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This workshop aimed to bring together scholars concerned with the intersection of political theory, comparative politics, international relations and the study of forced migration. Though hardly a novel phenomenon, forced migration presents a fundamental challenge – in theory and practice – for the construction and regulation of citizenship and borders in contemporary trans/national politics and society.

In this vein, forced migrants prompt more systematic and sustained attention to questions and concerns at the heart of political theory, comparative politics and international relations. In as much as migration and refugee studies have been shaped to a much greater extent by other disciplines (eg anthropology, demography, economics, law, and sociology), a more explicit focus on the ‘political’ can help shed further light on the dynamics and processes involved in the representation, contestation, and control of forced migrants, and, critically, on the powerful effects thereof for democratic governance and civil society writ large.

To encourage such a critical engagement with forced migration studies, the workshop offered the following questions as useful points of departure: How does forced migration shape the nature and direction of contemporary trans/national politics and society in different settings? What is the meaning and significance of forced migration and forced migrants in the contemporary world? How can we understand the politicization of forced migration and forced migrants in political discourse and popular imagination? How do forced migration and forced migrants figure in the renegotiation of sovereignty? What is the political significance of regional and more broadly transnational mechanisms in shaping new forms of regulatory regimes?

The workshop formed part of the series of activities held in recognition of the 25th anniversary of the RSC.


Annual Elizabeth Colson Lecture

The Annual Elizabeth Colson Lecture is held in Trinity term. It is named after Professor Elizabeth Colson, a renowned anthropologist.

Annual Harrell-Bond Lecture

The Annual Harrell-Bond Lecture is named in honour of Dr Barbara Harrell-Bond, the founding Director of the Refugee Studies Centre. It is held each year in Michaelmas term.

Public Seminar Series

Each term the RSC holds a series of public seminars, held on Wednesday evenings at Queen Elizabeth House. Click here for details of forthcoming seminars.

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To keep up to date with our events and activities, sign up for email alerts from the RSC and Forced Migration Review, and connect with us on social media.

Forthcoming events

A celebration of the life of David Turton

Saturday, 20 July 2024, 2pm to 3pm @ The Crypt Cafe, St Peters Church, Northchurch Terrace, London N1 4DA