Abstract: In this talk I present some key findings from theoretical and empirical enquiry concerned with the  location and performance of borders, as well as the deployment and impact of bordering practices in the Global South. I investigate the heterogenization of borders, in particular the development of what Bigo (2014) calls “solid”, “liquid” and “gaseous” borders in the Western Balkans. “Solid” borders are those conceptualised as a line of demarcation, a wall that has to be defended by the use of force. They are complemented (but not replaced with) “liquid” borders. These borders are like ‘rivers full of locks’ (Bigo 2014, p. 213) that filter human mobility. Finally, I investigate the development of “gaseous”, or as I call them “cloudy” borders in the Western Balkans. These borders are deployed and defended in the digital sphere. In Border policing and security technologies (Routledge, 2019) I analyse the development of both restraint and filtering strategies installed along territorial borders of the Western Balkans, within the territory of states (internal borders), and in the digital realm that simultaneously enable and disable the passage of border crossers from the region, and those passing through the region to seek better life or asylum in the Western Europe. I argue that transiting non-citizens, citizens of the Western Balkans seeking asylum in the West, and women border crossers in the region have been categorised in what Broeders & Hampshire (2013) call “black”, “grey” and “green” listers of transnational mobility. Through externalisation of bordering practices, the Global North creates “labour reserves” (Cross 2013), buffer zones where immobilisation and filtering of the right number of the right people, as well as border struggles, take place.

About the speaker: Dr Sanja Milivojevic is a Senior Lecturer in Criminology at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia. Her research interests are borders and mobility, human trafficking, security technologies, gender and victimisation, and human rights. Sanja’s most recent research focuses on the use of security technologies in regulating migration in the Western Balkans. She publishes in English and Serbian. Sanja’s latest book Sex Trafficking and Modern Slavery: The Absence of Evidence is published by Routledge (with Segrave and Pickering).

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For questions, please contact Alpa Parmar: alpa.parmar@crim.ox.ac.uk