Today, due to many interacting factors, such as climate change, economic turmoil, and political instability, both migration patterns and the responses of states to migration are in flux. It is more important than ever for there to be a disciplinary conversation that is international.
While the study of both migration and citizenship have been multidisciplinary (and sometimes interdisciplinary) ventures, the coupling of a focus on migration and citizenship carries special resonance in the discipline of political science. Political scientists have been interested in citizenship laws, citizenship rights, citizenship statuses and citizenship belonging/multiculturalism as well as unbelonging/foreignness. Political scientists have addressed political parties and public attitudes towards immigration and immigrants. As well, political scientists have focused on the role of the state (and state borders) in relation to the structural and international conditions which foster migration and implicate citizens and non-citizens in often racialized ways. Not least, political scientists have also been concerned with normative considerations pertaining to migration and the question of ethical responses. However, the discipline of political science has yet to vigorously bridge voices and experiences across the global North and global South.
Owing to the unique structure and representation of the International Political Science Association (IPSA) and its biannual World Congress, RC 46 aims to bridge gaps and further build more global understanding. By creating a clear international meeting ground for faculty and graduate students interested in the areas of migration and citizenship to come together, discuss, and share research, RC 46 seeks to open space for a diverse range of voices, in both the global South and the global North, to more easily connect. This can potentiate a new type of disciplinary conversation that is even more attuned to the multidimensional impact of migration at international, national and local levels, as well as to the comparative implications and responses to migration when it comes to citizenship, citizenship statuses and stateless peoples in diverse polities.
RC 46 necessarily reflects on the methodological, epistemological and ontological diversity of the discipline of political science as a whole. Just as “the state” plays a role as a major orienting concept for much work in the discipline as a whole, the research committee is premised on further building on the common ground that the focus on migration and citizenship has already provided the discipline.
By also vigorously addressing disciplinary gaps, RC 46 seeks to facilitate a more balanced international discussion amongst political scientists about historic and contemporary migration patterns, responses of state and non-state actors, and their implications for citizenship in global and comparative terms.