CFP: EWIS Workshop on ‘Secure worlds in motion: exploring the security/mobility nexus’, Tübingen, 6-8 April 2016

Workshop to be held at the 3rd European Workshops in International Studies, Tuebingen, 6-8 April

Convenors: Matthias Leese (University of Tuebingen) and Stef Wittendorp (University of Groningen)

While critical work on borders and security has brought about innovative theorizing of the international and its circulations, it is nevertheless structured primarily around two political figures – that of the migrant and that of the terrorist. This workshop engages in more detail the characteristics of contemporary mobility and the ways in which mobility is being conceptualized to render the international secure. Thus, we seek to explore the security/mobility nexus through a juxtaposition of (critical) security studies with the mobilities turn in Political Geography.

Mobilities literature calls to problematize how mobility is enabled and brought into being, while at the same time scrutinizing how (new) forms of mobility (re)structure social life. Security studies should pay increased attention to how the formation of ‘fixities’ and ‘moorings’ makes possible certain forms of international mobility. Moreover, security scholars should examine how connecting mobilities of material infrastructure (e.g. roads, railway tracks, airports, seaports, pipelines, electricity cables, etc.) and communication networks, enable a politics of security that is grounded in both data-driven practices of risk assessment and pre-emption, and more classic guarding practices.

Exploring security/mobility also highlights the necessity to engage normative questions of power and justice that are deeply entangled in today’s international system, thereby producing strongly diverging travel experiences based on citizenship and social status. The workshop therefore also encourages participants to speak to questions of who is rendered harmless and mobile and who is rendered a (potential) threat and therefore immobilized.

Topics for workshop papers include, but are not limited to:

  • theoretical reflections about the relationship of security and mobility
  • global connectivity and mobility networks
  • techniques of tracking and tracing movement
  • the conflation of business/convenience and security
  • ongoing developments of re-bordering/smart bordering
  • discourses of seamless travel and uninterrupted flows
  • architectures of security/mobility
  • the materiality of security/mobility
  • practices of data collection and surveillance/control
  • social sorting and questions of power and justice
  • practices and politics of encouraging/discouraging mobility

Please submit your proposal by 2 October the latest through the official EISA website:

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Matthias Leese ( and Stef Wittendorp (