The Geopolitics of Asylum

Alison Mountz, Balsillie School of International Affairs + Geography and Environmental Studies, Wilfred Laurier University


Friday.  24.Mar.2017. 3:00-5:00pm.

SS2125. 100 St. George Street

Tea. Coffee. Cookies.

ABSTRACT: The geopolitics of asylum operate as a form of the global intimate. This paper calls for greater attention to geopolitics in analyses of political asylum outcomes and lived experiences. While migration scholars have long asserted that borders are more open for some people than for others, less has been written about the role played by geopolitics in shaping human migration in the form of asylum. How do geopolitical relations influence the permeability of borders and chances for human mobility of those seeking asylum? Why do some asylum-seekers cross borders with relative ease, while others in proximate time and place encounter a proliferation of forms of confinement (such as walls, fencing, and detention centers)? Borders are sites where geopolitical order and racialized exclusions are established and consolidated through spatial controls exercised over mobility. This talk juxtaposes different migrations that are proximate in time and space to illuminate the influence of race and geopolitics on legal geographies, technocratic-seeming processes and procedures, and – ultimately – their outcomes.

Intersections: Lectures, etc. Department of Geography and Planning, University of Toronto


Development Seminar Series, Faculty of Arts and Science, University of Toronto


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