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Irregular migration and the politics of (in)visibility

Citizenship
Migration
Public Policy
Knowledge
Political Sociology
Immigration
Refugee
PRA270
Albert Kraler
University for Continuing Education Krems - Danube University Krems
Julia Mourão Permoser
University of Vienna

Building: A - Faculty of Law, Floor: 3, Room: 347

Tuesday 08:30 - 10:15 CEST (05/09/2023)

Abstract

While categorisations into ‘lawfully’ and ‘unlawfully’ resident, ‘regular’ and ‘irregular’. ‘documented’ and ’undocumented’ migrants are part of modern states’ practices of making populations ‘legible’ and thus subject to acts of governance (Scott, 1998), such categorisations are also deeply ambivalent, as those classified as ‘irregular’, ‘undocumented’ or ‘clandestine’ are not necessarily easily identifiable, countable and indeed governable. Irregular migrants are in a sense ‘less legible’, as irregular migrants’ identity remains in the shadows and key features of the irregular migrant population remain unknown. Irregular migrants thus are elusive subjects of governance (Boswell/ Badenhoop, 2020). At the same time, irregular migrants are at times also hypervisible – migrants rescued at sea are a case in point, while those subject to illegal push-backs operations are again a consciously hidden category. A third dimension of (in)visibility concerns the (in)visibilisation of particular aspects of an individual’s situation (such as vulnerability or family links to legal residents) employed, for example, in contestations of deportations. A further dimension is the relationship between (in)visibility and access to fundamental rights: often it is only wilful ignorance and a ‘don’t ask/don’t tell’ approach that enables irregular migrants to access basic rights – so-called firewall policies represent the most formalised version of such an approach. This panel seeks to unpack these different dimensions and the politics of (in)visibilisation and (in)visibility in the context of irregular migration and addresses conceptual, theoretical and empirical dimensions.

Title Details
Institutional contexts of the conditions of irregular migrants in Europe: A theoretical analysis View Paper Details
The Use of Data on Irregular Migration in Policymaking View Paper Details
Invisible refugees: Sense of self and agency in the Nakivale Refugee Settlement (Uganda) View Paper Details
Politics of (In)visibility and Fragmented Refugee Governance: Experiences of the Rohingya Refugee Community Across India View Paper Details
The moral economy of migrants’ invisibility: why certain migrants are tolerated and regularised, while others are rejected and persecuted View Paper Details