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Katerina Rozakou

The ‘migration crisis’ has turned migration governance in Greece into a popular research field. At the same time, it has triggered the reconfiguration of sovereign powers with an assemblage of disparate actors engaging in addressing the ‘crisis’. This excess of sovereign power has contributed to a migration maze. In this article I use access to the migration field and in particular the Moria camp in Lesbos, as the lens for an exploration of these fragmented and emergent sovereign powers. In particular, I reflect on the materiality of my research permit and the figure of the humanitarian gatekeeper. As I show, any research access attempt encounters different spheres and agents of jurisdiction and responsibility. This fragmentation provides opportunities for research access, but it also poses methodological and epistemological questions. I finally interrogate the question of research access and knowledge production itself. In particular, I argue that the abundance of accounts does not necessarily produce a more thorough and in‐depth picture, but only a limited one, like the access that enables it. As researchers of a blossoming crisis scholarship, we are often complicit in epistemologically reproducing the very border we seek to scrutinise through our critical work.

Open access

Barak Kalir

Methodological accounts often deliberately omit the role that luck plays in getting access to challenging research sites. Indeed, it sounds unprofessional and feels unsatisfying to attribute luck to our work. ‘I hope to get lucky’ will not go down well with most supervisors or as part of any grant proposal. We should, however, consider that luck literally stands for the probability that certain events might take place under certain circumstances. Reflecting on our luck can therefore help us to expound important features that structure the probability of getting access. In my case, getting access to the Spanish state deportation regime could never be anticipated or secured simply in line with the importance of my project or my academic credentials. Obtaining formal approval from the Spanish authorities proved to be impossible, but I eventually achieved access in a messy way that involved many informal interactions and much uncertainty. Accounting for my months‐long attempts, I show how luck sensitised me to officials’ ample discretionary power and pervasive sense of impunity in producing an image of ‘the state’ as unpredictable and opaque. This image induced the strong sensation that my fieldwork crucially depended on the whims of particular officials.

Open access

Affordability and relationality

The reproduction and transformation of the segregated city in Windhoek

Lalli Metsola

. However, I will argue that beneath the professed transition from apartheid to democracy and majority rule, strong forces reproduce the segregated city structure and its unequal provision and access—in the sense of “ability to derive benefits from things

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Accessing Citizenship

The Conceptual and Political Changes of the German Naturalization Policy, 1999–2006

Anna Björk

This article deals explicitly with the dimension of access in the concept of citizenship and is discussed from the point of view of migration. Access is analyzed in the context of the reform of German citizenship laws in 1999. The state of Hesse is singled out to be used as an example of parliamentary debate on the concepts of citizenship and integration. The point is to explicate the interrelations of the federal legislative reform and the conceptual implications thereof, using Hesse as a state-level example.

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Urban access

Contested spaces and contested politics

Ulrich Ufer

The global Right to the City network challenges exclusionary effects of neoliberal urbanization by claiming citizens' rights for access to urban space and to the benefits of urban culture. Artists belong to one of the most vulnerable groups in the context of gentrification and urban exclusion. At the same time, their creative and expressive capacities put them in a privileged position to voice protest. Oscillating between counterhegemony, accommodation, and strategic collusion, a group of artist-activists from the city of Hamburg in Germany have been employing the means of empowered symbolism, activist art, and emancipatory knowledge in order to implement an alterpolitics of space. Their occupation of the historic Hamburg Gängeviertel has successfully repoliticized questions over urban use value and urban access, which had been purposefully excluded from the realm of the political in the revanchist, neoliberal city.

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Negotiating research in the shadow of migration control

Access, knowledge and cognitive authority

Damian Rosset and Christin Achermann

This article recounts the failure to gain access to the Swiss asylum agency's ‘country of origin information’ (COI) unit and how it negatively impacted access to similar research sites in Europe. As producers of indispensable expert knowledge, these units play an important instrumental and symbolic role in asylum procedures and policies. Interpreted as a situated case of knowledge control, rather than a general resistance to research within the institution, the denial of access reveals how the intended research challenged gatekeepers’ idealised construction of COI – both as a type of knowledge and as a field of practice. The negotiation about access gradually shifted to other topics, such as the researcher's competence, the field's situation and the nature of legitimate knowledge – all related to politics of expertise and the COI units’ legitimising functions in the wider migration apparatus. The negotiation became a competition over cognitive authority and the monopoly of legitimate knowledge production about the field. By black‐boxing country information, the gatekeepers fostered the illegibility of bureaucratic processes and the legibility of the state as discourse. Analysing the 30‐month negotiation process also reveals the difficulties to seize the contours of the state when encountering transnational bureaucratic fields.

Restricted access

Annika Lindberg and Lisa Marie Borrelli

This article documents efforts to gain access to conduct ethnographic fieldwork in migration control agencies across eight European countries: Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden and Switzerland. Building on repeated email exchanges, phone calls and fieldnotes from personal encounters between the researchers and state authorities, it traces and analyses state agencies’ decisions on whether or not to let researchers in to study their practices. We found that our access negotiations, including failed ones, proved analytically useful, as they drew our attention to the fragmented nature of the state agencies we attempted to study, which contrasts with the order‐making functions they claim to perform within the field of border and migration control. From our observations emerges an image of ‘the state’ as made up by many hands and ridden by internal frictions, conflicting interests and values, which contributes to rendering state practices unpredictable and opaque, also to the street‐level officials enforcing them. This opacity of state bureaucracy has profoundly disempowering effects for those trying to access it, even if it is not necessarily consciously constructed. Instead, we show how our access negotiations drew attention to the ongoing struggles over power, knowledge and order within the contested field of migration control.

Open access

Aimee Haley

formations and conditions’ ( Kemmis 2010: 10 ). For instance, this study contributes knowledge that can be used by educators to devise informed, targeted educational strategies to mitigate the challenges imposed by expanding higher education access to student

Open access

Melody Viczko, Marie-Agnès Détourbe, and Shannon McKechnie

In the current context of intense forced migrations, refugee access to higher education is a growing concern among governments, civil society, and non-government organisations (NGOs). Over half of twenty-five million refugees globally are under

Open access

Ryan Goeckner, Sean M. Daley, Jordyn Gunville, and Christine M. Daley

culmination of an eight-month struggle between American Indian and allied protesters and law enforcement, private mercenaries, and state and federal government officials over the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) under Lake Oahe by the Texas