MIGR – Migrations et frontières dans la mondialisation

Selected for CIST 2019-2023 quinquennial contract, this exploratory project is planned as the prefiguration of a structuring theme.

The project aims to bring together two scientific fields which have both much in common and which paradoxically communicate little with each other: in France and internationally, migration studies and border studies are theoretical and empirical fields which are not very closely linked. The object is therefore, by promoting this rapprochement, to participate in the theoretical construction of the mobile component of territories on the one hand and on the other hand to constitute an innovative multidisciplinary network at the international level.

Analyses of borders often continue to present them as an international dyad line (Foucher, 2012), whereas studies on mobility emphasise their transnational dimension (Cortès & Faret, 2009). The link between these two domains is most often made only insofar as one considers the mobility barriers applied during the different phases of border management (Clochard & MIGREUROP, 2017; Schmoll et al., 2015). The objective of this exploratory project is to consider the dynamics of territories and their mobile component (Amilhat Szary & Giraut, 2015) in order to open up the territorial question to its extra-national dimension.

To this end, the following axes will be developed:

  • Analysis of the multi-scalar actors at work in the processes of opening/closing borders, externalisation/internalisation of borders and migration control, at regional, national and sub-national levels (cities in particular) and emphasising the essential role of informal actors;
  • Work on representations, narratives, discourses (of which maps are a part) that allow us to understand the dialectic otherness/identity that is played out in migratory processes and in the construction/deconstruction of borders (de/rebordering);
  • Exploration of the spatio-temporal dynamics of migratory and border-crossing phenomena today, which go far beyond the duality of uprooting and anchoring, to understand from now on moments of rupture, waiting, migration, etc. The idea is to work on the notions of transit in migration but also of reception at the different phases of the journey.

Its members jointly carry the project of sensitive and exploratory methodologies, which renew the traditional perspectives and the quali-quantity opposition of territorial sciences.

Institutional Expectations

  • Consolidate an informal network through its institutionalisation, allowing in particular the joint response to European CfPs
  • Provide a French showcase for international migration & border studies.

Scientific Expectations

  • Demonstrate the validity of the hypothesis that gave rise to the axis, namely a heuristic scientific proximity of the works on migration and on borders, particularly insofar as the latter share an ambiguous relationship to territorial divisions, due to their analysis of mobile and multi-situated processes;
  • Participate in the construction of a critical dimension of territorial sciences;
  • Build the enlargement of the CIST towards the law and language and literature laboratories.

Indicative Bibliography

  • Amilhat Szary A.-L., Giraut F. (dir.), 2015, Borderities: The Politics of Contemporary Mobile Borders, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Brunet-Jailly E. (dir.), 2007, Borderlands: Comparing Border Security in North America and Europe, Ottawa, University of Ottawa Press.
  • Clochard O., MIGREUROP, (dir.), 2017 (3e édition), Atlas des migrants en Europe. Géographie critique des politiques migratoires, Paris, Armand Colin.
  • Cortès G., Faret L., 2009, Les circulations transnationales. Lire les turbulences migratoires contemporaines, Paris, Armand Colin.
  • De Genova N. (dir.), 2017, The borders of « Europe »: autonomy of migration, tactics of bordering, Durham (NC), Duke University Press.
  • Foucher M., 2012, L’obsession des frontières, Paris, Perrin.
  • Mezzadra S., Neilson B. (dir.), 2013, Border As Method, or, the Multiplication of Labor, Durham (NC), Duke University Press.
  • Schmoll C., Thiollet H., Wihtol de Wenden C. (dir.), 2015, Migrations en Méditerranée. Permanences et mutations à l’heure des révolutions et des crises, Paris, CNRS éd.
  • Tarrius A., 1989, Anthropologie du mouvement, Caen, Paradigme.