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Much is in a Name: Categorisations in Migration Policy and Management II 
Usman Mahar (University of St. Gallen)
Furrukh Khan (Lahore University of Management Sciences)
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Roger Norum (University of Oulu)
Melanie Griffiths (University of Birmingham)
Martin Sökefeld (LMU Munich)
Peter Froggatt Centre (PFC), 03/006A
Tuesday 26 July, -
Time zone: Europe/London

Short Abstract:

People are categorised for various reasons, with the aim of transformation, control, comprehension, organisation or assistance but not only. This panel wishes to critically examine the categorisations of migrants in migration policy and management to unpack contested categories and terms.

Long Abstract:

Despite the extensive analysis of different forms of mobility as interconnected and knotty, migration management and policy largely remain within the voluntary-forced framework along with other dichotomous models. Challenging and transforming these binary migration paradigms is no easy feat. Addressing the distinctions and similarities between the different normative, discursive, legal or administrative categorisations of migrants is fraught with dilemmas and requires critical discussions rather than broad-brush solutions. Discussions, for instance, that involve morally and politically charged questions of how the lived realities and experiences of "forced" migrants overlap and intersect with or differ from "voluntary" migrants: Some scholars point to the undermining of the international refugee framework by conflating "forced" and "voluntary" migration and the ensuing practical challenges. Others argue that the distinction between the two is at best crude and leads to a Sisyphean analytical differentiation between undeserving "economic" migrants and "real" asylum-seekers. Though not easily overcome, such impasses are addressed in scholarly reflections through the ethnographic descriptions of the complex lives of migrants at odds with the binary categorisations they are subject to. However, the practical stickiness of such dichotomous models is also a top-down phenomenon influenced by policymakers and legal practitioners. In that vein, migration scholars are invited to submit critical reflections and discussions on categorisations within migration policy and management approaches. Proposed papers should be based on ethnographic research and seek to further theoretical and methodological understanding of abstractions and categorisations of im/mobile people.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Tuesday 26 July, 2022, -