Migration Mobilities Bristol (MMB) is a Specialist Research Institute at the University of Bristol.
Our work is oriented around three research challenges and we use these to group and profile research projects conducted by colleagues in Bristol. Our take on migration and mobilities is both innovative and capacious, connecting mainstream Migration Studies to research on movements within borders and non-human movement. This places us very much at the cutting edge of migration and mobilities scholarship.
MMB’s primary purpose is to foster and promote new thinking on migration and mobilities that is critical, creative and distinctively ‘Bristol’. Within UoB we continue to build a strong, interdisciplinary community of scholars working on all aspects of mobilities, with an emphasis on the human. MMB members are interested in a very wide range of migration and mobilities related subjects, come from different disciplinary traditions and deploy different conceptual and empirical tools. Some are migration scholars, others have researched migration from a particular disciplinary perspective as one among several areas of interest, others research mobility related topics such as bus services or glacial movement that are distinct from migration studies but benefit from theories, networks and interconnections that become apparent when brought into conversation with migration scholars.
MMB’s Shared Approach
Conceptually driven, critical, constructive
While there is no consensus of views on migration among our members, and neither does MMB seek to shape one, we have fostered the emergence of a shared approach which we strive to promote as unique to Bristol.
MMB’s approach is one that: recognises that borders are productive, making ‘migrants’ not only admitting and rejecting them; acknowledges that research changes our worlds and that researchers therefore have a responsibility to change it for the better; recognises that migration is connected to many other scales and forms of mobilities; explores connections including between migrants and citizens.
- Conceptually driven – Human movement is entangled in multiple mobilities (think of trade, money and non-human species). Not all human movement counts as ‘migration’. Taking these insights as a starting point, MMB facilitates new thinking on people and movement that is distinctively ‘Bristol’.
- Critical – MMB supports all UoB research on migration, asylum, integration and related topics. It also fosters ‘migration as method’: research that connects human movement to other social challenges, including climate change, resilience and transformation, health, creative and cultural, and sociodigital technologies. It works with researchers to connect migration with other social justice related issues, especially racism and nationalism.
- Constructive – MMB facilitates multi-disciplinary and interdisciplinary research orientated to the past, present and future. It works across faculties, facilitating conversations between diverse perspectives and disciplines, from life sciences to English scholars, historians to management.
This approach makes for innovative connections across different Faculties and research fields, encourages intellectual exchange and collaborations and boosts research capacity. We do not simply see human movement as a problem to be solved but as a lens that discovers unexpected connections between migration and other issues including race, welfare, environment and development. From this perspective we also act as a critical friend to policymakers, lawyers, NGOs and activists. Through this innovative Bristol approach we seek to contribute to the development of the next generation of leading scholars.
University of Bristol Connections
MMB supports the development of the University research strategy 2030 and plays an important role in connecting existing projects and outputs to University’s research foci. For this year we are interested in fostering links to those working on topics related to migration and health.
The School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies (SPAIS) is MMB’s administrative home. We are pleased to support SPAIS’ Migration Research Group.
MMB makes connections between those working on migration related issues from across the University of Bristol and beyond. Bristol has a wide range of expertise and the core network has scholars from the following faculties and schools:
- School of Accounting and Finance
- School of Economics
- School of Education
- School of Management
- School for Policy Studies
- School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies
- University of Bristol Law School
- School of Arts
- School of Humanities
- Bristol Medical School
- School of Earth Sciences
- School of Geographical Sciences
We also collaborate closely with the following institutes and groups: