Challenging Rightlessness by Amanda Nielsen

Amanda Nielsen’s dissertation ‘Challenging Rightlessness – On Irregular Migrants and the Contestation of Welfare State Demarcation in Sweden’ (2016) is one of several that is associated to our research project. Nielsen investigates the boundaries of the welfare state in relation to irregular migrants’ rights claims. By following the struggles in Swedish politics from 1999 to 2014 for the protection of irregular migrants’ social and political rights, in terms of demands for permanent residency, schooling and health care, the author identifies that the interlinkage between citizenship and welfare access has somewhat disrupted. Nielsen identifies a small, however significant, shift in social policy as a result of the demands. The extension of welfare, in terms of the new school and health care policies adopted in 2013, to individuals without regular status contests the idea of citizenship as basis for inclusion. The general restrictions on welfare access for irregular migrants constitutes what Nielsen and others see as forms of internal borders. She reflects that the changes in policy might imply a removal of such borders, that might lead to long term inclusionary effects. The adoption of the 2013 reform was a result of a successful political campaign arguing that these social entitlements are human rights that should be applied to everyone regardless of status. Paradoxically, Nielsen observes that this type of argumentation, and the policymaking resulting from it, might potentially lead to a negative development where full protection of rights become out of reach. Since the recognition of rights for this group were strictly limited to two specific social rights, i.e. schooling and medical care, and no opening for the regularisation of their stay became topical, the change in policy could be a starting point for the development of a second class structure. Hence, the author concludes that further contestations of the “citizenship order” are absent in the debates studied and requests a more subversive discourse around political entitlements in relation to status.

Available at: https://www.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:896265/FULLTEXT01.pdf

Emma Ley

”Jakt på papperslösa gör oss till en polisstat” debattartikel i SvD

”Jakt på papperslösa gör oss till en polisstat”

Regeringen föreslår nio åtgärder för att hitta och utvisa papperslösa. Det kommer att slå hårt och främst gå ut över redan svaga och jagade människor. Vi uppmanar därför regeringen att ta tillbaka åtgärderna, skriver 43 forskare.

Torsdagen den 22 september presenterade regeringen en rad åtgärder som syftar till att fler människor ska återvända till sina hemländer efter att de fått avslag på sin asylansökan. Regeringen säger sig vilja hindra att det växer fram ett ”skuggsamhälle” där papperslösa utnyttjas på den svarta arbetsmarknaden.

Med utgångspunkt i den kunskap som finns i forskningen om migration, asyl och papperslösas villkor är det här utspelet djupt oroande på en rad punkter.

Dels visar många studier på godtycklighet och avsevärt bristande rättssäkerhet vid asylprövningar, inte minst när det gäller barn. Därför vet vi att när fler utvisas så kommer det innebära att det är fler som kommer hamna i svåra situationer i sina hemländer och utsättas för förföljelse eller social utsatthet.

Dels visar forskningen med all önskvärd tydlighet att den typ av åtgärder som regeringen föreslår inte leder till att fler ser ett så kallat återvändande som ett möjligt val utan istället kommer få helt andra effekter. De som håller sig undan utvisning lever i en extremt svår situation och gör det för att de inte ser något annat alternativ. Regeringens åtgärder hjälper inte på något sätt folk att slippa undan livet i papperslöshet, utan gör istället denna situation än mer sårbar: ”skuggorna” som faller över papperslösheten blir bara hårdare, kallare och längre.

Regeringen presenterade nio konkreta åtgärder. Vår och andras forskning visar att effekterna av dessa åtgärder kommer bli ökad utsatthet, ohälsa och fattigdom bland den papperslösa befolkningen. Utökade arbetsplatsinspektioner kommer ge människor ännu svagare förhandlingsposition i förhållande till sina arbetsgivare. Möjligheten att ta fingeravtryck vid inre utlänningskontroller kränker den personliga integriteten och bidrar till ytterligare rasprofilering inom polisens arbete. Att papperslösa barn i ökad grad ska behöva vara rädda för att bli identifierade och kunna tas i förvar kommer att bidra till stor ökad ohälsa bland en grupp barn som redan lider svårt och är inget annat än ett hån mot Barnkonventionen (som regeringen paradoxalt nog just nu ska inkorporera i svensk lag). Användandet av häkten som förvar bidrar till en ökad kriminalisering av migranter och brutalisering i myndigheternas arbete. Det tydliga kravet på Migrationsverkets personal att ange personer de har kontakt med, kommer leda till ökade svårigheter för personer som fått avslag att ta kontakt med Migrationsverket.

Socialdemokraterna och Miljöpartiets förslag pekar sammantaget i en tydlig riktning: mot en polisstat med ökad kontroll av vissa invånare.

Varför lägger regeringen då dessa förslag om de inte kommer att få den effekt de vill ha? Oräknelig forskning har visat hur normaliserandet av nationalistiska och rasistiska organisationers retorik får som följd att rasistiska åsikter sipprar ner på institutionell nivå inom såväl myndighetsarbete som etablerade politiska partier. Att man med lätthet kan presentera ett förslag på att genomföra fingeravtryck på barn som är så unga som sex år visar tydligt hur alarmerande situationen i Sverige är, där man normaliserat tanken om att vissa människor/barn ska och bör ha mer rättigheter än andra.

En förklaring ligger givetvis i det vägval Sveriges regering gjorde i slutet av förra hösten: att till varje pris avskräcka de migranter som lyckats ta sig in i Europa från att söka sig vidare till Sverige. Trots att svenska politiker i internationella sammanhang gärna odlar den gamla bilden av Sverige som ett humant och generöst land väljer de alltså nu – i en tid då så många människor skulle behöva en plats att fly till och börja bygga upp sina liv igen – att tala om ”systemkollaps” och använda människor som brickor i ett politiskt spel där nationalismen och rasismen utgör det ny(gaml)a normaltillståndet. Att använda människor som flyr på detta sätt drabbar inte bara migranter utan hela Sveriges befolkning.

Vi uppmanar därför regeringen att ta tillbaka åtgärderna och istället genomföra en politik som ger skydd till fler människor på flykt.

Jacob, Anna, Mikael, Emma, m fl forskare (se här: http://www.svd.se/jakt-pa-papperslosa-gor-oss-till-en-polisstat)

Ny bok på Daidalos om irreguljär migration i Sverige ute nu!

Irreguljär migration i Sverige
Rättigheter, vardagserfarenheter, motstånd och statliga kategoriseringar
Maja Sager, Helena Holgersson & Klara Öberg (red.)

Antalet människor som lever under hot om utvisning har ökat under de senaste decennierna. Samtidigt har det vuxit fram en medvetenhet om att dessa människor är – och kommer att vara – invånare i Sverige. En bred social rörelse med fokus på irreguljära migranters rättigheter har formerats och bidragit till att lagstiftningen på området förändrats. Människor utan uppehållstillstånd har idag rätt till sjukvård ”som inte kan anstå” och deras barn har rätt att gå i skolan. Utvecklingen är dock dubbel. Över hela Europa stängs gränserna. Och politiska krav på en närmast total exkludering av irreguljära migranter har vunnit gehör. Det som länge framstod som en utveckling mot ökade rättigheter för dessa människor har visat sig handla om återkommande förhandlingar där utgången är oviss. I denna antologi analyserar 19 svenska forskare hur tillståndet irregularitet skapas, återskapas och upplevs. Irregularitet förstås som präglat av föränderlighet, pluralism och temporalitet, och inte som en fast identitet eller egenskap. De olika texterna uppmärksammar hur detta tillstånd synliggör en rad dramatiska paradoxer, särskilt i den svenska välfärdsstaten. Texterna diskuterar främst det komplicerade förhållandet mellan medborgerliga och mänskliga rättigheter och verklighetsglappet mellan föreställningen om Sverige som ”världsbäst” på humanitet, jämställdhet och solidaritet och den våldsamma exkludering som sker i den inkluderande välfärdsstatens geografiska och rättsliga marginaler.
Utöver redaktörerna medverkar Henry Ascher, Maria Bexelius, Carin Björngren Cuadra, Pouran Djampour, Sofi Jansson, Shahram Khosravi, Anna Lundberg, Heidi Moksnes, Amanda Nielsen, Vanna Nordling, Annette Rosengren, Erika Sigvardsdotter, Niklas Selberg, Mikael Spång, Emma Söderman och Åsa Wahlström Smith.

Investigating the positionality and political agency of migrant children

— The following text was published on the blog of the journal Politics and has been republished here with permission from the editor —

By Jacob Lind
How do migrant children react to the paradox of holding two seemingly contradictory subject positions at once: the (deserving) child and the (undeserving) migrant?

Children’s position as specific right-bearers was a major driving force behind last year’s turn of events during the “summer of migration”. Images of Syrian war refugee Alan Kurdi lying dead on the shore in Turkey stirred up waves of emotions, and not very long after Europeans were applauding refugees as they arrived at train stations across the continent. The leading call at charity galas and in letters from aid organisations was “Help the Syrian children!” But we all know how quickly the tide turned later that fall and how the gates of fortress Europe once again closed in the face of children and adults alike of all nationalities.

In my on-going research project I investigate the paradox of migrant children as both bearers of specific rights and being subject to immigration control, and how children react to the experience of this paradox in their everyday lives. They are both children and migrants, and thus both considered especially vulnerable and deserving of special protection as children. At the same time, as migrants they are threatened by the interest of sovereign nation states to control migration. In short, during last year’s events, policies and public opinion first shifted to emphasise the child migrant, and then shifted back to emphasise the child migrant.

The point of departure of my Politics article, ‘The duality of children’s political agency in deportability‘, is to look at a specific group of children positioned as migrants, namely those who are threatened by deportation since they lack permission to reside in the UK, even though many of them are born in the UK and have lived in the country their whole lives. As I got to know some of these children and their parents I got an insight into how the children themselves experience and react to the paradox of being both positioned as a deserving, rights-bearing child and a potentially deportable child.

They are all allowed to go to school and their parents’ primary aim is to make sure they live as much of a “normal life” as possible. But as the children came home from school, letters from the Home Office were lying on the kitchen table. Some of the children curiously opened the letters without their parents’ knowledge and read about their potential threat of deportation. One child was even forced to participate in a meeting at the Home Office, at the age of 5, where she was told that she might have to go back to Ghana, a country she had never been in. This knowledge of one’s potential deportability stirred up anger and repugnance in the children. Other children were not as aware of their situation. Their parents tried to avoid involving them in these issues so that they could put all their focus and energy on succeeding at school. However, these children were also affected by the stress the threat of deportation had on their parents. Deportability makes itself known in different ways and children are very good at picking up on their parents’ anxiety.

Drawing on theories about children’s political agency, primarily discussed within children’s geographies, I analyse these children’s experiences of living their everyday lives in deportability. I argue in my Politics article that these children’s political agency comes about through dual processes. Both the children who knew more and those who knew less about their families’ immigration issues shared the experience of social inclusion mainly through going to school. One aspect of how their political agency comes about is how they all argue for this position of being included and being “just like everyone else”. I argue that their struggle to sustain this experience of inclusion is an expression of mundane everyday acts of political agency.

Secondly, some of the children expressed political agency in more active, direct and visible ways through writing angry letters to the Home Office, taking part in stage plays about their fear of being deported or vividly arguing against anyone claiming they are not “British”. However, in these active contestations of being positioned as “deportable”, the children point to their experience of being included as the ground for their claims and argue for this inclusion to continue. In this way, the duality of their political agency is not a contrasting phenomenon but rather complementary.

The aim of my study of the everyday lives and political agency of irregularised migrant children in the UK is to give an insight into how children react to the paradox of both being positioned as (deserving) children and (undeserving) migrants. Hopefully it can increase our awareness of what it is like for children to be stuck on the wrong side of the current draconic migration regime and help us recognise children’s struggles as they happen in their everyday lives so that we also can take their claims more seriously.

The multiple implications of Europe’s ‘refugee crisis’ – a talk by Joaquín Arango at Malmö University, as part of the Örecomm symposium, 22nd September 2016

What does the so-called ‘refugee crisis’ tell us about the European Union? And, what prospects are there for the EU managing this situation? These were just some of the questions touched upon by an insightful lecture given by Professor Joaquín Arango (Universidad Complutense, Madrid) that was both inspiring for its analysis but disturbing given the bleak outlook it presented.

 

Arango began by critiquing the name ‘refugee crisis’, arguing that instead we need to see it as: firstly, a humanitarian crisis; and, secondly, as a crisis in which there is both insufficient solidarity towards those in need of support, and amongst EU Member-states and citizens.

 

In the case of the European Union, we see the emergence of severe tensions between both North and South, as well as between West and East, which undermine the very existence of the political union. Crucially, the numbers of migrants arriving due to events in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria are not directly to blame. These numbers could have been absorbed amongst the EU Member-states. The problem has occurred due to both: 1) an inadequate European asylum system in which the burden fell unfairly upon those Member-states on the EU’s borders; and, 2) an unwillingess of other EU Member-states to help better share that burden.

 

This has led the EU into a dangerous political climate in which there is rising far-right nationalism within Member-states, and EU leaders find themselves negotiating controversial agreements such as the ‘Turkish solution’ that show little long-term promise but may help paper over some problems for the short-term.

 

Overall, Arango made the argument that unless EU Member-states can learn to show more solidarity towards both those in need of help and one another, the prospects for both the future of the Schengen area of free movement and the EU itself look bleak. If the EU can overcome the challenge – not of refugees – but of its own institutional weaknesses and the shortcomings of its Member-states, then clearly it will have passed its greatest test to date.

By Michael Strange

Design-politics by Mahmoud Keshavarz

This blog post briefly presents the dissertation “Design-politics – An Enquiry into Passports, Camps and Borders” by Mahmoud Keshavarz (2016). Keshavarz’ dissertation is one of several that in some way have been associated to our research project.

The name “Design-politics” derives from the core of the Keshavarz’ argument that design and politics are impossible to separate and need to be studied as interconnected fields, as design-politics. This is illustrated in his research of the relationship between politics of migration and the design of different artefacts such as, passports and refugee camps. These artefacts produces both mobility and immobility through the construction of legality and illegality. Keshavarz’ study of passports is an a example of how power is exercised through the material. He shows that these objects in addition to providing its “owner” with legal rights, hold the very concrete capacity or incapacity of crossing borders. The state of undocumentedness is then a condition that is materially made, unmade or remade, thus this design holds political meaning. This is especially visible when individuals within the condition of undocumentedness navigate around the issue of not holding a passport. If the sovereign exercises its power through material articulations in the form of passports and border controls, forged passports challenge this dominant structure. The counter-practice of manipulating passports produces its own space outside the sovereign. Hence, the criminalisation of migration upholds the hegemonic structure where the design of material articulations is perceived as something given. Keshawars’ argument that design and politics are intertwined unpacks the idea of the pre-given and points to the necessity of recognising political urgency behind different material constructs. More importantly, to act in accordance with this recognition means to understand the position and context in which the material construct is made.

Abstract

This thesis is an interrogation of the contemporary politics of movement and more specifically, migration politics from the perspective of the agency of design and designing. At the core of this thesis lies a series of arguments which invite design researchers and migration scholars to rethink the ways they work with their practices: that states, in order to make effective their abstract notions of borders, nations, citizenship, legal protection and rights are in dire need of what this thesis coins as material articulations. The way these notions are presented to us is seldom associated with artefacts and artefactual relations. It is of importance therefore, as this thesis argues, to speak of such material articulations as acts of designing. To examine the politics of movement and migration politics from such a perspective, this thesis focuses on practices that shape specific material articulations such as passports, camps and borders. At the same time, it discusses the practices that emerge from these articulations. By doing this, it follows the politics that shape these seemingly mundane artefacts and relations as well as the politics that emerge from them. Consequently, it argues that design and politics cannot be discussed and worked on as two separate fields of knowledge but rather as interconnected fields, as design-politics. This thesis unpacks this claim by focusing specifically on the lived experiences and struggles of asylum seekers, refugees and undocumented migrants as well as rearticulating some of the artefacts and artefactual relations involved in the politics of movement and migration.

“Design-politics – An Enquiry into Passports, Camps and Borders” by Mahmoud Keshavarz (2016) is available at;
<http://dspace.mah.se/bitstream/2043/20605/2/Keshavarz-Design-Politics-lowres.pdf>

Emma Ley and Hedvig Obenius

Article in ‘Politics’ – The duality of children’s political agency in deportability

Dear blog-readers!

Good news for everyone who are interested in reading about my work within the project!

Recently I had my first peer-reviewed article published in Politics. It discusses the political agency of some of the children I met during my fieldwork in the UK. See abstract below.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you want to discuss my current project of writing about how the political agency of these children, as well as children in Sweden, and the agency of their parents are embedded. I am going to try and show how the rights and struggles of irregularised migrant families are intergenerational… Their struggles need to be understood together, and if we are serious about children’s rights we need to think about how we treat their parents.

Abstract

Drawing on in-depth ethnographic observations among irregularised migrant families in Birmingham, UK, this article discusses how children’s political agency manifests in everyday life. It shows how children who become aware of their legal status as ‘deportable’ reject this subject position and offer their own definitions of who they are and where they belong. Simultaneously, it is argued that children with varying degrees of knowledge about their legal status also express political agency through their struggle to sustain the inclusion they experience. Such expressions highlight the duality of children’s political agency in irregular situations.

http://pol.sagepub.com/content/early/2016/09/06/0263395716665391.abstract

/Jacob Lind, PhD student

Brown bag seminars in Malmö 2016

We are much looking forward to this semester’s Brown bag seminars

including themes such as for example Politics and love, which will take place every other Thursday (approximately) on the forth floor of NIAGARA, close to the Central station in Malmö, see schedule below. The seminars are open to all.

 

Brown bag seminars fall-2016

 

In the project “Undocumented children’s rights claims” we explore rights-claiming among undocumented children and their families in light of theoretical and practical perspectives (see http://blogg.mah.se/undocumentedmigrants). The seminars below are conducted in the fall of 2016 and they are open to all. Seminars are in English and take place at Malmö University. The time is Thursday 10:15-13, the room is NIB0414, fourth floor in the Niagara house, Nordenskiöldsgatan 1 in Malmö. If you would like to attend, or present one of the articles below, please contact anna.lundberg@mah.se.

 

Welcome!

 

 

September 1 Critique of Compassion continued and Love and politics

 

Marcel Paret & Shannon Gleeson (2016) “Precarity and agency through a migration lens”, Citizenship Studies, 20:3-4, 277-294

 

Negri, Antonio, and Gabriele Fadini. ”Materialism and theology: A conversation.” Rethinking Marxism 20.4 (2008): 665-672.

 

 

September 15 Theoretical approaches and considerations in a PhD-study about social services

 

Vanna Nordling, Social work, Lund University. The presentation includes theoretical perspectives to Vanna’s PhD project on ”Negotiations of rights and citizenship through social work practic”.

 

 

September 29 Love and politics

 

Love and Saint Augustine. by Arendt, Hannah (and Joanna Vecchiarelli Scott, and Judith Chelius Stark). University of Chicago Press, 1996.

 

About the book: Hannah Arendt began her scholarly career with an exploration of Saint Augustine’s concept of caritas, or neighborly love, written under the direction of Karl Jaspers and the influence of Martin Heidegger. After her German academic life came to a halt in 1933, Arendt carried her dissertation into exile in France, and years later took the same battered and stained copy to New York. During the late 1950s and early 1960s, as she was completing or reworking her most influential studies of political life, Arendt was simultaneously annotating and revising her dissertation on Augustine, amplifying its argument with terms and concepts she was using in her political works of the same period. The disseration became a bridge over which Arendt traveled back and forth between 1929 Heidelberg and 1960s New York, carrying with her Augustine’s question about the possibility of social life in an age of rapid political and moral change.

 

 

October 13 Global Human Rights Law and the Boundaries of Statehood

 

Lindahl, Hans, and Daniel Augenstein. “Global human rights law and the boundaries of statehood” Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies 22.3 (2015). (Available here:

 

Baxi, Upendra. “Some Newly Emergent Geographies of Injustice: Boundaries and Borders in International Law.” Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies23.1 (2016): 15-37.

 

Johns, Fleur. “The Temporal Rivalries of Human Rights.” Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies 23.1 (2016): 39-60.

 

 

October 27 Global Human Rights Law and the Boundaries of Statehood

 

Backer, Larry Catá. “Fractured Territories and Abstracted Terrains: Human Rights Governance Regimes Within and Beyond the State.” Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies 23.1 (2016): 61-94.

 

Cutler, A. Claire. “Transformations in Statehood, the Investor-State Regime, and the New Constitutionalism.” Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies 23.1 (2016): 95-125.

 

Leader, Sheldon. “Statehood, Power, and the New Face of Consent.” Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies 23.1 (2016): 127-142.

 

 

November 10 Global Human Rights Law and the Boundaries of Statehood

 

Bilchitz, David. “Corporations and the Limits of State-Based Models for Protecting Fundamental Rights in International Law.” Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies 23.1 (2016): 143-170.

 

Lindahl, Hans. “One Pillar: Legal Authority and a Social License to Operate in a Global Context.” Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies 23.1 (2016): 201-224.

 

Augenstein, Daniel. “To whom it may concern: International human rights law and global public goods.” Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies 23.1 (2016): 225-248.

 

 

November 24 Territoriality and rights

 

Bosniak, Linda. “Amnesty in immigration: forgetting, forgiving, freedom.” Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 16.3 (2013): 344-365.

 

Bosniak, Linda. “Arguing for amnesty.” Law, Culture and the Humanities (2012): 1743872111423181.

 

Bosniak, Linda S. “Ethical Territoriality and the Rights of Immigrants.” Amsterdam Law Forum. Vol. 1. No. 1. 2008.

 

Rajaram, Prem Kumar. “Historicising ‘asylum’and responsibility.” Citizenship Studies 17.6-7 (2013): 681-696.

 

 

December 8 Solidarity and politics

 

Allen, Amy. ”The power of feminist theory: Domination, resistance, solidarity.” (1999).

 

Deepta, Chopra, and Catherine Müller. ”Connecting Perspectives on Women’s Empowerment.” (2016).

 

Singh, Anneliese A., Kate Richmond, and Theodore R. Burnes. ”Feminist participatory action research with transgender communities: Fostering the practice of ethical and empowering research designs.” International Journal of Transgenderism 14.3 (2013): 93-104.

 

 

December 22 Solidarity and politics

 

Scholz, Sally J. ”Seeking Solidarity.” Philosophy Compass 10.10 (2015): 725-735.

 

Pansardi, Pamela. ”A non-normative theory of power and domination.” Critical review of international social and political philosophy 16.5 (2013): 614-633.

… And finally, as a start for next semester’s first theme … The Challenge of Studying Undocumented Migration

Katharine M. Donato and Douglas S. Massey ”Twenty-First-Century Globalization and Illegal Migration” The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science July 2016 666: 726

 

 

 

 

 

Our contribution to Nordic Migration Research Conference in Oslo 2016

In this year’s NMR-conference we had a workshop titled The right to have rights and irregular migration. I also for the second time arranged a workshop in collaboration with Erica Righard on Artsbased migration research, much appreciated. Ericas work with a Serbian/Swedish theatre group provide new opportunities to understand mobility in the contemporary world.

For my own part I presented the text A solidaric take on action. Solidarity as a foundational principle for political action – struggles for the right to asylum in the contemporary world, based on readings this summer. Any comments on the idea, or potential interesting “hooks” are most welcome to this post (which is the abstract only, the paper draft is still with me). Anna Lundberg, Global political studies, Malmö University

 

The essay attempts to contribute to a discussion about how solidarity can serve as a principle for action in transnational spheres, through discussing the asylum rights movement and the particular example of the ‘Tent camp against deportation’ in the city of Malmö. The aim is twofold. First, I want to highlight political work by irregularised migrants as instances of solidarity, so called worldly activities that are based on the principle of solidarity and carry this principle within. Second, this essay aims to develop an understanding of Arendt’s idea of solidarity as a foundation for collective action that emerges, and may be understood, in initiatives by irregularised migrants. The ability to act meaningfully in a position of deportability, on the basis of solidarity, tells us something about struggles over the world, worldliness as Arendt terms it. Through examples from the tent-camp we can notice how struggles play out in the everyday, and how activities are ‘world-facing’ rather than unworldly; public rather than private, diverse rather than narrow-minded, transnational rather than national, and reducing burdens for people to take part in the governance of the world. Here, grains may be found to a world where those who lack citizenship or for other reasons are excluded from spheres where their opinions are significant, may also appear as political subjects. In relation to the contested theoretical discussion about the novelty and unpredictability of political acts or statements, the tent camp action and similar initiatives indeed are unpredictable and simultaneously an expression of visions of a new world based on the principle of solidarity.

 

Design-Politics: An Inquiry into Passports, Camps and Borders. Awaited PhD defence in Malmö, welcome to Malmö University

Welcome to

Mahmoud Keshavarz’ defense of his thesis in Interaction design

Design-Politics: An Inquiry into Passports, Camps and Borders 

 

Time: Sep 9, 13.15 h 

Place: Hörsal C, Niagara, Malmö University, Nordenskiöldsgatan 1, Malmö 

 

The faculty opponent will be Professor in Interdisciplinary Design Andrew David Morrison, The Oslo School of Architecture and Design, Institute of Design.

 

The thesis can be downloaded from this link: https://dspace.mah.se/handle/2043/20605

 

Abstract:

This thesis is an interrogation of the contemporary politics of movement and more specifically, migration politics from the perspective of the agency of design and designing. At the core of this thesis lies a series of arguments which invite design researchers and migration scholars to rethink the ways they work with their practices: that states, in order to make effective their abstract notions of borders, nations, citizenship, legal protection and rights are in dire need of what this thesis coins as material articulations. The way these notions are presented to us is seldom associated with artefacts and artefactual relations. It is of importance therefore, as this thesis argues, to speak of such material articulations as acts of designing. To examine the politics of movement and migration politics from such a perspective, this thesis focuses on practices that shape specific material articulations such as passports, camps and borders. At the same time, it discusses the practices that emerge from these articulations. By doing this, it follows the politics that shape these seemingly mundane artefacts and relations as well as the politics that emerge from them. Consequently, it argues that design and politics cannot be discussed and worked on as two separate fields of knowledge but rather as interconnected fields, as design-politics. This thesis unpacks this claim by focusing specifically on the lived experiences and struggles of asylum seekers, refugees and undocumented migrants as well as rearticulating some of the artefacts and artefactual relations involved in the politics of movement and migration.