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Accepted Paper:

The homesteader and the migrant: ethics and mobility in post-soviet Latvia  
Dace Dzenovska (University of Oxford)

Paper short abstract:

This paper examines historically specific articulations of ethics and mobility in Latvia at the intersection of the Soviet past and the European present. On the basis of ethnographic research, it rethinks the analytical approaches used in contemporary inquiry of mobility.

Paper long abstract:

This paper examines articulations of ethics and mobility in Latvia. On the one hand, it considers how Soviet practices of population transfers contributed to the emergence of an ethical distinction between the rooted "homesteader" and uprooted "migrant." On the other hand, it considers how post-Soviet migratory routes to Western Europe and within Latvia, exacerbated by the current economic crisis, reconfigure this ethical distinction.

The paper argues that phenomena which are on occasion presumed to emerge from local histories and politics, such as the centrality of a "sedentarist metaphysics" for collective Latvian identity, are also the result of the political subjectivation through which Eastern Europe is integrated into "the West." Asking how these are constituted relationally, the paper does not take "sedentarist metaphysics" as a category devoid of mobility, but rather engages with it as a mode of mobility, one entailing a historically specific temporal and spatial configuration of movement.

Panel W001
A new virtue? Imaginaries and regimes of mobility across the globe
  Session 1