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Policy Mobilities 9th May 2018

9th May 2018 @ 10:00 am - 4:00 pm BST

Relational Conversations on Policy Mobilities & the Mobilities Paradigm

Workshop, Centre for Mobilities Research, Lancaster University

9 May, 2018 10:00 – 16:00, George Fox Lecture Theatre 3

How do policies move? Galvanizing a body of interdisciplinary work on mobilities, in 2006 Mimi Sheller and John Urry published the ‘New Mobilities Paradigm’ (Sheller & Urry 2006). This approach foregrounded the social processes associated with movement and drew attention to the political spaces and representations that constituted movement in all its forms (Adey 2006, Cresswell 2010). One vein of mobilities thinking that emerged out of this paradigm focused specifically on the social processes of circulating best-practice models and ideas for urban planning and policy. It highlighted the importance of mobility for the politics associated with implementing policies from elsewhere in a local context (McCann 2008, Ward 2006). Over the past decade policy mobilities scholarship, as this sub-discipline has become known, has burgeoned with work coming from interdisciplinary perspectives from geography, sociology, planning, and criminology among others (McCann & Ward 2011, Cook 2015). Taking stock of a decade of the ‘New Mobilities Paradigm’, Sheller & Urry (2016) note that policy mobilities is an important area for future mobilities work. Murray, Sawchuck & Jirón (2016, 547) similarly state that “the application of ‘mobilities turn’ thinking to urban policy model circulation opens up an important field of research … This is crucial in order to comprehend daily spatial experiences, as well as practices of urban intervention that feed the circulation of policy models.” What is involved in making policies move and moor successfully elsewhere? Which policies become immutable mobiles, why these? Are the outcomes ‘the same’ in different contexts?

The aim of this workshop is to further our understanding of the connection between mobilities theory and the processes that go into mobilizing policy ideas and models. We bring together scholars working on mobilities theory broadly as well as policy mobilities specifically to share work and discuss conceptual insights that each approach can bring to the other, jumpstarting the closer conversations called for by Sheller & Urry (2016) and Murray et al (2016). This workshop invites scholars to think about their work in a different way, and will provide space to present new ideas with a focus on creating dialogues and debates which will inform future conversations within mobilities research.

Interested participants should send their abstracts (max 300 words) and a short bio (100 words) with contact details to the workshop organiser Dr Cristina Temenos cristina.temenos@manchester.ac.uk by April 16, 2018. Authors will be notified of acceptance by April 20, 2018. You can also just participate. To help us plan for lunch, it would be great if you could register here.

The organisation of this workshop is receiving funding from the Centre for Mobilities Research Visiting Fellowship at Lancaster University.


Adey, P. (2006). If mobility is everything then it is nothing: towards a relational politics of (im) mobilities. Mobilities, 1(1), 75-94.

Cook, I. R. (2015). Policy mobilities and interdisciplinary engagement. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 39(4), 835-837.

Cresswell, T. (2010). Towards a politics of mobility. Environment and planning D: society and space, 28(1), 17-31.

McCann, E. J. (2008). Expertise, truth, and urban policy mobilities: Global circuits of knowledge in the development of Vancouver, Canada’s ‘four pillar’drug strategy.Environment and Planning A, 40(4), 885-904.

McCann, E., & Ward, K. (Eds.). (2011). Mobile urbanism: cities and policymaking in the global age (Vol. 17). University of Minnesota Press.

Murray, L., Sawchuk, K., & Jirón, P. (2016). Comparative mobilities in an unequal world: researching intersections of gender and generation. Mobilities, 11(4), 542-552.

Sheller, M., & Urry, J. (2006). The new mobilities paradigm. Environment and planning A,38(2), 207-226.

Sheller, M., & Urry, J. (2016). Mobilizing the new mobilities paradigm. Applied Mobilities, 1(1), 10-25.

Ward, K. (2006). ‘Policies in motion’, urban management and state restructuring: the trans‐local expansion of business improvement districts. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 30(1), 54-75.

Image Source: Stories of Change

Cristina Temenos is an Urban Studies Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellow.

Cristina’s research interests include: urban politics and social policy, economic restructuring and austerity, drug and health policies, social movements, and urban policy mobilities. Her current project examines the effects of post 2008 austerity policies of public health services across European cities. Her research also engages these interests through a focus on the geographies of harm reduction drug policy in cities in Europe, North America, and the Caribbean, the ways that social movements produce and mobilize knowledge about health and human rights to advocate for policy change in cities, and the ways that policy mobilities (re)shape cities. Cristina is an editorial board member for Environment & Planning C: Politics and Space and Geography Compass. Her work has appeared in the Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Environment & Planning A, Environment & Planning D, Health and Place, and the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research.


9th May 2018
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Event Category:




GFX – George Fox LT 3