7th Migration Research Lab:

“Researching the politics of deterrence in practice”

16.11.2022, 10.00-12.00 CET Venue: KWZ 1.610 (Heinrich-Düker Weg 14)

with Prof. Dr. Marie Sandberg, director of the Centre for Advanced Migration Studies/AMIS, University of Copenhagen

This workshop will be zooming in on dilemmas and possible ways of moving forward when researching the European deterrence regime in practice. What are the main challenges, methodologically, ethically, epistemologically?

As argued by Squire et al (2021) since 2015 EU has developed a “crisis politics” which takes measures of deterrence as a key part of the Union’s migration and border management. EU’s deterrence policy agenda can be understood, both in terms of the rolling out of border security and migration control to third countries outside the EU and in terms of creating ‘hostile environment’ within the EU. The latter implicates preventive approaches built into reception programmes and asylum procedures such as separation measures, waiting procedures and leaving people with the lowest possible financial benefits. These deterrence measures are part of a broader “return turn” towards temporary protection in Europe, in which states are adopting policies that reduce the security of stay for refugees (Schultz, 2021).

Whereas the politico-juridical implications of the current deterrence regime of the Global North have been well described in the research literature, there is still an urgent need to critically discuss new approaches to the documentation and analysis of the consequences of deterrence, including how this regime is experienced in practice and in the precarious everyday lives of those affected by cessation of refugee status and of residence permit. Taking cue from Lindberg and Khosravi’s call for new approaches to studying deterrence and deportation, “not as [a] discrete event[s] but as a process that, intertwined with other global processes, produces and sustains inequalities, exclusion and marginalization” (2022, p. 354), this workshop will discuss ethnographic approaches to the study of deterrence regime in practice.

Marie Sandberg will be briefly presenting some of the strategies pursued in the collaborative research-practice project “Boundary work. New interfaces between state and civil society: Volunteerism and refugees in a self-support and repatriation context” emphasizing the need for collaborative research with NGO’s involved, local partners, and not least the refugees living in Denmark on a “permanent temporary” basis when exploring new approaches to the study of deterrence in practice.

The presentation will be followed by PhD students presenting current challenges in their ongoing work.

Registration: Please submit a short abstract of your presentation via e-mail (cemig@uni-goettingen.de) by 09.11.2022. Afterwards all abstracts and the suggested readings will be circulated to all participants in advance.


In the evening, Marie Sandberg will give the 3rd Annual Lecture in European Ethnology in Göttingen

“’With a view to temporary stay.’ An ethnological perspective on Europe’s politics of exception after the ‘return turn’”

Date: 16.11.2022, 18:15 Uh
Venue: Alfred Hessel Saal, Paulinerkirche (Papendiek 14, 1. floor)