Border Externalization: Trajectories and future directions for the study of dis/un/re-placed borders

This panel will assess existing research on Border Externalization, from Anthropology and beyond, positing theoretical and methodological directions for future research. We encourage work that unpacks the concepts of "border" & "externalization", with particular regard to migration control

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Border externalization has become a prominent subset of Migration and Border Studies. The externalization of migration controls has been a fruitful avenue as a way of interrogating the validity of political borders and how they are implemented and experienced. In the European context, border displacement responded to processes that accompanied the 'Big Bang' enlargement and what seemed like the 'expansion' of EU borders and policy imperatives. Far from being a field limited to EU enlargement, border externalization has now become a central way in which the EU and its members interact with spaces understood as "outside", while at the same time dissolving clear distinction between an in/out. In the intervening two decades, the border has become a disciplinary crossroads between Anthropology, Human Geography, Political Science, Sociology and Law to name a few. Anthropologists and ethnographers in general have advanced key contributions such as how is an externalized border lived, and in what ways such institutional cultures normalize a restrictive understanding of human mobility.

This panel seeks to critically assess how researchers have understood externalization and posit potential theoretical and methodological tools for new research. This panel deepens the study of border externalization by engaging:

  • Ethnographies of externalized migration control practices
  • Historical analysis, including the colonial past, of border externalization
  • Geo-political analysis beyond state- and Euro-centric approaches toward border externalization
  • Discourses of exclusion/inclusion in externalized spaces
  • Border thinking and border ontologies

The panel will take place within the next EASA (European Association of Social Anthropologists) conference in Lisbon, 21-24 July 2020:
Convenors: Maribel Casas-Cortés, Sebastian Cobarrubias and Paolo Cuttitta
Chair: Ruben Andersson
Discussant: Sabine Hess
Paper proposals can be submitted here:
Deadline: 20 January 2020.