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Department of Culture and Global Studies

Research project from GRS - Global Refugee Studies

Spaces, Borders, Bodies. A Postcolonial Inquiry into Danish Politics on Forced Migration

Spaces, Borders, Bodies. A Postcolonial Inquiry into Danish Politics on Forced Migration

This three-year project examines continuities and ruptures between current and colonial Danish politics on spaces, borders and bodies.

Last modified: 03.11.2016

This three-year project examines continuities and ruptures between current and colonial Danish politics on spaces, borders and bodies. It does so by tracing the activities and understandings on displacement, forced migration and its ecological impact, from Danish colonial rule, in particular in the Danish Gold Coast (today Ghana) between 1754-1850 and the Danish West Indies (today US Virgin Islands) between 1754-1917, and comparing these with current Danish and EU refugee and border externalization policies. The project’s theoretical basis is multidisciplinary and based on critical geography, political philosophy, political ecology, racialization and de/postcolonial theory. Methodologically, genealogical inquiry, archival searches, qualitative fieldwork and discursive and normative analyses are combined in order to examine the nexus between forced migration, migration management, the production of racial hierarchies and the humanitarian, socioeconomic and ecological impact of displacement grids on regions holding different roles in capitalist geopolitics. The project asks crucial questions about mobility practices, past and present, thus adding historical, ecological and philosophical depth to Danish and European debates on the rationalities of spaces, borders and bodies..


Research questions

  • Which continuities and ruptures exist between current and colonial Danish politics on forced migration in terms of spatiality, border control, sovereignty and biopolitics?

  • What impact has colonial displacement grids and the colonial encounter had on current Danish governance rationalities concerning spaces, borders and bodies in the context of non-members’ mobility?

  • What humanitarian, socioeconomic and ecological consequences and dynamics can be identified in colonial and current politics on forced migration?

  • Which moral arguments characterize the administrative and political discourses surrounding and resisting, respectively, the colonial and current Danish mobility regimes and their enforcement?


Contact

Dr. Martin Lemberg-Pedersen
Assistant Professor
GRS - Global Refugee Studies, Department of Culture and Global Studies, Aalborg University
lemberg@cgs.aau.dk    


Activities

  • Postcolonial Study Group, based at Global Refugee Studies
  • Archival searches in Denmark, Ghana, U.S. Virgin Isles, Netherlands and Washington
  • Workshops
  • National and International Conferences


Partners

Department of History and Political Studies
College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology
Accra, Ghana

Virgin Islands Caribbean Cultural Center
University of the Virgin Islands
St. Croix
U.S. Virgin Islands

Nijmegen Centre for Border Research
Nijmegen School of Management
Radboud University
Nijmegen, Netherlands 


Facts

Grant size: DKK 1,946.504
Time period: February 1st  2017 - January 31st  2020

  • The project is funded by the Danish Council for Independent Research, Humanities.

  • The project is based at Global Refugee Studies (GRS), Department of Culture and Global Studies, Aalborg University.