Lecture by professor Bridget Anderson (University of Bristol): Blurred Boundaries: Fantasy Citizenship, the worker citizen and mobility controls
CMR UW Seminars: Recent Advances in Theory and Research on Migration.
Bridget Anderson is Professor of Mobilities, Migration and Citizenship at the University of Bristol and Director of its Specialist Research Institute Migration Mobilities Bristol. Her interests include citizenship, racism and methodological nationalism. Books include Us and Them? The Dangerous Politics of Immigration Controls (OUP, 2013). She has worked closely with migrants’ organisations, trades unions and legal practitioners at local, national and international level.
Scholars and migration activists can inadvertently promote Fantasy Citizenship of equality and accessible rights when the reality is one of banal citizenship. The barriers to access social assistance exemplify the gap between Fantasy and banal citizenship and how what is promoted to migrants as ‘the right to work’ is for citizens the ‘duty to work’. Examining the mobility controls placed on citizens, particularly those claiming welfare benefits reveals that citizens can be treated as ‘migrants’, and the relevance of internal borders for benefit claimants. COVID-19 has further hardened internal borders and made them visible to citizens who might previously been unaware of them, at the same time as shifting the relation between mobility and privilege. The naturalisation of difference between migrants and citizens, Fantasy Citizenship, and the ‘right to work’ together obscure and oversimplify the relation between control over mobility and control over labour, between freedom of movement and free consent, and between mobility, settlement and livelihood. In post pandemic times, mobility is potentially a powerful lens through which to dismantle Fantasy Citizenship and enrich understandings of these relationships.
Date: 2 November 2021 (Tuesday), 3 PM (CEST time)
Venue: Banacha Str. 2c, Aula 01.130, the building of the Centre for New Technologies University of Warsaw