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Forced Migration and Mobilities Research

Date: 4 December 2009 Time: 9.30 am to 5.00 pm

Venue: Institute for Advanced Studies, Lancaster University

Forced Migration and Mobilities Research


Centre for Mobilities Research

in collaboration with Departments of Sociology and Politics and Lancaster Environment Centre.

Institute for Advance Studies MR 2-3

Friday 4 December 2009, 9.30-5pm


Confirmed speakers include:

Oroub El-Abed | The Graduate Institute for International and Development Studies | Geneva

Laura Hammond | School of Oriental and African Studies | London

Vicky Mason | Department of Politics and International Relations | Lancaster University

Nayanika Mookherjee | Department of Sociology | Lancaster University

Alison Mountz | Department of Government | Harvard University

Susan Zimmermann | Refugee Studies Centre | Oxford University

Panelists: Imogen Tyler (Sociology), David Tyfield (CeMoRe and Sociology), Colin Pooley (CeMoRe and LEC) and John Urry (CeMoRe and Sociology)


Forced migration is a chronic reality and a pending threat in some parts of the so called Global South and is set to become increasingly central for rich industrial nations too in the 21st century due to growing political and environmental instabilities. Forced migration studies have already made a significant contribution in understanding a complex phenomenon that demands ever more sophisticated transnational, interdisciplinary and theoretically oriented analytical perspectives. Yet, as Stephen Castles (2003) has noted, thus far the policy driven agenda of forced migration studies still needs to make explicit such demands and contribute more substantially to social theory.

'Critical mobilities' is a new direction in social theory with also clear post-disciplinary and global aspirations. The analytical potential of its post-disciplinary outlook is already evident in recent works of synthesis that have fruitfully brought together studies on migration, tourism, business travel, social mobility, inequality, urban infrastructure, complexity and reflexive modernization (Canzler et al. 2008; Urry 2000, 2008). 'Critical mobilities' is a distinct if eclectical approach with moving boundaries. Yet, its development as a cosmopolitan perspective (Beck, 2006) still awaits new synthesis that incorporates forms of mobility, bodies of research, problematics, and social and political contexts that are relevant beyond North Atlantic rim societies.

This workshop therefore seeks to contribute to ongoing efforts to expand the social-theoretical basis of forced migration studies and cosmopolitan outlook of mobilities research by encouraging a dialogue between both bodies of research. A focus on forced migration promises to make more explicit and further develop the critical outlook of mobilities research, offering one way in which the approach can begin to fulfil is cosmopolitan aspirations. Moreover, the methodological and conceptual frameworks being developed by mobilities research can illuminate new areas of concern facing forced migrants, especially regarding the relationship between diverse forms of mobilities and social and infrastructural networks; different forms of state power and the role that mobilities play in governance; infrastructural resilience and collapse; the convergence of physical and digital space; global complexities; and senses of place and belonging.

RegistrationThe Workshop will be held in the Institute for Advanced Studies Rooms 2/3 at Lancaster University on 4 December 2009. The event is free and open to anyone. This event has been fully booked for the last two weeks but due to last-minute cancellations we can offer three places which will be allocated on a first-como first-based basis. If required, a range of overnight accommodation is available at own cost on campus and in Lancaster.

If you would like to attend please contact Javier Caletrío for any queries -


Victoria Mason (CeMoRe and Politics and International Relations).

Nick Gill (CeMoRe and Lancaster Environment Centre).

Javier Caletrío (CeMoRe and Sociology).

Event sponsored by the Centre for Mobilities Research at Lancaster University.

Event website:


Who can attend: Anyone


Further information

Associated staff: Javier Caletrío, Nick Gill (Lancaster Environment Centre LEC), Victoria Mason (Politics, Philosophy and Religion PPR)

Organising departments and research centres: Centre for Mobilities Research (CeMoRe), Geography, Lancaster Environment Centre, Politics and International Relations, Sociology

Keywords: Migration, Migration and diaspora, Mobilities


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