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Call for Papers: Contemporary Human Mobilities. Uncovering Dissonance(s) between Governance Practices and Lived Experiences

13 June 2023

Date: 25-26 January 2024
Location: University of Groningen
Deadline: 21 July 2023

In the (near) future, we can expect human mobility and migration to accelerate further due to growing inequality and shifts in global (economic) power, regional implications of climate change and resource scarcity, increasing urbanisation, and demographic and social change. Migration and human mobility will continue posing great political, legal, socio-economic, and societal challenges for all involved. Scholarship to date has focused on the many aspects of national and cross-border migration regimes that have been established or reformed to address contemporary challenges. However, the lived experiences of migration and human mobility deserve more attention to address the ever-developing challenges.

To remedy this, the proposed conference serves a two-fold purpose. First, it aims to uncover, discuss, and assess dissonances between the governance practices and lived experiences of human mobility and migration. Second, it turns scholarly attention to the concept of repair, i.e. subtle acts of care by which order, meaning and human value are maintained and transformed. Repair, here, is understood in its widest possible sense, including material, policy, discursive, symbolic and affective dimensions of repair. Against the backdrop of climate change, (political, economical, racial and social) injustice, inequality and erosion of rights as core causes of migration, we see repair as practice and ethics that makes possible and sustains just institutions and transversal solidarities.

It is evident that the complexity of human mobility and migration, the existing dissonance between governance practices and lived experience, and the many facets of repair work needed to address such dissonances cannot be captured by one discipline alone. With this conference, we aim to bring together scholars of different fields - from students to specialists - to accelerate knowledge-sharing, interdisciplinary collaboration and foster cross-disciplinary discussions.


To stimulate this kind of discussion, we invite individual papers or panels related to Europe on the (indicative, non-exhaustive) topics below:

Identify dissonances between governance and lived experience with regard to HuMM that undermine (democratic) institutions and ultimately threaten societal cohesion

  • Integration and discrimination in the labour market, education, housing, and local communities
  • Politics and economics of border technologies and exclusionary practices
  • Internal and external factors influencing migration and asylum regimes

Introduce a common holistic understanding of the underlying conditions causing these dissonances by fostering interdisciplinary and methodologically diverse scholarly exchange

  • Challenges of migration and human mobility or people on the move, and communities of origin and of destination
  • Motivations behind changing perceptions and public opinion on migrants and / or refugees
  • Robustness and / or porousness of external border regimes

Rethink and develop technologies, techniques and infrastructure as tools to repair dissonances

  • Role of social networks and citizenship in repair work
  • Sustainable participation and representation in institutional, political and cultural domains
  • A (transatlantic) comparison of migration and asylum regimes
  • Cooperation within the EU to balance (the consequences of) human mobility and migration

We strongly endorse methodological and theoretical pluralism. Papers using a variety of methodological and theoretical approaches are welcome, and we especially encourage interdisciplinary, transnational, comparative and empirically-driven work.

How to participate

Please submit your paper abstract (300 words max. + paper title + 5 keywords) or panel abstract (panel title and short description, 3–4 paper abstracts, each 300 words max. + paper title + 5 keywords) electronically to at hummlab no later than July 21, 2023.

A selection of papers will be included in an edited volume with a reputable publishing house to be published in 2024. The conference is simultaneously intended to strengthen the network of scholars working on issues of migration and human mobility for the continued development of a COST Action proposal. Some parts of the conference program may also be dedicated towards these activities.

Important dates
  • 21 July 2023: closing of submission phase for individual paper abstract / panel abstract and travel allowance application (sent to
  • Early September 2023: Notification of acceptance paper-givers
  • 30 September 2023: Registration via email (, no registration fee
  • 7 January 2024: Deadline for paper synopsis (1,000 words) submission for circulation among conference participants
  • 25-26 January 2024: Presentation of papers at conference

As a rule, all participants bear their own costs. With regard to funding, the organisers will be able to provide a limited number of travel and/or accommodation grants to selected conference participants, specifically to facilitate the participation of young scholars without a conference travel budget of their own. Should you wish to qualify for travel and/or accommodation funding, please indicate so by elaborating upon your motivation to apply for a travel and accommodation grant when submitting your paper abstract.


Please contact hummlab for all topic-related questions you may have.

Last modified:13 June 2023 10.41 a.m.

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