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Contours of power

The Oxford Migration Studies Society, the Migration and Mobility Network and Routed Magazine are thrilled to present this special issue dedicated to the Oxford Migration Conference 2022.


The Oxford Migration Conference took place between 17 and 19 May 2022 in St Luke’s Chapel, Oxford, and focused on the topic ‘Contours of power: Exploring power and migration’. Migration is situated at the intersection of various power dynamics, shaped by borders, policies, and acts of resistance and solidarity. Power inequalities and struggles both affect and follow the position and agency of migrants, policymakers, and intermediaries. From climate change to healthcare, from the arts to the digital sphere, academics, researchers, activists and practitioners have reflected on the forms and edges of power in relation to migration.


This issue is structured around six different topics, mirroring the panels of the Conference: migrant rights, climate change, gender and sexuality, technology, humanitarianism and development, and decolonial pathways.


We would like to thank the organisers that have made this collaboration possible, under the coordination of Halim Kim. We are indebted to all the authors and panellists who generously shared the insights of their research and experiences. This publication is also the result of the hard work of guest editors and Oxford masters students Charlotte Matondo Bechert, Hope Nkechi Chilokoa-Mullen, Nayera El-Bar, Sophie Li, Francesco Rolando, Shannon Rodriguez, and Emily Roper; as well as Routed Magazine’s editing and communication teams, including Shaddin Almasri, Madison Bradt, Fiona Buchanan, Lena Hartz, Hannah Markay, Margaret Koudelkova, Chrysi Kiratsou, and Magda Rodríguez Dehli. The help of the Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS), The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH) and the Oxford Department of International Development (ODID) at the University of Oxford has been invaluable for organising the event. We would also like to thank Delphine Boagey for the original design ideas, and recognise the work of panel chairs, technicians, and many others who have contributed to the success of this Conference.


The Oxford Migration Studies Society, the Migration and Mobility Network and Routed Magazine wish you an inspiring reading!

You can find the programme of the 2022 Oxford Migration Conference here.

1. Contested and protected rights

Judith Kohlenberger -- (c) Doro Blancke.jpg

The displacement paradox: Legitimising rightlessness in the refugee regime

George Gumisiriza_TitlePic_My Loss, shared grief pic A.jpg

How private is (my) grief?

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‘NGOs are sort of a dirty word here’: Refugee service provision in Greece

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How do diplomats separate refugee families in Brazil?

2. Climate change and (im)mobility

Himani Upadhyay 1S.jpg

Why do people stay despite climate risks?

Artist-Poulami Banerjee.jpg

Climate change and (im)mobility of persons with disabilities

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Impossible politics: The power of climate migration models

Mrittika Bhattacharya pic.jpg

Environmental injustice & (dis)empowerment of out-migrating Bangladeshi women to India

Marina Korzenevica Figure 1.png

From fast to slow risks: Shifting vulnerabilities of flood-related migration in Lodwar, Kenya

3. Gender, sexuality and (dis)empowerment

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The politics of representation: Cross-border marriage brokerage agencies and migrant representations in South Korea

Jennifer Maaskant – taken by author.jpg

LGBTQI+ accessibility and visibility in a Dutch asylum seeker centre

Ismail Khan.jpg

Men, migration, and emerging masculinities in the transnational sphere

Marina Garcez, actually.jpg

Searching for reproductive justice for migrants held in the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention centres

4. Advancing power of technology

Abdullah Yassen & Mirjam Twigt.jpg

Technology and refugee legal aid in Iraqi Kurdistan

Felix Akinboyewa pic.jpg

Exploring power and migration: The United States’ spatialised digital border system

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Digital technology and migrant health communication experiences: A perspective from the Thai border

5. Navigating humanitarianism and development

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From humanitarian aid to mutual aid: A lexicon of border struggle

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Increasing or diverting control? Refugee self-reliance, political stakes, and international aid to forcibly displaced people in Cameroon

6. Colonial legacies and decolonial futures

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Who are the privileged? Refugees, the Indigenous, and white people in La Guajira, Colombia

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Pandemics, populist necropower, and regimes of mobility in the Global South: Haitians’ silent exodus from Brazil during the COVID-19 pandemic


Migration governance as white saviourism: A colonial legacy or a post-colonial power trip?

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Comics, rhythms and rhymes: Colonial borderlands and decolonial lines

Daniel Whyte, photo credit_ 'By Robert Sharp - CC BY-SA 4.0.png

Afropolitanism: Rewriting African mobility in the 21st century?

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