Author Archive

Bastian Vollmer

Bastian A. Vollmer is Leverhulme Fellow at COMPAS. He is a member of the Flows and Dynamics, Citizenship and Belonging, and Welfare research clusters. His main research interests are migration processes (particularly irregular and transit migration); control mechanisms and securitization regimes of migration; border theory; discourse theory and discourse analysis. He was educated at Cambridge University and at the University of Amsterdam. His previous book with Palgrave Macmillan is entitled Policy Discourses on Irregular Migration in Germany and the United Kingdom and his most recent article is A Hermeneutical Approach to European Bordering

“The most interesting things are happening at the margins.” (Yuri Andrukhovych, Ukrainian poet). “Indeed”, I thought, while I was writing my book Ukrainian Migration and the European Union – Dynamics, Subjectivity, and Politics which is about to be published by Palgrave Macmillan at the end of this month. Just before the riots started on the streets of Kyiv in late 2013, I was – in collaboration with a team of researchers – conducting research in Ukraine under the framework of the EUMAGINE (Imaging Europe from the Outside) project. In my new book, I address the situation of living in Ukraine and why people leave or stay, using the results of that research: a large-scale survey (2000 respondents), more than 90 in-depth interviews …

“Hang on they are not tourists”, a UK citizen said to his wife with wide eyes and an expression on his face suggesting this realisation was a big surprise. “They could even be ‘migrants’…couldn’t they?” This is a question — in this case one I heard in an interview — that has always been complex, but is becoming even more so, in the UK and elsewhere. Time has changed legal and regulatory circumstances, and the demographic of people who come to Britain have also changed. These changes have generated new migrant categories, typologies and tiers but also new stigmas, phobias and labels. Who is a migrant? Alas, there is no clear legal or administrative definition of ‘migrant’. A 1953 United Nations recommendation referred to the definition of “permanent immigrants” as non-residents (both nationals and aliens) arriving with the intention to remain for a period exceeding a year and of “permanent emigrants” as residents (nationals and aliens) intending to remain abroad for a period exceeding one year (United Nations, 1953).