Viadrina Center B/ORDERS IN MOTION

2nd Summer School

Border-related theoretical Perspectives on Societal Orders, Flight and Migration

September 22 – 28, 2019
Europa-University Viadrina, Frankfurt (Oder), Germany


The Viadrina Center B/ORDERS IN MOTION launches its second summer school. This year´s program invites post-graduate and advanced students with an research interest in the impact of governmental bordering practices on societal orders, flight and international migration.

You can download the call for application here.


Border-related theoretical Perspectives on Societal Orders, Flight and Migration

Questions how to adequately respond to flight and migration dominate current global political discourses, with controversies centering on the formation of governmental border demarcation. The dynamics of state border demarcation, flight and migration movements interact in an ambivalent way. Political-territorial border demarcation constitutes, marks and stabilizes economically, socially and politically differing systems of order. This may create unequal living-conditions and thus provide incentives for border-crossings. Military and armed conflicts about territorial boundary lines generate further reasons for flight and migration. State borders may also establish peaceful orders within their territory – but they may deny access to safety and improved life perspectives for refugees and migrants. Hence governmental borders are multidimensional and bear both conjunctive and disjunctive features.

Political discourses rarely consider this complexity of political-territorial border demarcation. On the one hand, the tightening of borders is rendered important by populist promises of protection for resident populations against (so perceived) external danger and uncontrolled migration. The planned wall at the US-South border and the massive fortification of the external EU border in Hungary are more than symbols for this agenda. At the other hand this hints at the immoral and unethical aftermath of fortification and border closures: Thousands of people are losing their lives when trying to reach other countries in search for safety and protection against persecution.


Topical Foci of the Program

The summer school will theoretically and methodologically amplify effects of governmental border demarcation on societal orders, flight and migration. Five topical foci are at core:

·   First, a conceptual understanding of state borders and their features as functional membrane, symbolic promises of order and protection as well as identity constituting institution. How do these differing aspects interact, what are the effects of their interdependency on the making of political-territorial borders?

·  Second, perspectives on cross-border state-cooperation in regard to their effect on bordering practices. In order to reach cohesion of Euro-regions across national borders, the EU launches enormous political, juridical and financial resources. These interrelated spaces exceed the competency of nation-states and form their own “spaces of power”. How do these altered political contexts change the making and efficacy of borders?

·  Third, social practices of doing and undoing borders are critically discussed (e.g. in regard to interaction, narration, materiality). Of special interest are the social practices which create, reestablish or undermine borders.

·  Forth, the border as an institution of status allocation and social positioning will be examined.

As border-crossings entails a status change for subjects (e.g. when citizens are being made to foreigners), the question at heart is where and how the negotiation of migrant´s status takes place. In what way does this relate to societal orders and the border regime?

·  Fifth, questions are being raised about the transformative impact of border-crossing flight and migration movements on societal order and political bordering processes. Migrants should not be perceived as objects of governmental measures, but as subjects with agency. What effects do their practices of resistance have on the maintenance or transformation of societal orders and bordering processes?

The combination of these approaches highlights the interdependency of foci (usually studied in isolation in border studies). Furthermore, we want to reflect on the possibility of fair border arrangements and their interaction on societal orders, flight and migration.


Target Audience

The summer school aims at German speaking graduate and advanced students worldwide, who focus on effects of state-border demarcation on societal order, flight and migration. Applicants should have delved into at least one of the core foci more intensively. Furthermore, it is expected that students have an interest in the development of teaching didactics and interdisciplinary exchange within an international learning group. Participants are required to have good German and English language skills.


The Viadrina Center B/ORDERS IN MOTION

The Viadrina Center B/ORDERS IN MOTION is a central research institution of the University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder). The scientific work at the Center is guided by the basic premise to explore the interaction of borders and orders. Bordering processes facilitate the establishing or maintaining of societal orders, which are legally fixed, passed on historically and being expressed symbolically. Orders need border demarcation. We perceive borders as “laboratories” which condense societal developments and therefore allow to study, analyze and anticipate them. As an interdisciplinary institute, the Viadrina Center B/ORDERS IN MOTION initiates and consolidates social, economic and legal analyses of the interaction of borders and orders. The center encourages scientific exchange by organizing workshops, conferences and the lecture series „Research Factory”. The summer school is part of this schedule promoting the advance of young scholars.


About the summer school´s program

The summer school´s Program contains a mixture of various formats which facilitate acquisition and consolidation of knowledge and practice-oriented skills. Renowned scientists from the field of border studies will delve into the five core aspects within their lectures. A continuous tutorial provides space to read selected key texts and discuss with researchers of the Viadrina Centers B/ORDERS IN MOTION. All participants are invited to introduce their own research projects or ideas within speed-presentations. In topic-centered working-groups and together with didactics-professionals, participants will conceptualize and present a border-related tutorial. In the course of the summer school, visits of the Berlin Wall Memorial and the German-polish border are planned.

Apart from a few lectures in English the summer school will be held in German.


Further information

The number of participants is limited to 20 persons. There is no fee required for attending the summer school. For non-residing participants costs for accommodation in a dormitory located in close-by Słubice (Poland) are covered and a daily lunch at the refectory is provided. Participants have to cover the costs for their travelling to and from the summer school by themselves. In case no other institutional funding for travel costs is at hand, participants may apply for a subsidy of travel expenses by the Viadrina Center B/ORDERS IN MOTION. The possibility and size of a travel grant will depend on the available funds of the Viadrina Center B/ORDERS IN MOTION. Please note in your motivational letter whether you apply for a travel subsidy. 


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