Transnational Practices of Irregular Migrants And Nation-State Management in Norway

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Abstract

Most research on irregular migrants in the Scandinavian countries takes an exclusive nation-state focus in the study of how irregular migrants’ everyday lives are structured and shaped. In this article, I add a transnational lens and explicitly focus on how their irregularity shapes the transnational social fields that they make use of and transform. Including a transnational gaze draws attention towards how irregular migrants’ agency in Norway is not merely defined by the state’s various technologies of control. Transnational kinship and social networks facilitate and shape their continued existence as irregular migrants and profoundly affect decisions to stay, return or continue their migration. They open up possibilities and spaces in which the state is restrained in its potential for exercising power and control mobility and irregularity in its territory. At the same time, however, these transnational practices are structured, shaped and transfigured by the nation-states’ management of migrants as irregular.

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