Mini-conference on Border Controls, Increased Securitization, and Rapidly Changing Migration and Citizenship Policies

2017 ESS Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, PA, February 23-26

“Our world is caught up in rapid but ambiguous change.”  This statement from the conference’s theme applies perfectly to issues concerning borders and citizenship.  Current events from around the world reveal no shortage of examples.  The Syrian refugee crisis is testing the elasticity of political and social systems, and disagreements over how best to address it have also revived discourse about nation-state sovereignty over citizenship and migration policies.  The recent “Brexit” (British exit) vote is challenging the legitimacy and sustainability of the European Union, with the concern that other nation-states will follow Britain’s lead.  News coverage of Brexit indicated that increased immigration policies (including those concerning Syrian refugees) were primary factors for British citizens who wanted to “take back control” of “their country.”  As these and other events continue to unfold, it is critical for sociologists to examine the subsequent political, social, and economic responses to them.

In this miniconference, we are seeking a variety of papers and presentations that explore border controls and increased securitization related to changing migration and citizenship policies in a variety of contexts.  Specifically, we welcome papers that address the following topics:

  • Recent changes in citizenship or migration policies
  • The rise of xenophobic/right-wing legislation and groups
  • Crisis management and humanitarian responses to migrant flows
  • Borders (national, international, and regional) and security
  • Recent changes to refugee policies and increasing statelessness
  • Recent changes in naturalization policies among denizen populations

Our goal is to engage sociologists in a candid and intellectually robust conversation about the current and future implications of these trends. This miniconference will consist of 3 sessions (12 papers total). It will ultimately serve as an incubator for an edited volume on this topic.

Please direct all inquiries to Nicole Stokes-DuPass (  Authors must submit their proposals through the ESS online abstract submission system.  The deadline is October 15, 2016.  In the “Submission Details” window, select “Paper” for “Type of Submission,” and select keyword: “miniconference: borders and citizenship” for “Select the topic area that best describes your submission.”  Be sure to include a paper title along with your abstract of 250 words or less, your name as it should appear in the ESS program, institutional affiliation, and contact information.

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