Research Project: Mobile People

Co-directed by Professors Engin Isin and Kimberley Hutchings, Queen Mary University of London Leverhulme Trust Doctoral Scholarships (QMUL-LTDS) will involve 21 PhD research projects (2018-2023) concerned with how the world is being dynamically constituted by mobile people in active and novel ways and how this affects fundamental social and political institutions.

Its aim is to generate theories, concepts, methods, and data that are necessary to understand mobility as a way of life – not as an exception but as an emerging norm. Current research demonstrates that developments in human mobility are interrelated with the ways in which they are studied, interpreted, documented, and managed. Thus, thinking about mobility as a way of life entails reflexivity about the processes of producing knowledge about mobile lives in an increasingly mobile world: how we study, manage, govern, and imagine it. The projects will address the transformative effects of mobile people on the social and political institutions they inhabit and construct. How mobile people are creating new worlds, not solely as host versus guest, mobile versus immobile relations, but in ways which fundamentally challenge social and political institutions of citizenship, democracy, nationality and security is the innovative focus of this programme.

The programme is organised according to thematic priorities which reflect established expertise at QMUL. These themes (boundariesgenerationsenvironmenthealthidentitieslanguage) will be studied in relation to the impacts of mobility as a way of life on social and political institutions (citizenshipdemocracynationality, and security). The organisation of the programme is guided by the principle that institutions such as citizenship (membership, rights, obligations), democracy (representation, participation, government), nationality (sovereignty, state, territory), and security (authority, legality, threat/protection) are undergoing profound transformations. These transformations are shaped by and reshape the articulation of spatial relations (boundaries), temporal relations (generations), meanings of place from world to home (environment), definitions and experiences of well/ill-being (health), dispositions and behaviours (identities), and communication and speech (language).

For further information click here

Janne Autto (University of Lapland) to visit SPIR from 14th-26th January

Janne Autto
Janne Autto

Janne Autto from the University of Lapland will be visiting SPIR 14-26 January 2019; Janne will be located in Office 2.24, Arts One Building.

Besides exploring research cooperation between SPIR and Faculty of Social Science at the University of Lapland, he will be working with Jef Huysmans on security and austerity. Janne’s visit also aims at establishing a Finnish connection with the Doing International Political Sociology network.

Janne Autto is an Associate Professor in Sociology at the University of Lapland. His work focuses on political struggles over the welfare state and citizens’ social rights and responsibilities, including governmental aspirations and resistance to them. His intellectual home is in cultural theory, the major directions of interest being Bourdieusian and Foucauldian thinking, British cultural studies and French pragmatic sociology. In addition, he has a strong interest in qualitative research methods. He has applied in particular methods of semiotic sociology and narrative research.

His recent publications include:

Autto, J. & Törrönen, J. (2018) ‘Yes, but all responsible Finns want to stop living on credit’: Feeling rules in the Finnish politics of austerity. Citizenship Studies, forthcoming.

Autto, J. & Törrönen, J. (2017) ‘Justifications of citizens’ subject positions in public debates on welfare’. Acta Sociologica 60(1), 61–73.

Autto, J. (2015) ‘When policymakers and parents meet political discourses: Fields and subject positions in the Finnish debates on children’s day care’. Social Politics 23(1): 94–118.

He has edited a book on cultural studies of welfare state (with Mikael Nygård, Hyvinvointivaltion kulttuurintutkimus, Lapland University Press 2015) as well as on working-life (with Merja Kinnunen, Tänään töissä, Lapland University Press 2009). He is a member of editorial board of Sosiologia, the Finnish journal of sociology published by the Westermarck Society.

Clive Gabay’s New Book: ‘Imagining Africa: Whiteness and the Western Gaze’

The book discusses the long history of idealism concerning the potential of economic and political developments in Africa, the latest iteration of which emerged around the time of the 2007-8 global financial crisis. Gabay takes a historical approach to questions concerning change and international order as these apply to Africa in Western imaginaries. Challenging traditional postcolonial accounts that see the West imagine itself as superior to Africa, he argues that the centrality of racial anxieties concerning white supremacy make Africa appear, at moments of Western crisis, as the saviour of Western ideals, specifically democracy, bureaucracy, and neoclassical economic order. Uncommonly, this book turns its lens as much inwards as outwards, interrogating how changing attitudes to Africa over the course of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries correspond to shifting anxieties concerning whiteness, and the growing hope that Africa will be the place where the historical genius of whiteness might be saved and perpetuated.

Dr Clive Gabay is Senior Lecturer at Queen Mary University of London. He has been the recipient of a number of prestigious grants and awards and, in 2014, won one of only six British Academy Conference Awards which enabled him to hold a conference at the British Academy called evelopment and its Alternatives’, attended by a number of leading scholars, including James C. Scott (Yale) and Phillip McMichael (Cornell). In 2015, he was awarded a highly competitive UK Arts and Humanities Research Council Early Career Leaders Fellowship. Among other outlets, he has published in Globalizations, Review of African Political Economy, and Interventions: The International Journal of Postcolonial Studies.

Professor Debbie Lisle visits QM

Professor Debbie Lisle (Queen’s University Belfast) – editor of International Political Sociology Journal- visits GPU’s International Political Sociology Seminar Series as keynote guest on 29 November 2018.

Professor Lisle will give a public lecture on: ‘what does it mean to do IPS and what differences in approaches, methods, topics make IPS an intellectually interesting site of debate?’


Registration and event details available on GPU events page