Material Citizenship Politics: Connecting Migration with Science and Technology Studies

Special issue of Citizen Studies edited by N. Amelung, O. Solovova, C. Gianolla & J. Sousa Ribeiro, published online 02 July 2020.


This article aims to explore the multiple uses and consequences of different technologies and infrastructures in the context of migrations and how such uses and consequences inhabit and transform migrants’ rights and subjectivities. It reviews relevant literature at the intersection of citizenship, critical migration studies and science and technology studies (STS), focusing in particular on the current debates underway within critical citizenship studies that examine how technologies and infrastructures shape the ability to acts of citizenship. By mobilizing insights from STS, we focus on how these political subjectivities are shaped by certain sociomaterial and epistemic practices. By introducing the notion of material citizenship politics, the article outlines a way to differentiate three different constitutive forms between technologies, infrastructures and citizenship in migrations. Technologies and infrastructures can (1) constrain acts of citizenship in migration and border regimes; (2) constitute contestation and participation over citizenship; or (3) enable and shape alternative acts of citizenship in migration and border regimes. As it provides a theoretical background to the special issue, the article also serves as the introduction to the issue.

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Published June 1, 2021 10:50 AM - Last modified June 1, 2021 11:33 AM