As we restart the blog from its summer hiatus, we at Border Criminologies are looking forward to the next academic year. In this first post, we would like to take the opportunity to offer an update on the Border Criminologies team and future projects (for a review of past events and developments you can go here).

The Border Criminologies team

The Border Criminologies group in Oxford is growing. This year we will have a slightly new structure, with assigned roles to facilitate communication and work. While Mary Bosworth remains the Director, Andriani Fili will take up the post of Managing Editor, Alpa Parmar will be the Events Manager and Ines Hasselberg the Book Review editor. We welcome Ana Aliverti, who is coming on board as an Associate Director for Law. Ana's research examines the intersections between criminal law and criminal justice, on the one hand, and border regimes, on the other, exploring their impact on the national criminal justice institutions and on those subject to the resulting set of controls.

This academic year, two of our international network members will be based at the centre. Yolanda Vazquez will be with us for Michaelmas term, while Hindpal Bhui will be visiting until February 2017 as part of an ESRC–Impact Acceleration Accounts grant awarded to Mary. Plans are underway for other institutional partnerships with Leiden University and the research group of Maartje van der Woude. The partnership with Leiden aims to foster collaborative research paths as well as joint PhD studentships between Leiden and Oxford.  Given the hardening of public debate and politics of border control, academic research and intervention in this field is ever more urgently needed. In this context, we seek to establish relationships with researchers and academics from around the world in order to expand our network and the content of the website.

The Blog and Social Media

In June 2016 Border Criminologies was awarded the 2016 OxTALENT award at the University of Oxford for outreach and public engagement. This year we will continue to engage different audiences and encourage academics, students, and the public to publish and interact about issues broadly related to border control no matter where they are located. We have already scheduled themed weeks on Slovenia on the refugee crisis, on the situation of Calais viewed from the perspective of university students and on unaccompanied children and their legal protections, to name just a few. Together with Oxford Human Rights Hub, we will, also, run a series of Friday posts on border control and human rights in order to examine more closely the predicament of those seeking protection in Europe and their legal position. As ever we welcome participation from our Network members. Please send us your ideas for blog posts and more themed weeks. You can see here how you can contribute to the blog.

As part of our goal to find new ways to interact with experts in the field of border control, this year we are inviting emerging scholars, students and practitioners to take over our Twitter account @Bordercrim for a week in order to present issues related to border control from a range of perspectives. The idea is that a guest each week will tweet about current debates, up-to-date research, as well as recent events in the field. This way we aim to provide a platform for wider debates around particular topics and professional issues whilst presenting an opportunity for a wide range of researchers to showcase their work. If you would like to participate or recommend someone who would like to tweet @Bordercrim, please let us know as soon as possible.

Future events in Oxford…

Border Criminologies has a number of events scheduled in Oxford for the forthcoming year. In September 2016, we will host a two-day international workshop on race and migration control. Papers from this event will appear as an edited collection. We will be live tweeting the event and, hopefully, podcasting it. We will also run a themed week on our blog. In October we will co-host with the Oxford Human Rights Hub Prof. Marie Benedicte Dembour, and, in November, Dr Yolanda Vaszquez and Dr Maria Norris will also speak about the research. Emma Kaufman will return in the New Year to discuss her work on foreign national prisoner transfers in the USA and to work with Mary on a new book proposal, while Luke de Noronha will present on his research with Jamaican deportees. In February Hindpal will present on his work with HMIP, and Alpa will present research on policing migration. For an updated schedule of our events you can go here.

…and beyond

On September 9, Mary will deliver the Scottish Centre for Crime & Justice Research’s 10th annual lecture entitled ‘Rethinking Punishment in an Age of Mass Mobility.’ Spaces are still available. Sign up here. Khadija is writing a play based on the Oxford research and immigration detention archive, which will premier at the Konzert  Theater Bern, Switzerland, while various Border Criminology members will be presenting at the Crimmigration Conference at the University of Maryland in October.  If any of our members would like to arrange border criminology themed panels at forthcoming conferences, please let us know.

Open access research

With funding from the Leverhulme International Network on External Border Control, Border Criminologies has established the first open access journal on the intersections between criminal justice and migration control. The SSRN Criminal Justice, Borders & Citizenship Research Paper Series currently includes more than one hundred and sixty papers, freely available to download.  The SSRN allows for a wide distribution of papers, thereby increasing the exposure of our research. Each submitted paper is included in up to 12 of SSRN’s 1,000+ subject matter journals across multiple networks, and has publication priority over other non-research paper series submissions. Our distributed research papers series has tripled the download counts of all the papers included in them. Since May 2014, our papers have been downloaded over 20.000 times. We invite you to take the opportunity and make your research widely available through the open access platform of our SSRN page. If you share our commitment to offer research papers downloadable for free, we encourage you to subscribe to the Series and contact Andriani if you’re interested in contributing.

As the horizon darkens for border control, intellectual cooperation becomes ever more precious. We look forward to continuing to work together. Welcome to the new academic year!

Best wishes,

Mary, Ines, Alpa, Ana and Andriani