"Mobility makes states: migration and power in Africa" by Darshan Vigneswaran and Joel Quirk

Past Event

09 June 2015, 5:00pm - 7:00pm

Queen Elizabeth House
Oxford Department of International Development, 3 Mansfield Road, Oxford OX1 3TB

This book talk is hosted by the Internation al Migration Institute (IMI), an Oxford Martin School Institute

IMI welcomes you to a panel discussion to launch a new volume from University of Pennsylvania Press, Mobility Makes States: Migration and Power in Africa.

The editors of the volume, Darshan Vigneswaran and Joel Quirk, along with contributors, Benedetta Rossi, Simon Turner and Oliver Bakewell, will be on hand to engage in a lively conversation with academic commentators on the book’s effort to provide a new voice for African research in the study of the politics of migration.

The discussion will be followed by a drinks reception.

About the book

Human mobility has long played a foundational role in producing state territories, resources, and hierarchies. When people move within and across national boundaries, they create both challenges and opportunities. In Mobility Makes States, chapters written by historians, political scientists, sociologists, and anthropologists explore different patterns of mobility in sub-Saharan Africa and how African states have sought to harness these movements toward their own ends.

While border control and intercontinental migration policies remain important topics of study, Mobility Makes States demonstrates that immigration control is best understood alongside parallel efforts by states in Africa to promote both long-distance and everyday movements. The contributors challenge the image of a fixed and static state that is concerned only with stopping foreign migrants at its border, and show that the politics of mobility takes place across a wide range of locations, including colonial hinterlands, workplaces, camps, foreign countries, and city streets.

They examine short-term and circular migrations, everyday commuting and urban expansion, forced migrations, emigrations, diasporic communities, and the mobility of gatekeepers and officers of the state who push and pull migrant populations in different directions. Through the experiences and trajectories of migration in sub-Saharan Africa, this empirically rich volume sheds new light on larger global patterns and state making processes.