you to the following research seminar:

‘Contesting senses of belongingness in the making of a diaspora: The case of Chinese migrants’ political mobilisation in Paris’, delivered by Ya-Han Chuang.

The seminar takes place 14:00–16:00, Wednesday 30th January 2013 in EB 1 40, Docklands Campus, University of East London. (http://www.uel.ac.uk/campuses/docklands/).

More information is included in the attached flyer.


Best regards,

Jamie Hakim, Research Administrator, CMRB Nira Yuval-Davis, Director, CMRB

Further details:

Contemporary studies on overseas Chinese consider them to be the agent of a “Chinese transnationalism” based on a flexible labour/capital regime and a diasporic identity (Ong and Nonini 1996, Lee 2007). How does such a form of identification interact with European societies that favour the “integration” and even the return of “assimilation” of migrant communities (Brubaker 2001)? This presentation seeks to explore such an interaction by examining the case of the Chinese community in Paris. This paper will analyze two types of mobilisation: the demonstrations “against insecurity” in 2010 and 2011, and the hesitant political mobilisation during the 2012 presidential campaign in France. Although each mobilisation was organized by actors of different social status and ideologies, all of them attempted to define the “Chinese community in France” by incorporating “the value of work” and “the right to be free from insecurity”, thus creating an exclusionary distinction and strengthening the image of the Chinese as the “model minority.” The continuum and the contrast through the two mobilisations will allow an identification of three dimensions that shape the Chinese community’s politics of belonging: the attempt of re-diasporalisation from China; the desire for recognition from French society; and the interdependence and tension between transnational entrepreneurs and the precarious young migrant workers. The seminar will conclude with a reflection on the contradictory intersection of these dimensions and its implication on migration policy.

Ya-Han Chuang is PhD Candidate in Sociology at Paris-IV Sorbonne University. She is the author of “Problematizing Chinatown : Conflits and Narratives surrounding Chinese Quarter in and around Paris” (co-author with Anne-Christine Trémon), in Tan Chee-Beng, Bernard Wong (eds.) Chinatowns. Brill and several other articles in French about new Chinese migrants’ migration process and identity configuration in Paris.


Nira Yuval-Davis, Director of CMRB

Event: Home Office Science and European Migration Network Event on Intra-EU Mobility / 12 December, 2012 @ the British Library

*** Apologies for Cross Posting ***

Intra-EU Mobility:

The Latest Evidence and Policy Perspectives

You are warmly invited to attend a meeting of the

EMN UK National Network, to be held on

Wednesday, 12th December, 2012, 12:00 to 17:00 (registration from 11:30), at:

The Bronte Room, the British Library, 96 Euston Road, London, NW1 2DB

This half-day event aims to: (1) Identify the key issues affecting intra-EU mobility; (2) compare and contrast the latest evidence and policy perspectives on intra-EU mobility in the UK; and, (3) inform ongoing and future EMN studies in these important areas of migration policy. The event will include key speakers from the Home Office and academics from leading research centres.

The event will also reintroduce the EMN UK National Network, discuss its research priorities for 2013 and outline opportunities to get involved.

The programme is currently being finalised, but confirmed speakers include:

  • Professor Louise Ackers (University of Liverpool)
  • Professor Adrian Favell (Sciences Po, Paris)
  • Dr. Eiko Thielemann (London School of Economics)
  • Dr. Martin Ruhs (University of Oxford)
  • Professor John Salt (University College London)
  • Jon Simmons (Home Office Science)

This is a European Migration Network UK event and is co-hosted by Home Office Science. As such, there is no charge for this event.

Places are strictly limited. To register, please email Magnus Gittins (Magnus.Gittins@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk) with your full contact details by Wednesday, 5th December.

For more information on the EMN please visit: http://www.emn.europa.eu


Podcast: Annual Harrell-Bond Lecture 2012

The podcast of the Annual Harrell-Bond Lecture 2012: The architecture of refugee protection is now available online to download from the Forced Migration Online website.  The podcast was recorded at the Refugee Studies Centre Annual Harrell-Bond Lecture on 7 November 2012. The lecture was delivered by Professor Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar, Co-Director of the Stanford Center for International Security and Cooperation.

Tens of millions of people in nearly every inhabited corner of the planet face the challenge of life as refugees or internally-displaced people. Countries and organisations throughout the world often recognise that such displaced people (and particularly refugees) have legal rights and merit considerable attention. Nonetheless, the complex structures shaping the laws, organisations, and ideas in this domain – what could be called the ‘architecture’ of refugee protection – often fails to live up to its promise.

To download the Podcast, please visit:  http://www.forcedmigration.org/podcasts-videos-photos/podcasts/annual-harrell-bond-lecture-2012


Call for Papers: The Public and the Politics of Immigration Policy

*** Apologies for Cross-Posting ***

Source: Forced Migration Discussion List.

CFP: The public and the politics of immigration policy

Special issue of the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies

Editor: Dr Chris Gilligan (University of the West of Scotland, UK)

One of the key assumptions in the literature on international migration is that liberal democratic states have introduced restrictive immigration controls in response to public concern or public pressure. Hollifield, for example, states that since at least the 1970s ‘almost all of the receiving states were trying to reassert control over migration flows, often using similar policies and in response to public opinion, which was increasingly hostile to high levels of immigration’ (2008: 191). Massey et al, in their magisterial work on contemporary international migration, suggest that migrants creatively respond to state’s attempts to restrict immigration by adjusting ‘their behavior in response to changes in laws, policies, and circumstances. These shifts in immigrant behavior often provoke a hostile reaction among native voters, putting public officials in a difficult position that requires them to take some action to bring immigration back under “control”’ (1998: 287).

The assumption that restrictive immigration controls are developed in response to the public needs to be interrogated. Massey et al. indicate the speculative nature of the claim that policy is a response to public pressure when they say that migration studies lacks ‘an adequate theory to account for the motivations, interests and behavior of the political actors who employ state power to intervene’ in regulating immigration (1998: 292). Scholars (e.g.: Bonjour 2011; Boswell et al 2011) have begun to open up this issue through an examination of the policy process. Boswell et al., for example, point to the increased use of ‘expert knowledge’ rather than political ideology to inform policy on immigration, but they go on to say that a ‘large part of migration policy still involves responding to popular pressures’ (2011: 7). This public input into policy is still inadequately understood.

Public opinion polls are the most common form of evidence provided to substantiate the claim that immigration controls are a response to the public. Spencer, for example, states that ‘over a third of the public [in the United Kingdom] now regularly cite race and immigration as among the most important issues facing the country’ and despite policy changes designed to restrict immigration further ‘the public is evidently far from reassured’ (2011: 1). The evidence from surveys of public opinion, however, is not as clear-cut as scholars often seem to assume. Martin, for example, points out that although opinion polls in the United States of America (USA) persistently show that most Americans think that the numbers of immigrants should be restricted ‘these same polls also show considerable support for the admission of close family members, skilled workers and refugees: the three groups that constitute the bulk of US immigration’ (Martin 2003: 132).

The concept of public opinion also involves a particular way of imagining the public. The literature on public opinion tends to infer the public impact on immigration policy from correlations between polling data and Government legislation. Our understanding of the public and the politics of immigration controls may be different if we employ a broader range of research methods and examine other stages in the policy process. Research on Latino mobilisation in the USA in 2006 against anti-immigrant legislation, for example, highlights an example of public pressure which led to the defeat of legislation aimed at restricting immigration and immigrants. The same research, however, notes that consequently attempts to restrict immigration shifted from ‘top-down’ legislative reform to implementation ‘at the federal and local levels, through raids and anti-immigrant ordinances’ (Gonzales, 2009: 54-5). Work by Statham and Geddes (2006), which has examined ‘organised publics’ (i.e. civil society organisations) using the mass media to make claims regarding asylum-seekers, suggests that the state is a key player in attempts to BOTH restrict the rights that asylum-seekers enjoy AND to protect the rights of asylum-seekers. Research on anti-deportation campaigns suggests that the implementation of policy can generate new forms of public mobilisation (Anderson et al, 2011).

The Special Issue aims to question the key assumption that liberal states have introduced immigration controls in response to public pressure through investigating the relationship between the public and the politics of immigration policy. The Special Issue aims to do this through investigating two key questions: does the public influence immigration policy?, and; does the public favour restrictions? The editor seeks articles which engage with one, or both, of these questions.

Articles can take a single country focus, or focus on a specific migration stream or provide a comparative analysis, as long as they engage with one or both of the key questions. Much of the work in this area has been based on quantitative data, such as opinion polls. The editor welcomes approaches which employ qualitative methodologies, as long as they focus on at least one of the two key questions. The answers to the questions do not have to be in the affirmative. Articles which challenge the prevailing assumptions that the public influence immigration policy and that the public favour restrictions are particularly welcome. The purpose of the Special Issue, however, is not to simply overturn the prevailing assumptions, but rather to interrogate them and provide evidence and explanatory frameworks which are able to substantiate the relationship between the public and the politics of immigration policy. The focus will be on contemporary immigration policy, but the editor welcomes articles which locate the place of the public in contemporary immigration politics in a wider historical context.

Some of the questions which contributors might like to consider are: What are the mechanisms through which the public have an influence on immigration policy (e.g. through party membership, pressure groups, constituency surgeries, public opinion polls)? Do these mechanisms for public influence vary by country? Is public input into migration policy focused in particular ways? (e.g.  concentrated at border regions, or areas of high immigration; focused on particular migratory ‘streams’ (labour, asylum, trafficking, family reunion), or; related to electoral cycles)? What are the points of conflict where public input meets with resistance from politicians? What is the conception of the public which underpins the idea that the public influence immigration policy? Are there different kinds of public, and do they have different kinds of influence? (e.g. what role do ‘organised publics’, such as pro and anti-immigration pressure groups, play in policy-making?). If the public do not influence immigration policy why is there such a widely held perception that they do? If the public do not influence immigration policy what does shape immigration policy?

The assumption that restrictive immigration controls are a response to public pressure initially drew on data from the 1970s. Much has changed since then, particularly in relation to the public as political actors. Scholars (e.g.: Boswell 2009, 2011; Hampshire 2008) have suggested that a number of recent developments (such as ‘remote control’ immigration policy, discourses of managed migration, the securitisation of migration and the growth of expert knowledge in the policy-making process) have distanced immigration policy from public scrutiny. These shifts appear to be incompatible with the view that immigration controls are a response to public pressure. How can we make sense of this incongruity between policy-making ‘at a distance’ and public input? In an era of apparent widespread political disengagement, declining party membership and lower voter turnout has public input into immigration policy changed significantly? What theory, or theories, help to explain the relationship between the public and the politics of immigration controls?

The questions outlined here are indicative rather than prescriptive. The editor will consider any scholarly articles which engage with the two key questions: does the public influence immigration policy?, and; does the public favour restrictions?

Deadline for submissions:

Please submit full articles for consideration by **14th March 2013 ** to the editor at: chris.gilligan@uws.ac.uk

(UK based academics please note, the Special Issue will not be published in time to be included in REF 2013).

All articles will undergo a three stage review process. Initially they will be screened for fit with the call and quality control. Articles which pass this stage will then go out to peer review. At the third stage, the whole collection of articles will go to the editors of the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies (JEMS) for final approval.

Format for submissions:

Articles should be between 5000 and 8000 words in length and should conform to JEMS house-style. For a guide to submissions see:


All submitted articles must be original and not be under consideration by any other journal. Any articles which do not conform to JEMS style will be returned for modification before being read.


Anderson, B., Gibney, M. J., & Paoletti, E., (eds), (2011), Boundaries of belonging: deportation and the constitution and contestation of citizenship. Citizenship Studies, 15(5).

Bonjour, S. (2011). The power and morals of policy makers: reassessing the control gap debate. International Migration Review, 45(1), 89–122.

Boswell, C. (2009). Knowledge, Legitimation and the Politics of Risk: The Functions of Research in Public Debates on Migration. Political Studies, 57(1), 165–186.

Boswell, C. (2011). Migration Control and Narratives of Steering. The British Journal of Politics & International Relations, 13(1), 12–25.

Boswell, C., Geddes, A., & Scholten, P. (2011). The Role of Narratives in Migration Policy-Making: A Research Framework. The British Journal of Politics & International Relations, 13(1), 1–11.

Gonzales, A., (2009). The 2006 Mega Marchas in Greater Los Angeles: counter-hegemonic moment and the future of El Migrante struggle. Latino Studies, 7(1), 30-59.

Hampshire, J. (2008). Regulating migration risks: the emergence of risk-based border controls in the UK. Sussex Centre for Migration Research Working Paper.

Hollifield, J. F. (2008). The politics of international migration: how can we “bring the state back in”? In C. B. Brettell & J. F. Hollifield (Eds.), Migration theory: talking across disciplines (2nd ed., pp. 183–237). London: Routledge.

Martin, S. (2003). The Politics of US Immigration Reform. The Political Quarterly, 74(s1), 132–149.

Massey, D. S., Arango, J., Hugo, G., Kouaouci, A., Pellegrino, A., & Taylor, J. E. (1998). Worlds in motion: understanding international migration at the end of the millenium. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Spencer, S. (2011). The migration debate. Bristol: Policy Press.

Statham, P., & Geddes, A. (2006). Elites and the “organised public”: Who drives British immigration politics and in which direction? West European Politics, 29(2), 248–269.


Turing 18 Project

*** Apologies for Cross Posting ***

Turning 18


Welcome to ‘Turning 18’, a series of audio stories put together to mark 18 years of The Refugee Council’s Children’s Section. The stories in this collection are written and read by refugees inspired by the theme ‘turning 18’, with introductions by Zoë Wanamaker, Vivienne Westwood, Grayson Perry, and Peter Tatchell.

From the website:

http://www.turning18.co.uk/To mark 18 years  of the Refugee Council’s Children’s Section Penguin Books have  teamed up with the charity  to produce a collection of audio stories inspired by the theme ‘turning 18’. A range of refugees and asylum seekers took part in the project and have lent their energy, time and remarkable stories to the series.  Here’s how we did it…..


The project started with a writing workshop held at Penguin’s office’s in central London and led by booker nominated author Romesh Gunesekera. The workshop was attended by a range of refugees and asylum seekers including current and ex clients of the Children’s Section.  Participants took part in creative writing exercises which encouraged them to create a personal response to the theme ‘turning 18’.

The range of responses and writing styles was staggering.  From carefully crafted vignette’s to simple snapshots of experience all the pieces gave a unique and personal insight into what it  means to become an adult.  After the workshop, participants went away to perfect their stories and whilst news spread that the project was happening we received stories from more refugees who were interested in submitting their stories too.

In addition to this we received guest submissions from Penguin authors  Joe Dunthorne author of Submarine and Beverley Naidoo whose book The Other Side of Truth won the 2002 Jane Addams Children’s Book Award for it’s portrayal of child refugees.


After collating the submissions, we invited the refugee writers to record their stories at Penguin’s recently-built audiobook studios.  Penguin has a well-established history publishing audiobooks ranging from literary classics, through to commercial bestsellers.  However, this would be the first collection of its kind to be recorded with such a wide-ranging scale of voices.

From the very first reading it was clear that delivering the pieces in the voice of the writer would help people to connect with the work. The unique accent, tone and inflection of each voice adding depth and colour to each story..

In order to raise public awareness of the issues facing refugees and asylum seekers we wanted to give some background on the refugee voice to explain a bit more about their individual story. Where they are from and why they had fled. The collection includes voices from Nigeria, Bolivia, Jamaica, Tanzania, Iran, Uganda, Afghanistan and Somalia. Contributors include those who have fled conflict, young people who were trafficked here as children, and those who have escaped persecution for political beliefs, or sexual orientation.

Famous supporters of the Refugee Council’s work kindly agreed to provide the narrations. They included fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, artist Grayson Perry, actress Zoë Wanamaker and political  campaigner Peter Tatchell.


The ‘Turning 18’ collection will be serialised here over a number of weeks from 22 November 2012.

Keep checking the website for the latest instalment.

Follow Turning 18 on Soundcloud


The European Commission released its “Second biannual report on the functioning of the Schengen area” covering the period 1 May 2012-31 October 2012.  (COM(2012) 686 final, 23.11.2012)  The first reporton the Schengen area was released in May of this year.  (COM(2012) 230 final, 16.5.2012)

Here are a few excerpts from the 8 page document:

The Commission intends to present a legislative proposal in early 2013 to replace the Frontex sea border operations rule (Council Decision 2010/252/EU) that was annulled by the Court of Justice on 5 September 2012;

Subsequent to the issuance of a letter of formal notice to Greece in October 2009 in response to “allegations of serious difficulties faced by migrants in applying for asylum and ill-treatment of asylum-seekers, including the turning back of persons who may face serious harm or persecution”, the Commission is continuing to analyse the situation “in the light of constant…

View original post 91 more words