Transnationalism and work-life (im)mobilites in the UN system and beyond 
Linda Martina Mülli (University of Basel)
Ignacio Fradejas-García (University of Iceland)
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VG 3.107
Start time:
27 March, 2017 at 16:00 (UTC+0)
Session slots:

Short Abstract:

This panel addresses work and life in the UN context and other international bodies engaged in multilateral development, peace building and humanitarian aid. Following the agents´ perspectives, it explores organizational cultures and power relations between and within headquarters and field offices.

Long Abstract

More than 70 years passed since the foundation of the UN and the rise of multilateral development organizations. However, the knowledge about daily work and life in this particular transnational social field is still at a developing phase. This panel aims to grasp life and work of international civil servants and other international professionals, such as diplomats or experts, understanding them both as individuals as well as agents who play a crucial part in the field of international bodies´ activities.

Moreover, this transnational social field includes other less visible and more precarious workers, such as national and local staff, volunteers, consultants, interns and other service providers. Thus, the panel brings into focus the different forms of economic, social, cultural and symbolic capitals (Bourdieu 1990, 1984) and other valuable resources such as the mobility capital or motility (Kauffman et al., 2004) that are playing a differential role within the UN context and beyond.

Presenters are invited to address the following topics:

- International and local/national relations: cosmopolitism, bubbles, elitism, liminalities, inequalities, barriers and borders;

- Career paths, trajectories, itineraries, biographies;

- Field and headquarters intersections: habitus and capitals;

- Hiring practices and assessment processes;

- Life-work problematic: dwelling, home-land, m(p)aternity, family, security, ethical dilemmas, traumas, ambitions, harassment, gender relations, etc.;

- Transnational bureaucratic systems: hierarchy, power and decision-making;

- Reproduction of post-colonial settings and practices;

- Corruption, bribery;

- Analytic/practical categories of international bodies' workers;

- Forms of investigative anthropology, modes of studying up/through/across.

Accepted papers: