Call for Papers: Managing International Migration? Visa Policies, Politics, and Practice [EN]

Workshop, 28 September 2015
We invite abstracts on the theme of Managing International Migration?, Visa Policies, Politics, and Practice for a cross-regional, one-day workshop to be held on or around 28 September 2015 at the University of Oxford, UK.

Please send a 200-word abstract to by 17 July 2015. Final papers will be expected by mid September.

States are increasingly attempting to externalize migration controls beyond their borders. Visa policies, politics and practices are a primary form of this extraterritorial bordering. Visa policies are informed by diverse considerations from international relations to economic policy, migration management and security. They define and distinguish between un/desired and il/legitimate visitors and migrants, creating a global hierarchy of mobility by differentiating countries and their citizens into those who do and do not require visas.

Despite their broad reach, the implementation of visa policies is not straightforward. Visa policies have negative effects on bilateral trade, travel and foreign direct investment, and may conflict with foreign policy goals. Moreover, visa policies are interpreted by street-level bureaucrats, manipulated by immigration advice agencies, confronted with individual aspirations, and undermined by unlawful activities.

We are interested in a variety of methodologies, disciplinary perspectives, and comparative approaches. Some of the research questions that have animated this call for papers include the following:

– How to conceptualize and theorize of visa policies and politics?
– How are visa policies constructed and what are the trade-offs and goals behind these policies? How do national identities or state security interests affect visa policies?
– How do organisational cultures and bureaucrats’ practices shape policy implementation?
– What is the influence of non-state actors (lobby groups, advice agencies, visa processing centres) on policy design, policy outcomes and policy diffusion?
– How do visa policies in the ‘global north’ compare to those in the ‘global south and east’?
– How has EU visa liberalization evolved? Relation between national and supranational policies?
– How do visa policies regulating different types of mobility compare (e.g. exit and entry visa; tourist, family, labour and study visas)?
– How do visa requirements shape the perceptions, behaviour and strategies of would-be travellers/migrants?
– What are the determinants of visa overstaying?
– What are the research gaps in the literature on visa policies?

We envisage a minimum of three panels with three papers each, hence a total of at least nine papers and ample time for discussion. We are planning for a mix of existing, recent and ongoing research papers. We aim to publish a collection of (previously unpublished) papers from this and a parallel workshop in Canada. We have limited funding to contribute towards travel and accommodation costs.

Franck Düvell, University of Oxford
Federica Infantino, University of Oxford
Ċetta Mainwaring, University of Waterloo