Experiencing (in)securities

Friday 3 March 2017, University of Leeds

 

Please scroll down for a finalised programme, speaker abstracts, and travel and accommodation information

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9:30 – 10:00
Registration, refreshments and opening remarks by workshop organisers, Garstang Building, Level 7 Foyer

10:00 – 11:30
Session 1: Productions and Lived Experiences of (In)security, Garstang Building, Level 8, Room 2

Chair: Philippe Frowd, Department of Politics, University of York

Dora-Olivia Vicol, University of Oxford
Inconspicuous Insecurities: The Traps of Self-Employment

Katucha R. Bento, University of Leeds
Politics of “Othering” towards Black Brazilian Women in the British Context: Addressing Intersectional Oppressions in British Institutions

Dr. Kate Botterill*, Edinburgh Napier University
Youth Mobility and Everyday (In)securities: Pre-emptive and Pro-active Strategies in Defence of Ontological Security

*presenting author, paper co-authored by Kate Botterill, Peter Hopkins (Newcastle University), Gurchathen Sanghera (University of St Andrews)

Dr. Kate Smith, University of Huddersfield
New and Enduring Vulnerabilities – Rethinking Stories about the ‘Refugee’

11:45 – 12:45
Keynote: Dr. Nando Sigona, University of Birmingham
Navigating the Central Mediterranean: Experiences, Discourses and Responses
Garstang Building, Level 8, Seminar Room 2

12:45 – 13:30
Lunch
Garstang Building, Level 7, Seminar Room 1 and Foyer

13:30 – 15:00
Session 2: The State, Securitization, Welfare and Resistance
Garstang Building, Level 8, Seminar Room 2

Chair: Hannah Lewis, Sociological Studies, University of Sheffield

Amanda Da Silva, Université de Liège
The Borders of Nord-Pas-de-de Calais: a Study on Securitization of Immigration in France

Dr. Andrew Burridge, University of Exeter
‘Signing on’ with the UK Home Office: Reporting as a Site of Anxiety, Detention and Solidarity

Dr. Roxana Barbulesca, University of Leeds
Other Whites: The Categorisation of Migrant Populations and its Implications with Reference to Central and Eastern Europeans in Europe and UK

Gwyneth Lonergan, University of Manchester
Resistance, Subversion, or Capitulation: Migrants’ experience of Social Insecurity, and Third Sector Responses

15:00 – 15:15
Afternoon Tea and Coffee Break
Garstang Level 7, Foyer

15:15 – 16:45
Workshop: Fragments and Reflections on Methodological Challenges and Ways Forward
Garstang Building, Level 8

In this workshop contributors will share a fragment (a single item, be it an image, video, audio, archival material, physical object or some other thing) from their research as the lead in to break out discussion and reflection on the methodological challenges and possible ways forward in researching migrant (in)securities.

Contributions from:

Dr. Simon Parker – Politics, University of York

Prof. Maggie O’Neill – Sociology, University of York

Prof. Adrian Favell – Sociology and Social Policy, University of        Leeds

Dr. Gabriella Alberti – LUBS, University of Leeds                  

16:45 – 17:00
Closing Remarks with Deirdre Conlon (Geography, University of Leeds) and Alex Hall (Politics, University of York)

 

Abstracts and Delegate Information

 

Keynote:


Dr Nando Sigona, Senior Lecturer and Deputy Director of the Institute of Research into Superdiversity at the University of Birmingham

Navigating the Central Mediterranean: Experience, Discourse and Responses

Two broadly accepted assumptions seem to inform European public/policy discourse and understanding of boat migration across the Central Mediterranean, namely:  boat migrants are mostly economic migrants and therefore ‘illegal’. Everyone moving across Africa wants to go to Europe from the start of their journey. The former tends to juxtapose the Central Mediterranean route to the Aegean one which, the discourse goes, instead is mostly used by ‘genuine’ refugees. The latter systematically underestimates the significance of intra-African mobility. Drawing on research carried out as part of the ESRC-funded MEDMIG project, in particular 202 interviews with newly arrived boat migrants and 55 stakeholders in Italy, the paper questions the validity of such assumptions and shows how both assumptions (mis)inform policy responses both on arrival, en route and post-arrival.

Panel Papers:

Dora-Olivia Vicol, PRS Doctoral Researcher in the Centre on Migration, Policy and Society at the University of Oxford

Inconspicuous Insecurities: The Traps of Self-Employment

This presentation draws on fieldwork with Romanians in the UK, to examine the insecurities which emerge from the legally grey space of self-employment. Originally designed for business owners, self-employment is a status which allows one to control when, where and who to labour for, yet it interrupts access to all employment rights, and it articulates a bureaucratic burden of self-accountancy. The immigration controls which limited Romanian migrants’ entry to the British labour market until 2014, and the wider casualisation of labour in the industries most populated by migrants, have made self-employment the default status of the poorest EEA citizens. For those coming from rural areas, accustomed to working either as employees, where bureaucracy is the duty of the boss, or as subsistence farmers, without any formalities, becoming the legal-subject of self-employment in the UK is a veritable obstacle course. The presentation focuses on the ambivalence of the strategies migrants find to circumvent this paradoxical bureaucracy of autonomous work. I draw attention to the unexpected, inconspicuous insecurities encountered by those who appear to enjoy the privilege of free movement, yet who find themselves relegated to a precarity engendered systematically, through legislation which transfers social protection from the state, onto individual workers.

 

Dr Roxana Barbulesca, University Academic Fellow in New Migrations in UK and Europe, School of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Leeds

Other Whites: The Categorisation of Migrant Populations and its Implications with Reference to Central and Eastern Europeans in Europe and UK

A decade on since the Central and Eastern European countries joined the EU and they gained freedom of movement rights, the equality promise enshrined into the EU citizenship has collapsed. Central and Eastern Europeans have been targeted by individual EU Member States when exploring possibilities of deportation of EU citizens in particularly for Roma people (Italy 2008 and France 2010) and when discussing restrictions to welfare rights. Central and Eastern Europeans also featured prominently in the debate leading to the EU referendum and the Brexit vote in UK. This paper reviews the episodes in which CEE migrants were categorised separately from other Europeans and discusses the implications of this categorisation.

 

Dr Kate Botterill, Lecturer in Human Geography, Edinburgh Napier University

Youth Mobility and Everyday (In)securities: Pre-emptive and Pro-active Strategies in Defence of Ontological Security

This paper uses a framework of ‘ontological security’ to discuss the psycho-social strategies employed by young migrants and refugees to ‘securitize the self’ (Kinnvall, 2004). We argue that there is an everyday geopolitics of security for young migrants and refugees where broad discourses of securitization are present in the risks and threats of everyday encounters with others. In response and as resistance young people employ pre-emptive and pro-active strategies to preserve ontological security that are relational and intersectional. Yet, these strategies are fraught with ambivalence and contradiction as young people withdraw from social worlds or revert to essentialist positions when negotiating complex fears and anxieties. The paper uses data from an AHRC study on ‘young people’s everyday geopolitics in Scotland’ to present a multi-scalar empirical analysis of the everyday securities of young migrants and refugees. A broader aim of the paper is to advance a social geography of security and connecting debates in critical geopolitics, political psychology and the social geographies of young people, specifically work that focuses upon young people’s negotiations of racialized, gendered and religious landscapes.

 

Dr Kate Smith, Research Fellow in the Centre for Applied Childhood, Youth and Family Research, University of Huddersfield

New and Enduring Vulnerabilities – Rethinking Stories about the ‘Refugee’

This paper will discuss some of the new and enduring narratives of vulnerability in relation to ‘the refugee’. Forced displacement across the world increased dramatically in 2015 with record-high numbers, however, the right to asylum has been undermined by varying and diametric responses at a European Union, nation-state and personal level. For decades, restrictive borders, directed toward managing the flow of refugees coming into neoliberal democracies, have become a defining feature of contemporary narratives, immigration policy and social order. The stories of violence, forced displacement, global inequalities and injustices have been largely hidden from European publics. With a growing awareness of the rising number of people seeking safety in Europe (and despite an absence of major increase in numbers of refugees in the UK) the UK Home Secretary took a unilateral approach and set-up the ‘Syrian Vulnerable Person Resettlement Programme’. Providing a route for selected Syrian refugees to come to the UK, this Programme stands in stark contrast to the existing asylum provision and exemplifies the latest hierarchy of rights and entitlements to emerge for refugees. Increasingly, new and enduring narratives of ‘vulnerability’ are used to highlight clear distinctions between people who are deemed to ‘deserve’ protection and those who do not. Narrowing the protection space for refugees, ‘the vulnerable’ have become a marker for the brave new world of refugee policy.

 

Amanda Da Silva, PhD Candidate in Political and Social Sciences, Centre d’Etudes de l’Ethnicité et des Migrations (CEDEM), Université de Liège

The Borders of Nord-Pas-de-de Calais: a Study on Securitization of Immigration in France

This research aims to analyze the migration policies of France through the prism of the securitization of immigration theory. This theoretical current comes from the school of critical security studies, and has as central concepts security, speech acts, borders and boundaries. The securitization observes that immigration is conceptualized as a source of insecurity for the political community. In this sense borders and social boundaries are erected to protect the political community, and political speeches (anti-immigration) and migration policies (more restrictive) are convergent. The borders have an inclusion and exclusion function which together perform a complex dialogue, figuring an ambivalence, because they are spaces of exclusion and contact between groups. In this sense, “cultural boundaries” are constructed and transmitted as groups identities, and are constantly redefined to limit territorial and social ambiguities. The French immigration and integration policies are guided by universalist republican model. The nature of this model provides a structural problem for implementing policies for minorities, that along with political speeches, against immigration, provided the increase in nationalism. There is a facility to convert the refugees into a source of insecurity due to the competition between human security and national security. The refugees are in the gray zone of migration policies, where the concept can be easily manipulated, and the criteria for granting refugee status may be contested. The field research on the situation of refugees in Nord-Pas-de-Calais demonstrates that the dialectic between the concepts of refugee, illegal immigrant and sans-papiers contributes for the permanence of insecurity and confinement of refugees between the borders, which France and United Kingdom are implicated. This research reveals an absence of welcome policies, where refugees are at the mercy of the illegal immigration market and police violence. And because they are excluded from society, they depends permanently of citizens charity.

 

Dr Andrew Burridge, Associate Research Fellow, Department of Geography, University of Exeter

‘Signing on’ with the UK Home Office: Reporting as a Site of Anxiety, Detention and Solidarity

Asylum seekers awaiting a decision on their application to remain in the UK are typically required to report to the UK Visas and Immigration Agency (UKVI; formerly UK Border Agency) on a regular basis. Reporting centres are located within existing Home Office buildings, or at local police stations where UKVI officials will set up temporarily. This is a moment of exceptional anxiety and difficulty for those who are awaiting a decision. The threat of detention and removal is constant during this time, but particularly at the moment of reporting, a technology deployed by the Home Office to bring asylum seekers to them, rather than conduct increasingly unpopular home raids. This research sets out to map these sites of detention that have been overlooked within critical studies of carceral space: at both Home Office and police reporting locations Short Term Holding Facilities (STHFs) are used to detain persons before transfer to removal (detention) centres elsewhere in the UK. For those supporting asylum seekers, this can also be a crucial moment for advocacy before they are transferred. To date there is no publicly available information providing an overall picture of the landscape of STHFs used for immigration and asylum reporting.

 

Katucha R. Bento, PhD Researcher, Centre for Ethnicity and Racism Studies (CERS), School of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Leeds

Politics of “Othering” towards Black Brazilian Women in the British Context: Addressing Intersectional Oppressions in British Institutions

This paper proposal is part of my PhD research on emotions of Black Brazilian women in their Diasporic experience in the United Kingdom (UK). My research is situated in the context Critical Race Studies, Black Feminism, Post and Decolonial movement/thought drawing on the emotional aspect of these Black Brazilian women in the identifications of race, gender, class and nationality they are establishing within the British context and how their ways to find homes and belongings make them feel in the settings where they live. The aspects in which racialisation politics are constructed, enacted and performed in a British and Brazilian negotiation of “Othering” in the UK context are explored through a Black Feminist ethnography with Black Brazilian women. Our one-to-one conversations during the fieldwork is what allows me to explore in depth the narratives of the everyday life in the Diaspora. For this particular paper I aim to discuss how affect economies impact in these women’s emotional perception of their experiences by using our conversations on State apparatuses’ (such as hospitals, schools, the institutionalised use of force -police-, and Welfare Centre) failure in understanding these racialised migrants’ needs and vulnerabilities in order to provide care and assistance. The frame in which power works in the British context affect Black Brazilian women with violence and discrimination, not considered valid by such institutions. In order to organise this discussion, I understand the feelings of insecurity conveying with the articulations of class, gender, language and nationality that are part of the harm suffered through institutionalised actions.

 

Gwyneth Lonergan, PhD Researcher, Department of Sociology, University of Manchester

Resistance, Subversion, or Capitulation: Migrants’ experience of Social Insecurity, and Third Sector Responses

A great deal has been written regarding the dilemmas facing third sector institutions that step in to provide services in the wake of welfare state retrenchment. On the one hand, it can be argued that these institutions are providing badly needed services upon which vulnerable people depend (Williams, Cloke & Thomas, 2012). On the other hand, especially post-austerity, these institutions are providing welfare state services at no cost to the government, arguably insulating the government, and the more affluent members of the public, from the consequences of service cuts (c.f. Castañeda, 2013). In this paper, I will look at this dilemma specifically as it pertains to migrant women’s experiences of welfare state retrenchment, and civil society responses. Drawing on PhD fieldwork, I will explore how migrant women organise, among themselves and with support from the third sector, to resist exclusion from social citizenship.  I will examine the complicated negotiations these women make with dominant discourses and policies around citizenship and austerity, highlighting how their activities may simultaneously resist and reinscribe narratives around neoliberal citizenship and the role of the state.

Travel and Accommodation

If walking from Leeds train station the fastest route to the School of Geography is via the Willow Terrace entrance, walk around the ‘waterside’ (blue body of water on map), up ramp past Roger Stevens building and cut across the Chancellor’s Garden to Garstang (#90 on the map).

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We can recommend the following hotels in Leeds to delegates and attendees:

Storm Jameson
<http://dev.meetinleeds.co.uk.gridhosted.co.uk/short-breaks-at-university-of-leeds/>

Located on University of Leeds campus
Very limited availability
£40+

Ibis
<http://www.ibis.com/gb/hotel-3652-ibis-leeds-centre/index.shtml>
(Marlborough Street)
Short taxi ride to University or 15 minute walk
£40+

Queens Hotel
<https://www.qhotels.co.uk/our-locations/the-queens/?gclid=CjwKEAiAlZDFBRCKncm67qihiHwSJABtoNIgc_QjISEGnuF51py8p3cQ1GpvTppi9Iqz05ij0lPGfxoC58Xw_wcB>
Located at train station
Short taxi ride to University or 20 minute walk
£70+

The Met Hotel
<https://www.hotelmetleeds.co.uk/partner/leeds-met-hotel/?gclid=CjwKEAiAlZDFBRCKncm67qihiHwSJABtoNIgqoPdi4mh439mqlHOIDQc_9K2vfVU1fm-KCNLzIfKPhoCHWnw_wcB>
Located near the train station
Short taxi ride to University or 15 minute walk
£70+

Novotel
<http://www.novotel.com/gb/hotel-3270-novotel-leeds-centre/index.shtml>
Short taxi ride or 20 minute walk
Close to city centre and train station
£60+

If you’d like more information about travel and accommodation in Leeds, please get in touch with Emma Sanderson at the School of Geography, University of Leeds at e.g.sanderson@leeds.ac.uk