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Call for Papers: Deportation as Friction

Call for papers ‘Deportation as friction’

Panel at the Second Transmobilities & Development Conference: Friction in a mobile world, Radboud University, Nijmegen, 8-9 June, 2017

Panel organizers: Nauja Kleist, Danish Institute for International Studies, & Heike Drotbohm, Department of Anthropology and African Studies, University of Mainz,

Deportation has become an increasingly utilized migration management instrument, aiming at deterring migration, expelling unwanted aliens and signaling a given state’s tough stand on immigration to domestic constituencies. This panel has its objective to examine the implications of deportation for deportees and the institutions and states engaged in deportation, with particular focus on the interactions and connections occurring between them. We thereby wish to study deportation as friction, understood as precarious and disrupted interconnections (Tsing 2005) in a situation characterized by stratified globalization, a diversification of migration industries (Gammeltoft-Hansen and Sørensen 2013) and restrictive mobility regimes.

To illuminate these perspectives, we call for papers focusing on how different actors practice, govern and perceive deportation at different moments and locations along the so-called ‘deportation corridor’ (Drotbohm & Hasselberg 2015), which covers different places, actors and institution. We are particularly interested in presentations that tackle the diverse and conflicting social interactions between deportees and their social networks, institutions, entrepreneurs, laws and technologies that are part and parcel of the forceful route of involuntary return. These include:

  • Deportability: How do authorities govern, practice and stage deportability (Peutz and Genova 2010)
  • the constant but not necessarily realized threat of deportation ? Which impact has the condition of deportability on migrants and their perception of (im-)mobility and (potential) transnational life worlds? How do they respond to institutional requirements and constraints?
  • Detention: what migration industries emerge and are involved in detention? Which technologies do they employ and what kinds of subjects do they (attempt to) create? How do detainees interact and differentiate themselves under this condition of institutional constraint?
  • Removal: What types of institutions and migration industries are involved in different types of removal processes? What materialities and technologies of constraint, escort, communication and transportation do they employ? What are the interactions between deporting agents and deportees?
  • Post-deportation: Which institutional interactions and frameworks do deportees face or approach after their deportation? How is their deportation perceived and managed by authorities and national or local institutions? What is the role of transnational practices and networks after deportation?


Please send a maximum 200 word abstract to both of us by April 7 at and We will select abstracts no later than April 24.

Please note that participation in the workshop is free but participants have to cover their own expenses.