Beyond the Border: Clandestine Migration Journeys
The Special Issue explores what the study of migration journeys can teach us about politics and humanity.
As migration controls become increasingly restrictive and humanitarian crises erupt along clandestine migration routes, the Spring 2016 (Vol. 21, No. 2) special issue of Geopolitics is a timely intervention that analyses how geopolitics shape and animate the everyday experiences of clandestine migration journeys. Around the globe, migration controls extend beyond the edges of Europe and North America along transnational routes, where migrants face increased danger, violence and risks during their journeys, before they ever reach the doorstep of the global north. For these reasons, it is important to focus attention on how migrants arrive at the border, to the vehicles, networks, multiple border crossings and hardships that constitute the journey to the borders of developed countries.
The collective contribution of this special issue is to move beyond the journeys of particular groups such as refugees, as well beyond particular country case studies, to provide a theoretically grounded and comparative analysis of clandestine migrant journeys. To do so, this special issue brings together scholars from across many disciplines to provide a unique analysis of clandestine migration journeys into North America and Europe, with many of the articles drawing on rich ethnographic data. As one author states, “Understanding the lived experience of migration journeys in this way reveals the contours of a larger, and often intentionally obscured, global political economy of migration control.”
In “Beyond the Border: Clandestine Migration Journeys,” authors Cetta Mainwaring and Noelle Bridgen open the special issue with an introduction exploring the growing concern of uncertainty and violence along migration routes. As a result of intensified immigration control, these migrants must traverse longer, more dangerous routes, often with the aid of smugglers. However, by examining the everyday practices involved in clandestine journeys, the authors of this special issue also demonstrate how migrants engage with the multiple geographies they travel across, find spaces within and between state practices of securitization, and ultimately constitute the geopolitics of migration.
William Walters’ article, “The Flight of the Deported,” investigates the practices and spaces of deportations during the migrant journey. From marginalized positions, migrants continue to negotiate and maneuver, exhibiting a degree of agency reflected in successful journeys despite barriers.
Even when migrants fail to reach their destinations, they transform the routes through countries of transit, engendering new relationships between foreigners and citizens along the way. Thus, taken together, these articles explore the global implications of clandestine journeys, demonstrating their challenge to state power, borders and our understanding of ‘security’. Ultimately, we ask what the study of journeys can teach us about the politics of migration and about humanity more broadly.
To access the special issue, click here.
Geopolitics is an international and multidisciplinary journal devoted to contemporary research on geopolitics. It provides an arena for scholarly analysis addressing the intersection of geography and global politics from various disciplinary and methodological perspectives, and from vantage points embedded in diverse locations. It welcomes theories, methods and methodologies that advance our understanding of the geographic and multiscale dynamics of global politics.
Themes include geopolitical traditions; critical geographical analysis of formal, practical and popular geopolitics; feminist geopolitics; urban geopolitics; geopolitics of the everyday; environmental geopolitics; spatial and cartographic analysis; and political economy.
© 2015 Thomson Reuters, 2015 Journal Citations Report® ranks Geopolitics 46th out of 76 in the Geography category, and 62nd out of 161 in the Political Science category, with an Impact Factor of 0.923.
Colin Flint, Utah State University
Virginie Mamadouh, University of Amsterdam
Print ISSN: 1465-0045· Online ISSN: 1557-3028· Volume 21, 2016
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