Call for Papers: Critical Approaches to Irregular Migration Facilitation: Grounding the Theory and Praxis of Human Smuggling

Deadline for submissions: November 15th, 2016

A gathering of innovative and critical voices in smuggling from academic and policy circles, the workshop seeks to consolidate the creation of an interdisciplinary and global collective of professionals engaged in the empirical study of migration facilitation that integrates perspectives from the global north and south. With this goal in mind, we invite abstracts on the theme of irregular migration/human mobility facilitation for an international workshop to be held on April 6, 7 and 8, 2017 at the University of Texas at El Paso. We seek to bring together critical, empirical engagements on the facilitation and brokerage of irregular migration as witnessed locally, regionally and comparatively. 

Some themes to consider include theoretical and empirical engagements with:

  1. The political economy of human smuggling/facilitation of irregular migration
  2. Trans-Local/trans-regional/global smuggling practices
  3. Comparative and historical perspectives on smuggling
  4. The converge of migration facilitation with other criminal/ized markets and/or practices
  5. Smuggling, trafficking and “modern day slavery”
  6. Etiology of violence and victimization in smuggling
  7. Philosophical, ethical and moral dimensions of smuggling
  8. Race, class and gender as manifested in smuggling practices and smuggling research
  9. Theory and methods in smuggling research and their implications and critiques
  10. Anti-smuggling law enforcement and prevention campaigns (risks, side-effects and consequences)
  11. Role of stakeholders in anti-people smuggling operations (IOM, UNODC, Frontex, CBP, ICE, etc.)
  12. Global migration governance and domestic law initiatives on anti-people smuggling measures


Building on the experience of the first workshop, selected contributions will be part of a series of proposals for special issues and/or edited collections on the facilitation of irregular migration. We look forward to receiving and considering submissions that encompass the complexity of migration facilitation across and within regions, regimes and time periods, and for selected participants to be engaged in the publication process.   


Preference will be given to work that draws on ethnographic research. Please submit a 250-300 word abstract to by November 15th, 2016. Participants will be notified of their acceptance by December 1st, 2016. Organizers will provide verification letters for participants requiring visas. Workshop papers are due by March 15th, 2016. Please be advised that as a condition of your acceptance, and given the working, creative and intensively collaborative nature of this second edition of the workshop, all participants must commit to submit their work by the deadline.  Questions can be addressed to the organizers, Luigi Achilli at the European University Institute (, Antje Missbach at Monash University ( and Gabriella Sanchez at the University of Texas at El Paso (