Migrants and Citizens
US border with Mexico at San Diego

The Worst Invention Ever?

‘Borders are the worst invention ever made by politicians’. This was the claim made earlier this week by Jean-Claude Junker, the very President of the European Commission.  So is he right? And if so, having invented them, must we now live… Read More

immigration, visa, detention, mistake, America

Adventures in America. No. 1: in which I am not deported

Long before I saw America, I recognised America. America’s skylines, suburbs and cities were known quantities, reflected in a thousand Hollywood movies and syndicated sitcoms. This familiarity is disconcerting: it encourages a false sense of security. Arriving in… Read More

Bureaucratic borders and inequality: reflections from a paperwork day

Sometimes – unlikely as it may seem – real life and my research collide. Take me to an immigration checkpoint, ask me for my passport and I’ll immediately become a cross between an investigative journalist and a philosopher,… Read More

Wot I did in my Summer holidays

I spent most of my Summer in Uganda, which explains the recent silence on this blog. I’ve been trying to understand how those on the margins of a developing society – especially refugees and migrants – negotiate their… Read More

Israelis and Africans: the other refugee story

We all know the story of Israel and the Palestinian refugees. And certainly, even in this most politicized of conflicts, no one should dispute the continuing human suffering of the civilian Palestinian population. There should be shame that… Read More

(In)humanitarianism begins at home?

The UK would claim to be on the side of the angels in Syria. Who could dispute David Cameron’s claim, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Barack Obama, that he condemns the ‘horrific violence against innocent civilians’ in Syria? Yes, we ‘stand with… Read More

Kenya, Jubaland and Somalia’s refugees: no quick fixes

In recent days, Kenya has launched a military incursion into Somalia, to push back the Al-Shabbab militants responsible for the recent murder and abduction of Western tourists and aid-workers from Kenyan territory. Framed as a necessary security response… Read More