The website for critical discussion about migration in Central and Eastern Europe.

How and why did MARS facilitate migration control? Understanding the implication of migration and refugee studies (MARS) with the restriction of human mobility by UK state agencies

Joshua Paul Hatton has presented an interesting thesis for the PhD in Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Oxford. In his work, he focuses on the relation between the academic field of migration and refugee studies (MARS) and the migration control by UK agencies.

Hatton makes two arguments. The first, and more empirical one, is that MARS facilitated the control: the field‘s members provided symbolic, technical, and pedagogic assistance to two non-departmental public bodies in controlling migration. The second, and more theoretical, argument of this thesis is that MARS facilitated migration control because of culture, power, and structure. It is through the field‘s implication in the coercion of its human subjects by UK state agencies that MARS academics a) answered their calling, b) assisted class rule as ideologists, and c) separated sacred and profane by policing endogamy.

The author provides a historical narrative to outline the institutional development of the field since the 1980s. Then he traces the actor network through which the academics facilitated the restriction of their human subjects‘ mobility by the UK state agencies of the Advisory Panel on Country Information and the Migration Advisory Committee. He uses three anthropological approaches, Weberian, Marxist, and Durkhemian to explain the implication of MARS and migration control. Finally, the conclusion of the thesis discusses its contributions to both more particular (i.e., the literature surveyed in the introduction on MARS and migration control) and more general (i.e., anthropology) scholarly fields.

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