We are pleased to announce that Dr Vanessa Barker has joined us as an Associate Director. Vanessa is Docent and Associate Professor of Sociology at Stockholm University. She writes on questions of democracy and penal order, the welfare state and border controls, and works within a historical sociological tradition. She is currently working on a new monograph about the welfare state and penal nationalism called Nordic Nationalism and Penal Order (Routledge Studies on Criminal Justice, Borders and Citizenship). Recent publications include pieces on the Stockholm Riots and the policing of ethnicity, REVA and deportation, camp clearing and Roma evictions in Sweden, and the need for civic repair and penal reform in the US. Her research has been supported by Riksbanken Jubileumsfond in Sweden and the National Science Foundation in the US and has been recognized by academic awards and engaged with public outreach. She studied and worked in the US before moving to Sweden and remains active in international research networks.

At Border Criminologies Vanessa will head up a new initiative to broaden and deepen public outreach in two ways:

First, we will strategically place and promote short video clips of our research on targeted social media platforms. We seek to make a visual and informed impact on public debate through these clips and ensuing discussion. Mary Bosworth’s recent clip on the detention archive is a great example.

Second, in light of the Brexit vote and US election, we seek to develop a research agenda that includes people who favor stricter border controls and find out how their lived experience has shaped their views. Any serious reform effort in migration will have to grapple with this public backlash, and a more informed understanding of these social realities will contribute to reform.

At present, we are looking into funding opportunities for communications development, contacting media consultants, and developing videos and other social media content. All suggestions welcome.