Oxford, 11-12 April 2013
The podcast of the keynote address I gave at the international symposium Within and beyond citizenship: Lived experiences of contemporary membership held in Oxford in April 2013 is now available on line. In the paper, I discussed the relevance of the concept of space and spatiality to discussions of citizenship and political membership, expounding the concept of ‘campzenship’ and articulating the importance of the camp to discussions of belonging. The camp, I argued, is a manifestation of the complexity of membership rather than the exception as which it has often been theorised. Drawing on research in Roma camps in Italy, the paper explored how the camp can be theorised as a space of autonomy; it can allow those who are in some way ‘rejected’ to position themselves within society, signifying a fragmentation of the traditional idea of citizenship. Yet similarly I explained how camps may operate a logic of public assistance and control. Occupying this paradoxical position, Roma refugee camps in Italy are not outside the normal but much more part of the ordinary that we would like to think. When conceptualising citizenship, Sigona thus stressed that we should consider not just the border, but experiences of spatiality and confinement.
Sigona, N. (2013) ‘Campzenship: Rethinking the camp as a political space’, International Symposium Within and beyond citizenship. Lived experiences of contemporary membership, Oxford, 11-12 April 2013.
CALL FOR PAPERS. Deadline for abstracts: 17 December 2012
The analysis of the relationship between legal status, rights and belonging is the central theme of two international symposia jointly organised by the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago and the Centre on Migration, Policy and Society, the Refugee Studies Centre and the Oxford Institute of Social Policy at the University of Oxford.
For the symposium in Oxford (11-12 April 2013), proposals are invited for papers which investigate aspects related to proliferation and precarisation of legal statuses in contemporary Europe and beyond. We welcome proposals that explore the position of the non-citizen in contemporary immigration and emigration states; the nexus between migration, immigration enforcement, rights and belonging; the ways coexisting traditions and regimes of rights are negotiated in policy and practice; and the intersection of ‘race’ and other social cleavages and legal status. In particular, we encourage submissions that focus on one or more of the following areas:
- Everyday experiences of ‘illegality’ among children and young people
- Intergenerational impacts of status precariousness
- Physical mobility and legal status
- Forms and modalities of political mobilisation around precarious membership
- Spatial practices and geographies of non-citizenship
- The impact of precarious status on transnational practices and diasporic consciousness
Gender perspectives and methodological issues of research sensitivity and ethics are significant cross-cutting themes throughout these topics.
If you wish to present a paper at the symposium in Oxford, please submit an abstract (max 250 words) and a brief CV (1 page) through our online system (http://www.rsc.ox.ac.uk/legal-status-submit-abstract) by Monday 17 December 2012 at 5pm (UK time). Participants will be notified if their paper has been selected by Friday 21 January 2012. Full written papers should be submitted to the organisers by 15 March 2013 and will be circulated to discussants and participants before the conference. Presentations are expected to be about 30 minutes.
NB: Please note that by submitting an abstract you commit to producing an original paper of about 6-7,000 words in length by 15 March 2013; also note that we can only accommodate a limited number of papers.
It is anticipated to turn conference proceedings into one or two journal special issues or edited volumes. Papers should therefore be based on original research and should not have been published already or be under consideration for publication elsewhere. Please note that inclusion in any publications arising from the conference will be subject to peer review. For further information about the Oxford symposium, please visit http://www.rsc.ox.ac.uk/events/legal-status-international-symposia or email email@example.com.
The joint symposia are convened by Dr Roberto G. Gonzales (University of Chicago) and Dr Nando Sigona (University of Oxford). The Oxford symposium is organised by Dr Nando Sigona (RSC), Dr Elaine Chase (OISP) and Vanessa Hughes (COMPAS).
A Roma political activist and his family, long targets of reported neo-Nazi attacks in Hungary, have been denied refugee status in Canada after an Immigration and Refugee Board member ruled they have no legitimate fear of persecution in their homeland – read the full story on Ottawa Citizen.
This is a surprising decion for everyone who is familiar to the deteriorating human rights situation in Hungary. The EU is well aware of the dangerous turn in Hungarian politics, and several independent observers have noted the lack of adequate protection afforded to Roma who are victims of racism and hate crimes. This is despite the existence on paper of an anti-discrimination law in line with the EU framework and directives.
Western powers overseeing Kosovo have announced the end of their supervision of the Balkan nation, the last to be born out of the dissolution of Yugoslavia.
Since its unilateral declaration of independence from Serbian in Febraury 2008, Kosovo had been overseen by a group made up of 23 EU countries, the US and Turkey. On September 10, 2012 Pieter Feith, the Dutch diplomat serving as both serving as the European Union Special Representative(EUSR) and as the International Civilian Representative in Kosovo, declared the end of international supervision. What does this mean to the ethnic minorities of Kosovo is too early to say.
In 2008, in the months following the declaration of independence, I carried out fieldwork in Kosovo, interviewing several Roma, Askhali and Egyptian Kosovans and wrote two concept papers (Integrating minorities in a post-conflict society and Towards the social inclusion of RAE in Kosovo) to inform the implementation of the Kosovo’s strategy for RAE integration (funded by the EC). This article published recently in the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies (2012, vol. 38, n.8) discusses some of the findings of the work and portraits the challanges that the supervision status was posing to ethnic minorities. Stemming from my time in Kosovo, I have also published an interview with two very active Roma leaders in Romani Politics in Contemporary Europe (Sigona & Trehan, 2009) and a number of posts on this blog (both texts and photos).