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P345


Calculating migration 
Convenors:
Fredy Mora Gamez (University of Vienna)
Karin Krifors (REMESO Ethnic and Migration Studies)
Stoyanka Andreeva Eneva (Linköping University)
Silvan Pollozek (European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder))
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Format :
Traditional Open Panel

Short Abstract:

We explore the calculation of migrant mobility in times of datafication and ask how calculatory practices and technologies transform the ways of how migrant mobilities are described, analysed, and governed. At the same time, we seek to situate, contextualise and historicise calculating migration.

Long Abstract:

In recent years, research at the intersection of STS and critical migration/border/security studies has explored the extensive datafication of “migration management”, border control and asylum. Databases, algorithms, AI, and different technologies collect and process many different types of (meta)data, for instance about people, migratory phenomena, and mobility patterns. Through calculation, people are turned into cohorts and populations with different characteristics, "risks" and "threats" predicted, migratory "routes" and "flows" assessed, or relocation patterns calculated.

In this panel, we explore the calculation of migrant mobility in times of extensive datafication and ask how calculatory practices and technologies transform the ways of how migrant mobilities are described, analysed, and governed. At the same time, we seek to situate, contextualise and historicise calculating migration. First, calculating migration comes in many different forms and therefore requires an analysis that is attentive to the interplay of high- and low-tech technologies as well as to the heterogeneity and idiosyncrasies of practices, methods, and institutions. Second, calculating migration is related to politics and contestation, as not only "migration and border management" actors craft numbers, facts and narratives but also humanitarian aid, civil search and rescue, border violence mapping and other initiatives. Third, practices and technologies of calculating migration have a long history of exclusion, colonialism, racism, and violence and thus require a "history of the presence".

We invite contributions that study, compare, historicise, and contextualise the calculation of migrant mobilities, among other things, in the following ways:

- classification systems and standards producing calculable entities

- methods, devices and media of calculation that aggregate, rank and qualify

- socio-technical practices and tacit knowledge of making numbers

- politics and contestations of calculations

- low-and high-tech technologies

- racialising effects of calculating technologies/practices

- (neo)colonial genealogies of calculating technologies/practices

- (alternative) calculations in/by communities of people on the move