Reinventing the Politics of Knowledge Production in Migration Studies: Introduction to the Special Issue

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This special issue (SI) calls for reinventing the politics of knowledge production in migration studies. Academic migration research should make knowledge production an essential part of its research agenda if it wants to remain relevant in the transnational field of migration research. A risk of marginalisation stems from three interrelated tendencies: First, non-academic actors producing authoritative knowledge about migration have proliferated in recent years. Secondly, academic knowledge production is challenged both by counter-knowledge produced by social movements as well as new digital methods and information structures owned by policy-oriented and private actors. Thirdly, academics no longer hold a hegemonic position in the transnational field of migration research. The contributions to this SI interrogate the politics of knowledge production on migration along three lines of inquiry: (1) the enactment of migration as an intelligible object of government through practices of quantification, categorisation and visualisation; (2) the production of control knowledge in border encounters about subjects targeted as migrants and (3) the modes of thought seeking to unknow and re-know migration beyond dominant nation-state centric understandings. This introduction elaborates how the nine articles of the SI intervene in the politics of knowledge production in migration studies along these lines of inquiry.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Ethnic and Migration Studies
Number of pages25
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The guest editors would like to thank all reviewers for the valuable and constructive feedback. Earlier versions of the contributions to this special issue were presented at the first online symposium of the STS-MIGTEC network in January 2021 and at two panels organised by the guest editors at the EASST-conference in Madrid in July 2022. We would like to thank all participants for the inspiring discussions during both events Stephan Scheel's work was funded by the European Union (ERC-StG project: DigID - Doing Digital Identities, grant number: 101039758). Views and opinions expressed are however those of the authors only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Research Council. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

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