MMB Blog

Welcome to the MMB blog. We publish posts fortnightly by members of MMB and our close collaborators that are based on their research ideas, projects and publications.

From time to time we also incorporate a special series. In recent years these have included ‘Migration, Mobilities and the Environment’, co-edited with the Cabot Institute for the Environment, ‘Letter from Afar’, in which researchers across the world told us about their experience of doing research in extraordinary times, and ‘Race, Nation and Migration’, which provided a rethink of the relationship between movement and racism. We also have ongoing series that bring together posts on particular themes, such as Policy, Politics and Practice, and New Writing on Migration and Mobilities. We run a separate blog on the MMB Latin America website with contributors from researchers across the region as well as from Bristol. Meanwhile, posts about the COVID-19 pandemic are collected on our dedicated COVID-19 page.

Published blogs:

  • Bad cases make bad law: the unintended consequences of denaturalising bad guys
    By Colin Yeo. The power to denaturalise a British subject on the basis of their behaviour was first introduced by legislation in 1918. With some adjustments, the power remained broadly the same until as late as 2002. Essentially, only a person who had naturalised as British could be stripped of their citizenship and the main […]
  • Borderscapes: policing within
    The fourth in our series of blogposts exploring the material and symbolic infrastructure of border regimes in the port city of Calais. By Victoria Hattam. Governments around the globe have been building border walls for decades: Calais is no exception. At least since the Touquet Treaty, the UK government has helped fund the securitization of […]
  • The ethics of mapping migrant violence through Mexico
    By Sylvanna Falcón. From October 2021 through to May 2022 undergraduate students from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and the University of California, Berkeley, participated in a human rights investigation with Human Rights First (HRF) and El Instituto para las Mujeres en la Migración, AC (IMUMI, The Institute for Migration of Women). Under the […]
  • From Bristol to Brasilia: collaborating on migration and mobilities research
    By Anamaria Fonsêca. In April this year I visited the University of Brasilia (UnB), Brazil, with Professor Foluke Adebisi from the Bristol Law School to take part in a series of lectures organised by the postgraduate programmes in Law and in Human Rights. I have been collaborating with UnB’s Research Group on International Private Law, […]
  • Expatriate: why we need to study migration categories
    New writing on migration and mobilities – an MMB special series By Sarah Kunz. My new book Expatriate: Following a Migration Category explores the postcolonial history and politics of the category expatriate. It asks what expatriate has been taken to mean in different places and times. How has it been employed and shaped by political […]
  • Roots and routes: debating indigenous rights in twentieth-century Latin America
    New writing on migration and mobilities – an MMB special series By Jo Crow. My recent book Itinerant Ideas (2022) explores the multiple meanings and languages of indigeneity (Merlan, 2009) circulating across borders in early twentieth-century Latin America. It takes readers through an extensive visual and written representational repertoire to show how ideas about indigenous […]
  • Time and (im)mobility in Calais’ borderlands
    The third in our series of blogposts exploring the material and symbolic infrastructure of border regimes in the port city of Calais. By Juan Zhang. At the Dover border crossing I sat in the backseat in silence waiting for questions from the immigration officer inspecting the four passports we handed over together as a group. […]
  • Notes from a visit to Calais
    A video blogpost from our series exploring the material and symbolic infrastructure of border regimes in the port city of Calais. By Nariman Massoumi. Nariman Massoumi is a Senior Lecturer in Film and Television at the Department of Film and Television, University of Bristol, and Co-ordinator of the MMB Research Challenge Representation, Belonging, Futures. His filmmaking […]
  • ‘I’ll see you on the other side’: migrant journeys and the (re)formation of diasporic identities
    By Leah Simmons Wood. The poetry of Warsan Shire – a Kenya born, UK raised and US based second generation migrant of Somali origin – addresses the topic of journeys. She often deliberately fails to clarify the point of departure and of arrival. In this way, she centres journeys at the heart of the migration […]
  • Breaching two worlds: seeing through borders in Calais
    The first of four MMB blogposts exploring the material and symbolic infrastructure of border regimes in the port city of Calais. By Bridget Anderson. As we walked around Calais, one of the group remarked ‘It’s just like The City & the City!’ She was spot on. In his novel The City & the City (2009), […]
  • Imperial denaturalisation: towards an end to empire
    By Colin Yeo. As the British empire gradually remodelled itself into a British nation state over the course of the twentieth century, it was inevitable that problems would arise. There was no masterplan or strategy on how to achieve change and successive governments tended to react rather than plan. Nowhere was this more evident than […]
  • The other side of Partition: tracing Bengal and Bangladesh’s (post-)Partition legacy
    By Nazia Hussein and Anushka Chaudhuri. Since its June 2022 release the Disney Plus series Ms Marvel has brought the conversation around the creation of Independent India and Pakistan – commonly dubbed as ‘Partition’ – to the mainstream. The series has been applauded for introducing the first Muslim superheroine and narratives of the Partition – […]
  • What fosters a sense of belonging? Refugee voices in Germany
    By Emily LeRoux-Rutledge. My children are new in Germany like those two flowers. I want my children to be allowed to stay in Germany…. We build something up. We are like LEGO, block by block. These photographs and words belong to Liam* — a young man who made his way to Germany in the midst […]
  • Disablement and resistance in the British immigration system
    By Rebecca Yeo. The distinction between deserving and undeserving individuals has always been core to immigration policy in the UK. However, the hostility and restrictions directed at those framed as ‘undeserving’ has steadily increased. The recently introduced Illegal Migration Bill takes these restrictions to a new level to include detaining and preventing new arrivals from […]
  • Many Turkish people in Europe are worse off than those who stayed at home
    New writing on migration and mobilities – an MMB special series By Şebnem Eroğlu. Many people migrate to another country to earn a decent income and to attain a better standard of living. But my recent research shows that across all destinations and generations studied, many migrants from Turkey to European countries are financially worse off than those who stayed […]
  • Asylum and extraction in the Republic of Nauru
    New writing on migration and mobilities – an MMB special series By Julia Morris. My book, Asylum and Extraction in the Republic of Nauru (2023), looks at the impacts of outsourcing asylum to the world’s smallest island nation. The Pacific Island of Nauru was almost entirely economically dependent on the phosphate industry in the twentieth century. […]
  • Access to healthcare: human right or civil liberty?
    By Ella Barclay. A right to health is enshrined in many international agreements, indicating the perceived importance of wellness and accessible healthcare for the development and flourishing of individuals (UDHR, Art. 25:1; ICESCR, Art. 12.1; CEDAW, 12:1; CRC, Art. 24:1). Despite this, one of the main sites of immigration control targeted within the UK’s ‘hostile […]
  • ‘An asylum ban’: why the Illegal Migration Bill must be stopped
    By Bridget Anderson. The Athenian Laws introduced by Draco c. 621 BCE were said to be written not in ink but blood. This government’s Illegal Migration Bill currently going through the UK Parliament, is draconian. It is aimed at people who arrive irregularly – people who the government calls ‘illegal migrants’, but who might better […]
  • The ‘Rwanda Solution’: using Australia’s playbook
    By Juan Zhang. On 19th March, 2023, British Home Secretary Suella Braverman caused yet another controversy during her two-day visit to Kigali, Rwanda, with a photo of her laughing at the building site of future housing intended for asylum seekers to be deported from the UK to Rwanda. This visit drew new criticism from both […]
  • No Recourse to Public Funds: The Big Issue tackles vulnerability to NRPF in Bristol
    By Paula Gombos. The Big Issue is a street magazine founded 30 years ago that tackles homelessness and social exclusion in the UK. It also supports individuals to earn an income by selling the magazine, and there are more than 50 active sellers in Bristol. A significant proportion of these vendors are Romanian Roma, many […]
  • The violence of postcolonial border making
    By Maya Goodfellow. In June 2022 Maya Goodfellow was the discussant for our public lecture ‘Are immigration controls racist? Lessons from history’ by Nandita Sharma. Here we publish her response to Nandita’s lecture. On the evening of 27th June 2022, they were found on a sideroad in Texas. Fifty-three people in the back of a […]
  • Filmmaking from my father’s memories
    By Nariman Massoumi. I never talked to my father about his experience of arriving in the UK until I made a film about it. Baba 1989 is about his memories of arrival following four years of separation from me, my mother and siblings. We left Iran as refugees in 1985 during the Iran–Iraq war and […]
  • Working with the Colombian Truth Commission on illegal drug economies
    By Mary Ryder. In June 2022 the Colombian Commission for the Clarification of Truth, Coexistence and Non-Repetition launched its final report, Hay Futuro Si Hay Verdad: Hallazgos y Recomendaciones (There is a Future if There is Truth: Findings and Recommendations). This was the culmination of three and half years of work investigating the causes and […]
  • Looking back to ‘The Postcolonial Age of Migration’: a post-pandemic view
    New writing on migration and mobilities – an MMB special series By Ranabir Samaddar. My book The Postcolonial Age of Migration was published in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic raged in India and elsewhere. Global mobility had screeched to a halt, as had mobility within India. Locked down in my house when I received a copy, […]
  • Bad intentions: the UK government and migrants
    By Ryan Lutz. At the MMB postgraduate workshop in July, ‘How Not to Think Like a State,’ visiting scholar Nandita Sharma talked to us about the throughlines of her research. One of these, in particular, gripped me: ‘Anti-immigrant sentiments,’ she said, ‘are used as the basis for fascism.’ I am a migrant PhD student in […]
  • Researching Western privilege in Dubai: a conversation with Saba A. Le Renard
    New writing on migration and mobilities – an MMB special series This is an edited version of an interview with Saba A. Le Renard in Jadaliyya* about their recent book Western Privilege. Work, Intimacy, and Postcolonial Hierarchies in Dubai (Stanford University Press, 2021). Jadaliyya (J): What made you write the book? Saba A. Le Renard (SLR): When I was […]
  • Researching best practice in supporting refugee and migrant entrepreneurs
    By Udeni Salmon and Ann Singleton. Since January 2021 the University of Bristol has been collaborating with ACH in a research project to bring about social and economic change for refugees and migrants in the UK’s South West and West Midlands. ACH is a social enterprise that works to empower these groups to lead self-sufficient […]
  • ‘African Apocalypse’: the imperial violence behind today’s migration
    By Bridget Anderson. ‘What angers me most is he chased away our grandparents… and now we have no food. Every child we bring into the world suffers. They must leave to find work and food for us. Some kids never come home. We just get news of their death. So you can see why we […]
  • The bifurcated migration lexicon and trend-defying trajectories
    New writing on migration and mobilities – an MMB special series By Rose Jaji. The migration lexicon has consolidated itself around an either/or rather than both-and schematic in which categories resulting from a binary classification of regions and countries have acquired unquestioned normativity. This normativity is evident in what can be termed a regionalised division of […]
  • Race and nation in an era of postcolonialism: notes from a Bristol Benjamin Meaker Professorship
    By Bridget Anderson. In June–July 2022 we were delighted to host Professor Nandita Sharma from the University of Hawai’i as a Bristol Benjamin Meaker Distinguished Visiting Professor. It was a productive month for MMB as we kept her busy with a range of events that got us all thinking more about postcolonial nationalist ideologies, decentring […]
  • Religious encounter and identity formation among international students  
    By Lin Ma. Studies of religion and migration tend to focus on how faith and beliefs travel with migrants, especially in the case of religions that are purposefully spread by their adherents. However, the story differs with my recent doctoral research on identities of Chinese international students who explore or convert to biblical evangelicalism in […]
  • Institutional encounters by non-citizens in the Nordic welfare state – a dialogue
    By Valter Sandell-Maury and Liselott Sundbäck. How is access to the Nordic welfare state services navigated and negotiated by non-citizens? What is the role of social workers and other street-level bureaucrats when delivering these services? As two PhD students exploring the contemporary welfare state regimes in Finland and Sweden, we ask how migration policy is […]
  • Engaging with visions of mobilities within the landscape of risk
    Special series on Migration, Mobilities and the Environment, in association with the Cabot Institute for the Environment. By Thomas O’Shea. When describing the commercial port land of Felixstowe (fig. 1) as a ‘nerve ganglion of capitalism’, a proto-nostalgic horizon ‘blighted by cargo ships’, Mark Fisher (2006) was describing a vision of the natural’s collision course […]
  • Thinking about the positive value of free movement
    By Chris Bertram. One of the consequences of Brexit is that British people are more limited in their freedom of movement. Whereas previously they could travel, work, retire, settle in other European countries, today the default is that they can only visit the Schengen area for 90 days in any 180-day period and lack rights […]
  • Migrants and miners: gender, age and precarious labour in a Tajik resource extractive landscape
    Special series on Migration, Mobilities and the Environment, in association with the Cabot Institute for the Environment. By Negar Elodie Behzadi. Migration is both gendered and aged. It is also deeply tied to the emergence of new extractive landscapes around the world, marked by extractive frontiers pushing into already stressed and fragile environments.  The story […]
  • Linking up public policy and research: the case of migration
    By David Jepson From the Policy, Politics and Practice blog series How do public policy interventions come about and how are they delivered? What are the respective roles of researchers and those who design and deliver programmes including politicians, public officials, civic society and the media? I have thought about these questions for decades and […]
  • What protections are available to people displaced by climate change?
    Special series on Migration, Mobilities and the Environment, in association with the Cabot Institute for the Environment. By Kathryn Allinson. Climate change will impact all our lives in the coming years and many people will experience extreme events due to climate  change resulting in displacement, both internally and across international borders. This has become the […]
  • Organising against fear: migrant nannies and domestic workers during COVID
    New writing on migration and mobilities – an MMB special series By Maud Perrier Migrant nannies and domestic workers were largely absent from mainstream feminist commentary during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as from public discussion of childcare. In the UK broadsheets, most of the media coverage of the childcare crisis during this time was dominated […]
  • Eurofisch: hyper-mobility, cosmopolitanism and the European eel’s appeal
    Special series on Migration, Mobilities and the Environment, in association with the Cabot Institute for the Environment. By Peter Coates Unlike the Atlantic salmon, the snake-like European eel (Anguilla anguilla) is widely perceived as devoid of charisma. An epic reproductive journey is integral to the salmon’s appeal. But an equally spectacular migration, if in reverse, […]
  • Learning from the past: a humanitarian response to Ukrainian refugees in Sweden
    By Pieter Bevelander Currently many West European countries and more East European societies are meeting the flow of refugees from war-torn Ukraine with openness and great solidarity. In Sweden 34,000 Ukrainians had officially sought asylum status by 30th April but many more had crossed over the border by this date. The Migration Studies Delegation (DELMI), […]
  • Digital home working and its sustainability potential: human immobility and the mobilities of stuff
    Special series on Migration, Mobilities and the Environment, in association with the Cabot Institute for the Environment. By Chris Preist and Dale Southerton. Despite the huge human and economic costs of the COVID pandemic, many commentators have observed that this disruption – or shock – to our resource-intensive daily lives could offer a catalyst for […]
  • A tale of two worlds: national borders versus a common planet
    By Nandita Sharma. We live in a world whose political organisation in no way corresponds with the way we live our lives. This is true ecologically. It may be a cliché but it is plainly evident that the Earth’s atmosphere is not divided by national boundaries. Greenhouse gases cause the same degree of global warming […]
  • Migration, mobilities and the ecological context
    Special series on Migration, Mobilities and the Environment, in association with the Cabot Institute for the Environment. By Jane Memmott. Migration can make you happy. When I see the first swifts arrive in the spring, I stop in my tracks and smile broadly at all and everyone. I have to restrain myself from telling people […]
  • How water stress impacts on migration
    Special series on Migration, Mobilities and the Environment, in association with the Cabot Institute for the Environment. By Anita Etale. In 2015, Ioane Teitiota and his family were deported from New Zealand to the Pacific island nation of Kiribati. His asylum application had been based on the grounds that water, due to sea level rise, […]
  • The politics of climate justice, migration and mobility
    Special series on Migration, Mobilities and the Environment Migration Mobilities Bristol (MMB) and the Cabot Institute for the Environment bring together researchers from across the University of Bristol to explore connections between movement and the environment from a multi-disciplinary perspective. These diverse approaches highlight the importance of developing frames that incorporate both migration and environment, […]
  • UK-Rwanda refugee deal: first thoughts
    By Miranda Butler. The UK-Rwanda memorandum of understanding on asylum processing is now available. It sets out the terms of the agreement between the countries at a high level but provides some insight into how this scheme is supposed to work. Before removal Importantly, the UK has committed to undertaking an ‘initial screening’ of asylum seekers. […]
  • The cure or the cause? The impact of medical tourism on global health inequality
    By Ella Barclay. Migration motivated by the improvement of one’s health is not a new phenomenon. Nineteenth-century doctors around the world prescribed visits to foreign spas to improve wellbeing and London’s Harley Street was one of many internationally renowned centres for medical care. Despite this, there has been a recent boom in such movement, with […]
  • Vicarious strength: friends and befriending in UK immigration detention
    By Joel White. ‘We use the word friend here. Not client, or service user. Not asylum seeker, or refugee. We try to say friend.’ These were the words that stuck with me most after a volunteer training at the Unity Centre, a drop-in space for people going through the asylum and immigration system in Glasgow. […]
  • ‘Six new home carers near you!’ How digital platforms shape domestic services
    By Jing Hiah. Finding cleaning and child rearing services is easier than ever in many parts of the world. Install an app on your phone and start browsing through hundreds of (female) workers. If you decide not to directly hire their services – perhaps you feel too embarrassed (can’t we take care of ourselves?!) – […]
  • Brexit, COVID and stay/return narratives amongst Polish migrants in the UK
    By Magda Mogilnicka. Following EU enlargement in 2004, Polish migrants quickly became the largest migrant population in the UK. Since the Brexit referendum in 2016, however, the Office for National Statistics has documented a decline in the Polish population by around a quarter. A further drop in numbers was noticeable after the outbreak of the […]
  • The power of collaborative art in research for social change
    By Rebecca Yeo. On Human Rights Day, 10th December 2021, a mural on the wall of Easton Community Centre was officially opened. It brings together and promotes messages from Deaf, Disabled and asylum-seeking people living in the Bristol area. The collaborative process of creating the mural is the latest in a series of projects facilitated […]
  • Collateral damage: the implications of border restrictions on practitioners working with refugee populations
    By Vicky Canning. The acknowledgement that asylum systems across Europe are ‘hostile environments’ for migrant groups has increased in academic and practitioner consciousness, particularly in the aftermath of the 2015 refugee reception crisis. However, although the impacts of socio-political hostilities on migrants are well documented, little has been written about the implications of border restrictions […]
  • New report on ‘Organising a People’s Tribunal’
    By Don Flynn. A new study of the tactic of mounting a People’s Tribunal (PT) to indict a government for its breach of human rights standards has been published by a group of activists and academic researchers involved in organising the 2018 London Hearing of the Permanent People’s Tribunal on Violations with Impunity of the […]
  • Environmental racism in the borderland: the case of Calais
    By Travis Van Isacker. The hostile environment has been shorthand for the United Kingdom’s border regime since it was coined in 2012 by the then-Home Secretary, Theresa May. Originally describing a socio-political environment within the UK designed to make life impossible for people unable to prove their immigration status, it has since been extended to […]
  • What can we look forward to in 2022?
    By Bridget Anderson. January always feels like a slog. All the chores put off until ‘the New Year’ in expectation that 2022 would never come have mounted up. It’s dark and too cold/not cold enough. Summer feels it will never happen. And COVID, ugh COVID. So, instead, I’m thinking of things to look forward to […]
  • Chinese highly skilled migrants in Poland – carving out a third space
    By Lihua Qian. In the past two decades Poland has become a destination for thousands of highly skilled Chinese migrants. They work as managers, technicians, professionals and entrepreneurs, and their ages range from 25 to 55. Many stay long term, but most don’t intend to be naturalised. My research focuses on their practices of citizenship […]
  • The freedom to love: mixed-immigration status couples and the UK immigration system
    By Melanie Griffiths and Candice Morgan-Glendinning. ‘If you are a British citizen then falling in love with someone who is not British isn’t allowed to happen, basically.’ In the last decade, a series of changes to immigration policy have significantly affected the family lives of people living in and coming to the UK. These have […]
  • Mobility and mobilization – narrating injustices
    New writing on migration and mobilities – an MMB special series By Hager Ben Driss. Stephen Greenblatt defines ‘mobilizers’ as ‘agents, go-betweens, translators, or intermediaries’ (Cultural Mobility: A Manifesto p. 251) and contends that their function as contact facilitators should be included in mobility studies. This concept of mobilization serves as an ethical lever of […]
  • Myanmar’s discriminatory citizenship law: are Rohingyas the only victims?
    By Ali Johar.  There is a saying in Rohingya, ‘Duniyaye Burmarttun waro Roaingare beshi sine’, which means ‘Rohingyas are better known than Myanmar itself’. This is the result of the global coverage of mass atrocities committed against them. When people talk about the Rohingya, however, they mostly refer to the religious persecution, violence and, in recent years, ethnic cleansing or genocide. But all these issues are closely linked to how our community has been rendered stateless since 1982. Meanwhile, significant […]
  • MMB’s AGM discussions noted
    We were delighted to bring our MMB members together for an online AGM on 20th October 2021. It was a shame that we weren’t able to meet face to face again, but it was great to see such a lot of faces sharing an hour of their time! We started with a quick round up […]
  • Mobility and identity in the Patagonian Archipelago
    By Paul Merchant. Cast your eyes over a map of Chile, from top to bottom, and you’ll notice a strange development. South of Temuco, the lakes become more frequent and larger, and eventually, after Puerto Montt, the land fragments into hundreds of islands, some quite large, like Chiloé, and many that are very small. You […]
  • Hong Kongers at the borders of ‘Global Britain’
    By Michaela Benson. Since it opened on 31 January 2021, the designated route for Hong Kongers to settle in the UK—the Hong Kong BN(O) visa (HK BN(O))—has received 64,900 applications. The presentation of this route to settlement in the UK as ‘bespoke’ indicates that this is an exception to ordinary immigration controls. In what follows, […]
  • MMB looks back over 2020-21
    By Bridget Anderson, Emma Newcombe and Emily Walmsley It’s that time of year again… the MMB AGM! We will be meeting on 20th October and do hope that many of you can come along. We try and make it an engaging event with a chance to meet people even if, like last year, it’s going […]
  • Bilateral agreements as a tool to facilitate movement of people after Brexit
    By Diego Acosta. With the conclusion of the Brexit transition period on 31 December 2020, the free movement of people between the UK and the 27 member states of the EU and Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland came to an end. Some of the millions of EU nationals in the UK and British nationals in […]
  • Ordinary: a new approach to work in migration research
    New writing on migration and mobilities – an MMB special series By Dora-Olivia Vicol. In the world of mobility research, scholars have long cast a critical look at work. In most immigration regimes in the Global North, worker status is what is used to distinguish between those who are allowed to migrate and those who […]
  • Will Brexit and COVID-19 mean we see more local workers in UK fields?
    By Sam Scott and Karen O’Reilly. In the context of Brexit and COVID-19 the UK is experiencing severe low-wage labour shortages – in particular, in the horticultural sector. Our research looks at the potential for horticultural employers to deal with this situation by swapping migrants for local British-based workers. Horticultural employers have long argued for […]
  • Creating hospitable environments – growth on the (de)Bordering plots
    By Paul Hurley and Charli Clark. Over the past six months, we’ve been working on (de)Bordering, a project exploring the languages of environmentalism and migration. It is a project quite unlike any we’ve done before! As the artists in the project, we’ve been collaborating with academics and having conversations with students, gardeners and third sector […]
  • Forced labour in supply chains: missing links between industrial and sexual labour
    New writing on migration and mobilities – an MMB special series By Rutvica Andrijasevic. I was in the midst of fieldwork researching the working conditions of migrant workers in the electronics industry in Central and Eastern Europe when the press ran the story about Serbian workers working and living in slavery-like conditions in Slovakia. Various articles […]
  • Above the mud, the oystercatchers wheel with their sharp cries
    By Michael Malay. A few years ago, during a dry period of life, when I felt severed from the places I knew as home, I began going to a place called Severn Beach. It’s a village ten miles north of Bristol, at the end of the local train line. At first I went every few […]
  • Addressing discomfort: the politics and ethics of representation in qualitative research
    By the Critical Methodologies Collective. The Politics and Ethics of Representation in Qualitative Research (2021), published in July by Routledge, draws on experiences from nine different PhD projects. These have been brought together by our Critical Methodologies Collective to offer insights into the politics and ethics of representation for researchers working on justice struggles. Moments of […]
  • Why music matters for the study of human movement – with Florian Scheding
    In July 2020, when we realised that COVID-19 was going to be around for a while, we had a go at recording a podcast remotely. Dr Florian Scheding, Senior Lecturer in Music at the University of Bristol and then-director of the MSc in Migration and Mobility Studies, was brave enough to accept our invitation for […]
  • Maritime mobility and literary culture: ‘Hamlet’ off the coast of Sierra Leone
    New writing on migration and mobilities – an MMB special series By Laurence Publicover. In 1607 three East India Company (EIC) ships set off on the company’s third voyage, aiming to break into the lucrative spice trade dominated by Portugal for the previous century. As the first to reach mainland India, this voyage has clear […]
  • Top tips on how to apply for a PhD – from an MMB Alumni Ambassador
    By Ella Barclay. Applying for a PhD in the UK can be an incredible opportunity to connect with scholars, focus your research ideas and challenge yourself along the way, regardless of the outcome. Having gone through the process in the past year I’ve learned that it’s an exciting experience but also a very steep learning […]
  • The ‘New Plan for Immigration’: a further curtailment of rights
    By Nadine Finch. Over the past three decades I have linked my practice as a human rights lawyer in the UK with research and policy development in the migration field and I will draw on this experience in my new role as an Honorary Senior Policy Fellow in the School for Policy Studies at Bristol. […]
  • Britain as the spoils of empire
    Race, nation and migration – the blog series reframing thinking on movement and racism. By Nadine El-Enany. My parents travelled from Egypt to Britain in 1977, moving from London to Exeter, a city in the South West of England, in 1978. For my parents, Exeter was a place they felt fortunate to have found, an idyll […]
  • (de)Bordering the human and non-human worlds
    By Bridget Anderson. In October 2016 the French authorities evicted more than a thousand people from their shelters in the Calais ‘Jungle’. This had become a hub for people seeking to cross the Channel to come to the UK, and a focus of solidarity and rights activism. It was to be replaced with a nature […]
  • Parenting through ‘modern technology’: learning from the pandemic
    By Candice Morgan-Glendinning and Melanie Griffiths. Research being launched on 8th June, which looks at the impact of immigration policies on UK families, found that Home Office decision makers routinely argue that family life can be adequately sustained by virtual means. The COVID-19 pandemic provides lived insight into the reality of such claims. For the […]
  • Race and the making of migration regimes
    Race, nation and migration – the blog series reframing thinking on movement and racism. By Radhika Mongia. Indian Migration and Empire: A Colonial Genealogy of the Modern State (2018) is an investigation into the history of state control over migration. At the heart of the book are two main questions: first, what histories can we chart […]
  • Intimate state encounters: Brexit, European Roma and contested home-lands
    Race, nation and migration – the blog series reframing thinking on movement and racism. By Rachel Humphris. Brexit and the UK’s relationship with the European Union foregrounds questions of identity, nationhood and who is included or excluded. For those identified as ‘Roma’ these are perennial questions as purported ‘European citizenship’ made little difference to their position […]
  • Racism and the UK’s immigration system
    Race, nation and migration – the blog series reframing thinking on movement and racism. By Maya Goodfellow. ‘Hard Brexit,’ Labour’s Andy Burnham warned a few months after the EU referendum result in 2016, would ‘turn Britain into a place it has never been: divided, hostile, narrow-minded.’ This is a theme that has persisted since the initial […]
  • The permanent ‘crisis’ of the borders of ‘Europe’
    Race, nation and migration – the blog series reframing thinking on movement and racism. By Nicholas De Genova The borders of Europe seem to be the site of a protracted crisis. The fires that devastated the scandalously overcrowded Moria detention camp on 9 September 2020 on the Greek island of Lesvos, which summarily displaced upwards of […]
  • Queer liberalisms and marginal mobility – special issue and interview series
    New writing on migration and mobilities – an MMB special series By Mengia Tschalaer. To live a life in fear of violence, incarceration, torture, excommunication and isolation is a reality for many lesbian, gay, trans*, bi, intersex and non-binary persons worldwide. Homosexuality is criminalized in 77 countries, out of which seven apply the death penalty. According […]
  • Charting mobilities, intellectual histories and the Black Humanities
    By Madhu Krishnan. The October 2018 issue of the Chimurenga Chronic, originally a quarterly (and now occasional) broadsheet produced by the Cape Town based Chimurenga collective, opens with a two-page spread titled ‘The African Imagination of a Borderless World’ . This title piece is comprised of two texts placed in juxtaposition. The first, a map titled […]
  • Deporting Black Britons: mobility and race-making in the life stories of criminalised ‘deportees’
    Race, nation and migration – the blog series reframing thinking on movement and racism. By Luke de Noronha. My recently published book, Deporting Black Britons: Portraits of Deportation to Jamaica (2020, Manchester University Press), traces the life stories of people who have been exiled from their homes in Britain. The four men who feature most […]
  • Moving difference: Brazilians in London
    Race, nation and migration – the blog series reframing thinking on movement and racism. By Angelo Martins Junior. Portuguese version here. The freedom to move from place to place is a privilege in today’s world, and so ideas about human mobility and human difference are necessarily interwoven. When white people from the global north move […]
  • A paean to judicial (self) restraint: the UK Supreme Court Shamima Begum decision
    By Devyani Prabhat. The Supreme Court has refused permission for Shamima Begum, who left the UK as a 15-year-old British schoolgirl for Syria in 2015, to come back to the UK so that she can effectively challenge the removal of her citizenship (decision dated 26th February 2021; [2021] UKSC 7). Begum was found in a camp […]
  • National sovereignty and postcolonial racism
    Race, nation and migration – the blog series reframing thinking on movement and racism. By Nandita Sharma. A focus on migration, mobility and ideas of ‘race’ are crucial aspects of nationalist thought and practice. Indeed, today, racism operates through nationalism. Yet, while racism has been largely delegitimised, nationalism has not. The delegitimisation of racism does […]
  • MMB good reads on race, nation and migration
    A new blog series reframing thinking on movement and racism. Introduced by Julia O’Connell Davidson and Bridget Anderson. Not so long ago, many liberal thinkers in countries of the global north were comfortable narrating the story of liberal societies as a romance in which enlightened heroes gradually overcame the forces of barbarism. It was a […]
  • Migrant deaths and the impact on those left behind
    By Samuel Okyere. On 28 November 2020, the BBC, Guardian and other media outlets in the UK and elsewhere reported the tragic story of Rasul Nezhad, his wife, Shiva Mohammad Panahi, and their children, Anita and Armin. They were a Kurdish-Iranian family who drowned while attempting to cross the English Channel from France to the UK […]
  • Collective learning in the struggle for migrant justice
    A guest blog by Akram Salhab from Migrants Organise. Last week, the British media began a discussion that revealed the extent to which a hatred of migrants now dominates the national agenda. In the midst of a coronavirus pandemic with hundreds dying every day and Britain leading the world in mortality and infection rates, the […]
  • Hanna Ahmed: obituary
    By Natasha Carver. My friend Hanna Ahmed, who has died aged 34 of lymphoma, was a community volunteer, a campaigner against female genital mutilation (FGM), and a victim-support worker in Bristol. Hanna was born in Dubai to Somali parents, her father working in the oil industry. Like many Somalis her family had migrated to the Gulf […]
  • Home and sense of belonging among Iraqi Kurds in the UK
    By Ali Zalme. All too often we are forced into assumptions and caricatures of a particular group that fail to expose nuanced experiences of the members of that group. My new book, Home and Sense of Belonging among Iraqi Kurds in the UK (Lexington Books, 2020),is an effort to voice out lived experiences of an […]
  • Spaces of connection – MMB in 2021
    By Bridget Anderson As we cross a temporal border – seeing out the old year and welcoming in the new – we look back and forwards. This New Year we look back over COVID-19 and we look forwards over both Brexit, now (allegedly) done, and yet more COVID. 2020 saw huge changes for MMB and […]
  • COVID-19, gender and migration in Central Asia: reinforcing precarity
    By Jenna Holliday. As we pass the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence and International Migrants Day this blog post considers the intersection of gender-based violence and migration against the backdrop of COVID-19 in two of the world’s most remittance reliant countries – Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Amongst the COVID-related migration research that I have […]
  • Learning online with MMB
    By Bridget Anderson and Emma Newcombe. Everyone is talking about migration. You hear about it on the media, from news and documentaries to dramas and soaps. People talk about it in pubs and in taxis. There is no shortage of opinion, assertations and information about migration. And inevitably there are a lot of assumptions about […]
  • Visualising MMB’s AGM 2020
    We were delighted to bring our MMB members together for our online AGM on 3rd November. After such a long time without an informal group event it was a pleasure to see so many of you! We started with MMB Director Bridget Anderson presenting our Annual Report and then divided into break-out rooms to discuss […]
  • Does it matter that the UK relies on migrant workers to harvest food?
    By Lydia Medland. In the recent launch of the new migration research project MigResHub, agricultural labour economist Professor Philip Martin stated that he saw the future of farming in the USA as reliant on ‘machines and migrants, buffered by imports’. This is indeed the direction in which commercial agriculture is going. However, we don’t need […]
  • Tony Bunyan retires as Director of Statewatch after 30 years
    Statewatch is a unique resource for migration researchers across Europe. It has an unprecedented collection of official documents, analysis and reports by investigative journalists, which serves to monitor state and civil liberties. Over the past 30 years, many academics, students, government officials, journalists and civil liberties groups have come to rely on it. The organisation […]
  • MMB Annual Report 2019-20
    A message from the MMB team. The past year has been a busy and productive time for MMB – though not in the way we imagined! Last week we published our Annual Report, which outlines our approach to migration and mobilities research as well as our activities over the past year, our ongoing objectives and […]
  • Domestic workers and COVID-19: Brazil’s legacy of slavery lives on
    By Rachel Randall. On 19 March it was confirmed that Rio de Janeiro’s first coronavirus-related death was that of Cleonice Gonçalves, a 63-year-old domestic worker who suffered from co-morbidities. When Gonçalves fell ill on 16 March, she was working at her boss’ apartment in the affluent neighbourhood of Leblon, in the city of Rio. Her […]