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This seminar series will address the change of tone, over the past decade or so, of critical approaches to international migration studies.

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The aim of this seminar series is to address the change of tone, over the past decade or so, of critical approaches to international migration studies. As a counterpoint to past structuralist approaches, research in the 1990s and 2000sfocused on agency, circulation and transnational relations. Even though those researches were partly underpinned by a postcolonial focus, they were characterised by their overall positive colouration, a celebration of migrants' abilities to bypass social and political determinisms. The form and focus of researchers’ critical stance seem to have shifted. A new generation of works is emerging, in the wake of a tightening of migration policies, the growing precariousness of actors’ legal status, or increasingly difficult conditions of migration routes. This change of focus has brought under closer scrutiny the dimensions of constrain and control present in the migratory process, i.e. the role of politics and power, economics and social structures in the shaping of practices and trajectories. At the same time, it makes it possible to question the notion of migrant agency under a new light, whether through the prism of transnationalism or the thought of autonomy. Admittedly, this paradigm shift is not specific to migration studies and regards social sciences as a whole. But, taking stock of past academic trends, this move is both more cautious and more reflexive. The reformulation of a critical perspective must take into account one major pitfall: remaining stuck on a “pendulum of critique” oscillating between determinism and fascination for agency.

NB: the sessions will be held in French and English


25/02, 3.00 - 4.30 pm (GMT): Critical epistemology of migration studies

Chair : Camille Schmoll

Michel Péraldi (CNRS/EHESS, IRIS)

Migrantologie : pour une épistémologie critique.

Andrea Rea (GERME, University of Bruxelles)

De quoi la sociologie des migrations est-elle le nom ?

18/03, 3.00 - 4.30 pm (GMT): Autonomy and the border

Chair : Thomas Lacroix

Camille Schmoll (EHESS)

Thinking autonomy in times of bordering. Variations on a concept

Nando Sigona (IRIS, University of Birmingham)

Borders and bordering in the age of immobility

29/04, 3.00 - 4.30 pm (GMT): Re-politicising the ‘Migration/Development’ Nexus

Chair: Thomas Lacroix

Loren Landau (ODID, University of Oxford) and Oliver Bakewell (University of Manchester):

Migration in development: a cuckoo in the nest?

Giulia Breda (URMIS/IC Migrations, University of Côte d’Azur, Nice)

A neoliberal understanding of the M&D nexus: methodological individualism and

depolitisation of international organisations’ discourse

06/05, 3.00 - 4.30 pm (GMT): Transnationalism: Nations and Diffusion beyond borders

Chair: Swanie Potot

Claire Zalc (IHMC, Paris) (tbc)

Saisir l’histoire globale par le transnational : le projet Lubartworld

Peggy Levitt and (Wellesley College and University of Harvard) and Andrea Siliunas

(University of Harvard)

Remaking Nations Through Diasporic Cultural Policies

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