Sussex Centre for Migration Research

6th SCMR-JEMS conference. Global Migration and Mobilities: facing the challenges of exclusion

On November 21st, 2018, the Sussex Centre for Migration Research (SCMR) and Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies (JEMS), will host the sixth SCMR-JEMS International Conference entitled “Global Migration and Mobilities: facing the challenges of exclusion”.



The conference will take place at the Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts, University of Sussex, Brighton, UK

10.10-10.30 Professor Paul Statham - Director SCMR & Editor JEMS, Welcome and Introduction

10.30-11.15 Professor David FitzGerald, University of California, San Diego. Refuge Beyond Reach: How Rich Democracies Repel Asylum Seekers

11.15-11.30 Dr Renee Luthra, University of Essex. Comments on David FitzGerald

11-30-12.00 Public Q&A

12-1pm Lunch

1pm – 1.55 Professor Nicola Piper, University of Sydney The Right to Decent Work: Global Social Governance and Migrant Precarity

1.55-2.50 Dr Sirijit Sunanta, Mahidol University. Globalising the Thai 'high-touch' industry: exports of care and body work and gendered mobilities to and from Thailand

2.50-3.10pm Coffee break

3.10pm-4.05 Dr Ilse van Liempt, Utrecht University. Being Far Away From What You Need. The Impact of Dispersal on Resettled Refugee's Homemaking and Place Attachment in Small to Medium Sized Towns in the Netherlands.

4.05-5.00 Professor Adrian Favell, University of Leeds. "Integration" in "Immigration" Studies: Twelve Propositions

Drinks to follow

All Welcome, Attendance free, but for catering purposes please register at 

You can download the full programme here



Refuge Beyond Reach: How Rich Democracies Repel Asylum Seekers - David FitzGerald

The core of the asylum regime is the principle of non-refoulement that prohibits governments from sending refugees back to their persecutors. Governments attempt to evade this legal obligation to which they have explicitly agreed by manipulating territoriality. A remote control strategy of “extra-territorialization” pushes border control functions hundreds or even thousands of kilometers beyond the state’s territory. Simultaneously, states restrict access to asylum and other rights enjoyed by virtue of presence on a state’s territory, by making micro-distinctions down to the meter at the border line in a process of “hyper-territorialization.” An analysis of remote controls since the 1930s in Palestine, North America, Europe, and Australia identifies the origins of different forms of remote control, explains how they work together as a system of control, and establishes the conditions that enable or constrain them in practice. Foreign policy issue linkages and transnational advocacy networks promoting a humanitarian norm that is less susceptible to the legal manipulation of territoriality constrain remote controls more than the law itself. The degree of constraint varies widely by the technique of remote control.

The Right to Decent Work: Global Social Governance and Migrant Precarity - Nicola Piper

In recent years migration, especially ‘irregular’ or unauthorised migration, has become the principal political issue in many OECD member countries, including Australia, with 244 million people estimated to be on the move globally. The so-called ‘migrant crisis’ in Europe has, in particular, captured public and policy attention and stirred debate around the perceived need to ‘fix’ what appears to be a sudden influx of refugees and economic migrants. The presence of considerable numbers of non-nationals in labour markets across the world is not new, however, especially not within the Global South where temporary labour migration has existed for long and expanded rapidly (UNDESA 2016). Global institutions now recognise that a better understanding of the transnational character of labour markets, hiring and employment conditions is essential for effective migration governance. Yet, the overwhelming focus is on migrants’ economic contributions via remittances, resulting in national and global policymakers commonly celebrating such migrants as ‘agents of development’. This paper probes into migrants’ ability to acquire such agency at the intersection of strict temporality and ‘enforced’ transnationality in relation to migration corridors in a ‘South-South’ context. The paper argues that this situation amounts to an experience of protracted precarity which undermines migrant rights, whilst opening up unexpected avenues for migrant agency.
The frame of global social governance is used to investigate ideas and models of ‘decent work’ as they emanate from various institutional levels (local, national, regional, global). The institutional and process-oriented perspective employed here is to contribute to a better understanding of the policy and advocacy challenges ahead in relation to decent work and effective global migration governance. The Asian region serves as a ‘test case’ for the global social governance of migration by global institutions.

Globalising the Thai 'high-touch' industry: exports of care and body work and gendered mobilities to and from Thailand - Sirijit Sunanta

This paper examines the global trade of Thai tourism and related service industries such as restaurant, spa and hospital—service activities in which the body and bodily emotions of both service consumers and providers are central. I will demonstrate how the Thai state and private sector market Thai services to the world and construct Thailand as a destination for bodily and spiritual fulfilment. Analyzing Thailand as an exporter of care and body labour, this article highlights the important role the nation-state and local socioeconomic structures play in shaping global care chains. State policy that promotes tourism and related service industries as a key economic development strategy has shaped current interrelated forms of transnational mobilities between Thailand and more affluent countries—marriage migration, health and medical tourism, and retirement migration. I also explore the interface between Thai state policies on the export of care and lived experiences of Thai - Europe transnational migrants. Through their occupation choices, marital relocation decisions and care arrangements, Thai migrants in Europe and European migrants in Thailand both resist and reproduce the commodification of care and body work.


Being Far Away From What You Need. The Impact of Dispersal on Resettled Refugee's Homemaking and Place Attachment in Small to Medium Sized Towns in the Netherlands - Ilse van Liempt

Based on semi-structured interviews with 10 families and one single person from Syria who have been resettled under the EU Turkey Statement in the Netherlands (2016 and 2017) this article looks into processes of homemaking and place attachment in small to medium sized towns. We distinguish between homemaking practices in and around the house and in the neighbourhood, but we also look at the wider transnational social environment of refugees in order to understand how Syrian resettled refugees experience everyday life in the Dutch small to medium sized towns they are dispersed to. What constraints and opportunities do they experience in everyday life in terms of homemaking and place attachment?

"Integration" in "Immigration" Studies: Twelve Propositions - Adrian Favell 

 Abstract TBC

David FizGerald - Bio

FitzeraldDavid Scott FitzGerald is Theodore E. Gildred Chair in U.S.-Mexican Relations, Professor of Sociology, and Co-Director of the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at the University of California, San Diego. His research analyzes policies regulating migration and asylum in countries of origin, transit, and destination. FitzGerald’s books include Culling the Masses: The Democratic Origins of Racist Immigration Policy in the Americas (Harvard University Press, 2014), which won the American Sociological Association’s Distinguished Scholarly Book Award; Refuge beyond Reach: How Reach Democracies Repel Asylum Seekers (Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2019); and A Nation of Emigrants: How Mexico Manages its Migration (University of California Press, 2009). His current projects include directing the California Immigration Research Initiative and developing work at the intersection of the sociology of international migration and refugee studies (see FitzGerald and Arar, 2018, “The Sociology of Refugee Migration,” Annual Review of Sociology).

Renee Luthra - Bio

LuthraRenee Luthra is senior lecturer in sociology and director of the Essex Centre for Migration Studies. Her teaching and research expertise include international migration, social stratification, education, and quantitative methods.  Her current research examines immigrant integration and ethnic inequality in the UK, Germany and the United States. Her first book (with co-authors Thomas Soehl and Roger Waldinger) Origins and Destinations: the making of the second generation, was published in 2018 by the Russell Sage Foundation.

Nicola Piper - Bio

PiperNicola Piper is Professor of International Migration at the University of Sydney where she is also the Founding Director of the Sydney Asia Pacific Migration Centre. Her current research interests focus on international labour migration and advocacy politics in relation to the promotion of a rights-based approach to global and regional migration governance. She is (co-)chief editor of the international peer-reviewed journal Global Social Policy and external advisor on migration research with the UN Research Institute for Social Development, Geneva.

Sirijit Sunanta - Bio

SunantaSirijit Sunanta is assistant professor in Sociology and Anthropology and chair of the PhD Program in Multicultural Studies at the Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia, Mahidol University. She received her PhD in Women’s and Gender Studies from the University of British Columbia, Canada in 2009. Her research interests include gender and migration, globalization and food cultures, and the politics of diversity in Thailand. Parts of Sirijit’s PhD dissertation on transnational marriages in Northeast Thailand have been published in leading academic journals such as Critical Asian Studies and Gender, Place and Culture. Sirijit received research grants from the Thailand Research Fund and Sirindhorn Anthropology Center to carry out research on the multicultural debate and the concept of cultural rights in Thailand. She was a visiting fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the Studies of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Germany (May-July 2013) and a visiting professor at the Department of Geography, University of Vienna (May-July 2014). Sirijit’s current research projects focus on the globalization of care, intimate and bodily labour in the Thai health and well-being tourism industry, and the transnational Phu-Tai ethnic identity revival movement in Thailand and its neighboring countries

Ilse van Liempt - Bio

Ilse van Liempt is Assistant Professor in Urban Geography and Qualitative Research Methods in the Human Geography Department at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. Ilse finished her PhD on irregular migration and human smuggling in 2007 at the Institute for Ethnic and Migration Studies (IMES), University of Amsterdam and worked as a Marie Curie Research Fellow at the Sussex Centre for Migration Research between 2008 and 2010. Her current research projects focus on refugee mobility, belonging, identity and placemaking.

Adrian Favell - Bio

FavellAdrian Favell is Chair in Sociology and Social Theory at the University of Leeds. Adrian Favell is a former professor of sociology at Sciences Po and a member of the Center for European Studies.  He was Professor of Sociology at UCLA and Professor of European and International Studies at Aarhus Univeristy, and taught at the universities of Sussex, Utrecht and Louvain-la-Neuve. He holds a PhD in Social and Political Sciences from the European University Institute in Florence (1995). A supporter of multi-method, interdisciplinary and comparative research, his publications include work on Islam and multiculturalism, immigration and integration in Western Europe, East-West migration in Europe, migration of highly skilled workers , mobility and cosmopolitanism in European cities and the sociology of European integration. He has been writing a book on society, contemporary art and architecture in Japan since 1990 and is undertaking new research on culture and society in Turkey.