1st Edition

Patterns of Im/mobility, Conflict and Identity

Edited By Birgit Bräuchler Copyright 2022
    126 Pages
    by Routledge

    126 Pages
    by Routledge

    Patterns of im/mobility, collective identity and conflict are highly entangled. The im/mobility of a social or cultural group has major impact on how identity narratives, a sense of belonging and relationships to ‘others’ are shaped, and vice versa. These dynamics are closely interlinked with mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion between groups and power structures that involve a broad variety of actors from local populations, to migrants, government institutions and other intermediaries.

    Mainly looking at patterns of internal mobility such as ‘traditional’ or strategic mobilities and mobilities enforced by crisis, conflict or governmental programmes and regimes, this book aims to go beyond currently predominant issues of transnational migration. Dynamics of non/integration and belonging, caused by im/mobility, are analysed on a cultural and political level, which involves questions of representation, indigeneity/autochthony, political rights and access to land and other resources. With ethnographic case studies from Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Bangladesh, East Timor and Indonesia, this volume provides a comparative perspective on the multifold dimensions of im/mobility in contexts where changing mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion trigger or settle conflicts and social identities are constantly re/negotiated.

    The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of Social Identities.

    1. Patterns of im/mobility, conflict and the re/making of identity narratives

    Birgit Bräuchler and Anaïs Ménard

    2. ‘Hunger has brought us into this jungle’: understanding mobility and immobility of Bengali immigrants in the Chittagong Hills of Bangladesh

    Nasrin Siraj and Ellen Bal

    3. Interpreting conflict and integration through the reciprocity lens: mobility and settlement in a historical perspective on the Sierra Leonean coast

    Anaïs Ménard

    4. The complementarity of divergent historical imaginations: narratives of mobility and alterity in contemporary Liberia

    Maarten Bedert

    5. Changing patterns of mobility, citizenship and conflict in Indonesia

    Birgit Bräuchler

    6. Im/mobile subjects: identity, conflict and emotion work among East Timorese Meto diaspora

    Victoria K. Sakti

    7. In ‘no man’s land’: the im/mobility of Serb NGO workers in Kosovo

    Signe Borch


    Birgit Bräuchler is Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Copenhagen and an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow at Monash University, Melbourne. She is author of Cyberidentities at War (2013, Berghahn), The Cultural Dimension of Peace (2015, Palgrave), editor of Reconciling Indonesia (2009, Routledge), co-editor of Theorising Media and Practice (2010, Berghahn) and Theorising Media and Conflict (2020, Berghahn) and has published widely in peer-reviewed journals.

    "How the entanglement of mobility and immobility affects the peaceful or conflictual inclusion or exclusion of different groups has not been sufficiently studied. This book offers an important corrective. It presents a comparative view across regions of how the encounter between different groups and the unequal power dynamics that ensue give rise to identities and relations that encourage co-existence or struggle. The chapters shed new light on issues of representation, belonging, indigeneity, and the role of the state in negotiating conflict. An important resource for scholars of migration, area-studies, political science, human rights and development."

    - Peggy Levitt; Chair, Department of Sociology, Wellesley College; Co-Founder, Global (De)Centre; Associate, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University.


    "In order to investigate the impacts of conflicts on collective patterns of mobility and immobility, this collection brings together a rich assembly of case studies from Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Bangladesh, East Timor and Indonesia. In a refreshing way, the contributors to this formidable volume not only explicate old and new concepts utilised for the study of forced and voluntary migration, but also offer new insights on models such as conviviality, reciprocity, marginalization and stigmatization gained from long-term encounters in the field. Concentrating on close-up views of everyday life and reaching far beyond formal politics, the contributors challenge more traditional understandings of stranger/host relationships, strategic alliance-building and competitive behaviours, as well as the politics of belonging. This collection makes for stimulating reading and is highly recommended to academics and practitioners alike, particularly those engaged in peace-building, citizenship and mobility rights."

    - Antje Missbach, Bielefeld University


    "Patterns of Im/mobility, Conflict and Identity is a welcome addition to migration and mobility studies. It builds on and interrogates the mobility turn and transnational migration studies by focusing in particular on internal mobility and its connection to immobility. The ethnographically-rich case studies from Asia, Africa and Europe carefully describe the tensions arising from different patterns of im/mobility, how these impact imaginations of and relations between groups and shape processes of marginalization, reterritorialization and identity formation. The volume is a great read to anyone interested in thinking about the ambiguities of migration and how and why im/mobility may trigger or change the politics of inclusion and exclusion."

    - Annuska Derks, Co-director, Department of Social Anthropology and Cultural Studies, University of Zurich