Precarious status, migration governance and new geographies of mobility

Dr Nando Sigona, Birmingham FellowResearcher: Dr Nando Sigona

Date(s): 2013-2017


The primary aim of this programme of research is to develop ground-breaking comparative analysis on the interplay between forms and modes of contemporary political membership, migration governance, and politics of belonging through the in-depth examinations of a range of contemporary experiences of political and social membership. The analysis of case studies will focus primarily on three interlocked aspects: 

  • The position of the non-citizen in contemporary immigration and emigration states. The work will examine how immigration and emigration regimes, rights and access to public services create the conditions for differential inclusion of the non-citizen in the labour market and welfare system, and reconfigure spaces and vocabularies for political mobilization. 
  • The nexus between human mobility, immigration control, and citizenship. The work will shed light on the productive nature of borders and immigration enforcement practices, in particular the systematic use of deportation in relation to both configurations of non-citizenship and visions and models of citizenship. 
  • The tension in policy and practice between coexisting traditions and regimes of rights, in particular those nested in the nation state and its institutional apparatus, those available to all human beings by virtue of their shared humanity and increasingly institutionalized at international and national levels, and those based on de facto residence.

Key outputs

  • Legal status, rights and belonging: International symposia in collaboration with the University of Harvard and University of Oxford. 
  • ‘Ethnography, diversity and urban space’, special issue of Identities. Co-edited wit Mette Berg and Ben Gidley (forthcoming 2013) 
  • Impossible refugees: an ethnography of the ‘Gypsy problem’ in Italy (Berghahn, forthcoming 2014) 
  • Sans papiers: The social and economic lives of undocumented migrants (Pluto Press, forthcoming 2014). Co-authored with Alice Bloch and Roger Zetter