Liquidity of borders: Exploring meanings and effects of (non)autonomy of contemporary migrations II

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups: Political Geography Specialty Group, Legal Geography Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 4:45 PM
Room: Virginia A, Marriott, Lobby Level
Organizers: Md Azmeary Ferdoush, Borjana Lubura
Chairs: Borjana Lubura


With the famous claim in the early 2000s that ‘borders are everywhere,’ Etienne Balibar initiated a paradigmatic shift in the field of border studies (Balibar, 2002). Borders are not merely the ‘lines in the sand,’ but have become a common sense (Parker & Vaughan-Williams, 2009). Borders are mobile, flexible, outsourced, and placed in our everyday lives (Jones & Johnson, 2014). At the same time, borderwork is not exclusively a task of the state and state institutions. Rather, as Chris Rumford demonstrates, ‘ordinary people’ play a significant role (Rumford, 2006). Thus, borders are best understood as ‘liquid’ that are flexible and mobile instead of solid lines or walls. On one hand, the liquidity of borders allows numerous state mechanisms and authorities to move, shape, install, outsource, secure, and perform bordering on different bodies. On the other hand, it also allows us to comprehend the way ‘ordinary people’ change the nature of a given border through their (inter)actions with a certain border.
Wealthy states have implemented deterrent actions to stop migrants from crossing their borders, including creating and implementing ad hoc migration policies, fortifying and electrifying fences, deploying troops, and promoting a rhetoric of fear and unwelcoming discourses via social media, facebook, instagram, and various websites (Garelli and Tazzioli, 2017). Yet, migrants find ways to cross borders and reach their desired destinations despite the heavy controlling practices at the border and externally (De Genova, 2017). De Genova et al. (2018) call to advance critical migration research by focusing on the ways migrants move through and around borders and seek asylum. Migrants play important role in bridging borderwork and controls practiced by the states on one hand, and the final destination to where they get asylum, on the other hand.
The session aims to engage border/migration scholars in discussion about the diverse nature of borders as well as their relationship to mobility, with a focus on (non)autonomous migration around the world in respect to the above discussion. Topics could include, but are not limited to:
1. Theorizing borders
2. The way borders affect people’s everyday lives and vice versa
3. Performance of bordering and borderwork
4. Latent and manifest use of borders in stopping/ hindering migration
5. Exploring (non)autonomy of migration and movement
6. Autonomous migrants and the effects of borders in their lives
7. Migrant freedom to choose where and how to move through borders
8. Externalization of the border control
9. Asylum policies and autonomy of asylum seekers

Please send abstracts of up to 250 words by October 21, 2018 to either Azmeary Ferdoush ( or Borjana Lubura ( Feel free to ask any questions you might have.

Balibar, E. (2002). Politics and the Other Scene. London: Verso.
De Genova, N., Gelnda, G., and Tazzioli, M. (2018). Autonomy of Asylum?: The Autonomy of Migration Undoing the Refugee Crisis Script. South Atlantic Quarterly, 117 (2): 239-265.
De Genova ed. (2017) The Borders of “Europe:” Autonomy of Migration, Tactics of Bordering. Durham: Duke University Press.
Garelli, G. and Tazzioli, M. (2017). “Choucha beyond the Camp: Challenging the Border of Migration Studies.” In De Genova ed, The Borders of “Europe:” Autonomy of Migration, Tactics of Bordering. Durham: Duke University Press. 165–84.
Jones, R., & Johnson, C. (Eds.). (2014). Placing the border in everyday life. New York: Routledge.
Parker, N., & Vaughan-Williams, N. (2009). Lines in the sand? Towards an Agenda for Critical Border Studies. Geopolitics, 14(3), 582–587.
Rumford, C. (2006). Theorizing Borders. European Journal of Social Theory, 9(2), 155–169.


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Maggi Leung*, Utrecht University, Johanna L Waters, University College London, Move to learn, learn to move: cross-border schooling between Hong Kong and Mainland China 20 3:05 PM
Presenter Md Azmeary Ferdoush*, University of Hawaii - Manoa, Sovereign Overcompensation: (Re)making the border and citizens in the former enclaves of Bangladesh and India. 20 3:25 PM
Presenter Ayushman Bhagat*, University of Durham, Escape Mobilities: Re-thinking the Autonomy of Migration 20 3:45 PM
Presenter Ling-I Chu*, , In the Name of Taiwan: The Bordering of Nation/State in China’s Haixi Economic Zone 20 4:05 PM
Presenter Yeonhee Kim*, , The Division/ing Politics of Korea 20 4:25 PM

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