CFP AAG 2017: Contextualizing the effects of the European Migration “Crisis”

Call For Papers
AAG 2017 Boston (April 5-8, 2017)

Session title: Contextualizing the effects of the European Migration “Crisis”

The sudden increase in the number of migrants destined for Europe in 2015 was so startling it has been commonly labelled as a migration “crisis”, and has thrown the EU and its member states in disarray over how to appropriately cope with the influx of asylum seekers. In its second year now, the “crisis” is changing its characteristics. Migration routes have shifted further south in the Mediterranean to places like Egypt and Libya and become even more deadly. Tens of thousands of refugees are stranded in a legal limbo in precarious refugee camps mainly in Greece and Italy. Barbed-wire fences and militarized border guards are becoming emblematic, again, of European borders. Public discourses and attitudes toward refugees are hardening along ideological lines, while European governments are incapable of working together to provide comprehensible solutions to refugee issues. What is remarkable here is the depth to which this sudden surge in refugees, as significant as it might be, is affecting the European project and European societies to the point of tearing them apart. Equally remarkable are the transformative effects the European response has on upholding the legitimate needs of people in need of international protection and on governing the movement of people across borders.

The aim of this session is to critically examine the effects of this migration from a primarily theoretical perspective. We are interested in contributions reflecting on a variety of developments surrounding current migratory flows to the EU, including security arrangements, identity and representation issues, border changes, legal and economic issues, international organizations activities, and migrant agency. In this CFP, we invite papers that investigate the aforementioned topics as well as topics including, but not limited to:

–       Contestation surrounding EU or member-state regulations governing migration and refugee status, including external pressure on EU member-states to accept refugees

–       Role/impact of Brexit on perceptions and legislation governing refugees

–       Conflicts at borders and challenges faced by both migrants and receiving member-states

–       Policies or beliefs that make certain member-states more desirable destinations than other EU member-states for migrants

–       Investigation of geographic tropes, discourse(s) and global imaginaries that contribute to perceptions of this surge of migrants as a “crisis”

–       Relationship between of migrants’ actions and strategies and reactions and attitudes in receiving states and societies

This session is sponsored by the Political Geography and European Specialty Groups. Please send proposed titles and abstracts of no more than 250 words by email to Gabriel Popescu ( and Kara Dempsey ( by Wednesday, October 26, 2016.