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The University of Southampton
Southampton Ethics Centre

The Shifting Border: Legal Cartographies of Migration and Mobility Seminar

12:00 - 14:00
15 November 2017
Room 58/4121 Highfield Campus. Lunch is provided and all are welcome.

Event details

This Wednesday (15th November) the Faculty of Social Sciences are pleased to welcome Prof Ayelet Shachar from the Max Planck Institute to give a presentation titled "The Shifting Border: Legal Cartographies of Migration and Mobility". Please find an abstract below.


The refugee crisis in Europe has brought to the fore some of the most pressing dilemmas of our times, exposing profound tensions between “people out of place,” their right to international protection, and the sovereign authority of states to control and regulate migration. It also reveals the failure of current legal approaches to resolve this inherent tension, between the right to exclude and the duty to protect. The discussion highlights the key gatekeeping role played by law in facilitating the dramatic expansion—both spatial and conceptual—of the reach of border control, which no longer adheres to fixed territorial markers. This mobility-inhibiting “shifting border” is compared with a more traditionalist interpretation of legal spatiality that reemerges when we turn our gaze to the conditions for seeking asylum in affluent states, which hinge dramatically on the act of “touching base” in the territory of the very same states doing everything in their power to avert such uninvited arrival. In order to break the current deadlock, the paper envisions a new paradigm for reversing the evasive logic of the shifting border, turning its erstwhile rights-restricting tendencies into opportunities in the service of securing protection for those who need it most.


Speaker information

Prof Ayelet Shachar, Max Planck Institute . Director at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, where she heads the Ethics, Law, and Politics Department at the Institute. Before joining the Max Planck Society, Shachar held the Canada Research Chair in Citizenship and Multiculturalism at the University of Toronto Faculty Law, and was also the Leah Kaplan Visiting Professor in Human Rights at Stanford Law School and the Jeremiah Smith Jr. Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School. She earned her LL.M. and J.S.D from Yale University.

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