Vehicles of Mobility: Transportation & Migration Infrastructures

What: Our ninth issue, on the theme of ‘Vehicles of Mobility: Transportation and Migration Infrastructures’, to be published in April 2020

Migration is not only about the movement of humans. As migration specialist William Walters has recently argued, vehicles, roads and routes merit a much more central place in our understandings of migration politics. During the colonial era, ships formed a central site of oppression and resistance during the forced displacement and enslavement of peoples across the Atlantic and other ‘oceans of law’. Today, inflatable boats, rescue ships and military naval vessels constitute a hazardous seascape on the Mediterranean where many refugees have risked and lost their lives seeking entry to postcolonial states. Once people arrive in destination countries, vehicles continue to be of key importance. London’s Bike Project and Bikes Without Borders in Toronto are two examples of a global set of initiatives to supply asylum seekers and refugees with refurbished bicycles as they settle in major cities. As these charities attest to, one bike can be life changing: reducing the costs for refugees to get to school, hospital or work, facilitating community engagement and contributing to better physical and mental health. At the time, states and private contractors have used planes for the practice of mass deportation charter flights while airports are being operated as frontiers of border control, surveillance and stratification between mobile and immobile subjects. 

In light of these mobilities beyond human movement, Routed is seeking contributions that explore ‘Vehicles of Mobility: Transportation and Migration Infrastructures’. We are seeking articles that investigate topics including: 

  • The role of vehicles, roads, routes and infrastructures in migration politics.

  • Historical studies of modes of transportation.

  • The contribution of modes of transportation to freedom, mobility, control and/or expulsion.

  • The transition to ‘greener’ transportation away from fossil fuels on a planet facing environmental crises. 

We are particularly interested in publishing work that lifts up the voices of people on the move and exploring human (im)mobility in its many varied forms. We are also keen on receiving pieces that analyse current news about migration and (im)mobility, or reflect on cultural production related to these topics.


Articles should address a broad audience, made of experts and non-experts, and should be originally written in English or Spanish.

When: The deadline for proposals is 15th February.

How: If you are interested in proposing a submission for this issue, please send us a short abstract no longer than 250 words via email to:

Article guidelines:

  1. The length of the piece should be between 700 and 1000 words.

  2. The article should consistently use British spelling and grammar, if you’re writing in English.

  3. The simpler the language the better. Try to briefly explain or add links to any concepts, organisations, policies… introduced in the article.

  4. Concepts and cited works/legislation/articles should be inserted in the article as hyperlinks.

  5. All acronyms should be specified in parentheses.

Some notes on the publication process:

  1. Once you send us your proposal, we will get back to you after the deadline for all submissions (15 February).

  2. First drafts are due on 7th March, for publication on 18th April. Once you send us your first draft, your editor will get back to you with their comments, which you will review before publication.
  3. The article will be translated and promoted on social media.

  4. We understand this topic may be highly sensitive. If any writer wishes to remain anonymous, we commit to protecting their identity.

  5. Please be aware that any opinions you express in your article will be yours alone and not reflect Routed's general stance.

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