Matryoshka journeys: im/mobility during migration

Brigden, N. and Mainwaring, Ċ. (2016) Matryoshka journeys: im/mobility during migration. Geopolitics, 21(2), pp. 407-434. (doi: 10.1080/14650045.2015.1122592)

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Acts of mobility require corresponding acts of immobility (or suspended mobility). Migrant journeys are not only about movement. Indeed, in the present policy context, this is ever more true. Whether a migrant is contained within a hidden compartment, detained by migration authorities, waiting for remittances to continue, or marooned within a drifting boat at sea, these moments of immobility have become an inherent part of migrant journeys especially as states have increased controls at and beyond their borders. Migrants themselves view this fragmentation – the stopping, waiting and containment – as part of the journey to be endured. Drawing on the authors’ fieldwork in Central America and Southern Europe, this paper destabilises the boundary between transit and settlement, speaking to a larger policy discourse that justifies detentions and deportations from the United States and countries on the periphery of Europe. We argue that migrants’ nested experiences of these ‘matryoshka journeys’ reveal how increased migration controls encourage them not only to take greater risks during the journey, but also to forfeit their agency at opportune moments. In turn, states exploit images of such im/mobility during the journey in order to emphasise the irrational risks migrants take in order to traverse seas and deserts and to cloak their own border policies in a humanitarian discourse of rescue.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Mainwaring, Dr Cetta
Authors: Brigden, N., and Mainwaring, Ċ.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Central and East European Studies
Journal Name:Geopolitics
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN (Online):1557-3028
Published Online:03 March 2016
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 Taylor and Francis Group
First Published:First published in Geopolitics 21(2): 407-434
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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