Paper Workshops

Keynotes (online)

19.05.2022, 17:00 – 18:15 (CET)
Niovi Vavoula (Queen Mary University of London)
“The Changing Landscape of the Surveillance of Movement in the EU: A Fivefold Paradigm Shift”
Moderation: Emellin Oliveira (NOVA School of Law)

Abstract: This keynote speech aims to map new trends in the operationalisation of surveillance of movement in the EU/Schengen area, by providing insights in connection to both information systems for third-country nationals and their forthcoming interoperability, as well as the reforms in the API/PNR framework. In that regard, it will focus on five major paradigm shift in survelling foreigners and travelers more broadly through the extensive processing of their personal data: 1. Generalisation of surveillance of movement; 2. Magnification of the categories of personal data collected, including of biometric identifiers; 3. Expansion of the state authorities and agencies benefiting from surveillance, including the increasing role of EU agencies in this context; 4. Privatisation of surveillance and 5. Solidification of algorithmic profiling. In identifying these trends, the presentation will highlight key fundamental rights concerns and provide certain recommendations for legislative reform.

Dr Vavoula is Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Migration and Security at Queen Mary University of London (School of Law). She was previously Post-Doctoral Research Assistant in at the same university and part-time teacher at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). She has held visiting positions at ULB – Université Libre de Bruxelles (2014), George Washington University (2022, Society of Legal Scholars grantee) and European University Institute (2022). She publishes in the fields of EU immigration law, particularly on the digitalisation of immigration control, EU criminal law, including on the exchange of personal data for law enforcement purposes, and more broadly on privacy law. She is the author of the monograph Immigration and Privacy in the Law of the EU: The Case of Information Systems examines the compatibility of information systems set up for immigration control purposes with the right to respect for private life (Brill Nijhoff, 2022).

20.05.2022, 16:15 – 18:00 (CET)
Rocco Bellanova (University of Amsterdam) & Julien Jeandesboz (Universitá Libre de Bruxelles): 
Moderation: Lisa Borelli (HES-SO Valais-Wallis, Institute of Social Work)

Rocco Bellanova
“Violence and Datafication” 
Abstract : In a world in which data are crucial to multiple forms of governance, algorithms and violence are closely intertwined. Research across law and international politics has already insisted on the need to better understand how algorithmic systems redefine security practice. Notably, a growing and interdisciplinary literature discusses how data-driven technologies such as semi-autonomous weapons or profiling are used to exert new and old forms of violence, from kinetic strikes to discriminatory controls to the marginalization of already fragilized communities or individuals. Other works insist on the importance of detecting and unpacking the various bias inscribed into algorithmic systems, so to put into perspective the supposed objectivity that would justify violent actions exerted in the name of computation. Altogether, these strands of research help us foregrounding the question of violence in any discussion about security and border technologies. However, we risk overlooking how algorithmic rule relies, in fact, on and specific datafication processes and data infrastructures. Prolonging a conversation about the possibility to critique algorithmic violence(Bellanova et al. 2021), I want to insist on the importance to keep exploring the government of data, and this as a socio-material site in which the digital, violence, and legitimacy are configurated. I want to argue that research on algorithmic security can benefit from broadening our research focus to what we can call the foundations upon which algorithmic violence is expected, or actually come, to operate. Bringing Critical Data Studies into conversation with critical approaches to border and security studies, this means to explore how data infrastructures become sites (and not only tools) of security practice. As Derrida (1990: 931 & 925) would say, this does not mean to embrace a “foundationalist” approach to datafication, but rather explore how data infrastructuring contributes to define the “enforceability” of algorithmic security – and thus the relation between violence and the data governance that is supposed to tame it or exert it.

Bio: Rocco Bellanova is Assistant Professor of Critical Data Studies in the Department of Media Studies at the University of Amsterdam, and Visiting Professor at the Université Saint-Louis – Bruxelles. Rocco’s work sits at the intersection of politics, law and science & technology studies (STS), and focuses on digital data as pivotal elements in the governing of societies. He carries out research on security technologies and their infrastructural politics, as well as on the European governance of machine learning algorithms and data exchanges in the domain of justice and home affairs.

Julien Jeandesboz
“Beyond ‘MigTec’: Social engineering, travelling blueprints and diplomacy”
‘MigTec’ is a relatively novel field of scholarship that has become increasingly crowded over the last decade or so. The growing number of studies interested in how technology shapes migration and migration management should, from the perspective of straightforwardly ‘knowing more’ about these issues, be welcome. At the same time, this trend can elicit a sense of unease, which stems from the proximity between scholarly and political and policy agendas. The expansion of ‘MigTec’ as a scholarly field mirrors the growing centrality of claims that technology, and in particular information technology, allows governmental authorities to better manage migration, and makes border and migration policies more efficient. How then should MigTec scholars avoid being hemmed in by preconstructed questions and areas of interest given this proximity?
Building on ideas originating in the field of development studies and the anthropology of globalization (Behrends, Park, Rottenburg, Bierschenk among others), the talk suggests that a reframing of ‘MigTec’ as an effort to understand global programmes, practices and devices of social engineering, manifested through traveling blueprints, would be beneficial. Instead of isolating the articulation of migration (management) and technology as a discrete area of political and governmental work, ‘MigTec’ scholarship should aim to recast this work as part of broader and more general attempts at social engineering, that is at optimizing the lives of populations and making their management more efficient, on a global scale and through technical and technological ‘solutions’. The governmental operations involved in these attempts at social engineering, it is further suggested, can be helpfully be examined as the constitution of ‘traveling blueprints’ (Bierschenk), to help account for the simultaneous deployment, across multiple national, regional or international contexts, of similar or likeminded such technical and technological ‘solutions’ without having to rely on the assumption that this deployment is driven by the interests of powerful actors, by self-evident needs or by the inherent efficiency of technology. Lastly, in order to study the workings of traveling models, the talk argues that a revised understanding of diplomacy is required, one that focuses on the relations between collectives of human and non-human participants.

Bio: Julien Jeandesboz is professor of European and international politics at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB, Belgium), and the current director of the ULB’s Centre for the study of international politics (REPI, His main research interests are in the areas of security, border and migration enforcement and technology.

Please register until May 17 via email to: with the subject “keynote speeches”.


The keynotes are part of the STS-MIGTEC Writing-for-publication Workshop 2022. Encounters between Science and Technology Studies & Border and Migration Studies
Athens, May 19-21,  2022

Workshop discussants
Nina Amelung, University of Lisbon, Portugal
Vasilis Galis, IT University Copenhagen, Denmark
Olga Lafazani, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece
Silvan Pollozek, European University Viadrina, Germany

This Writing-for-publication workshop is organized by the STS MIGTEC network, with support from the RISK CHANGE research project (2021-2022), which is hosted by the Department of History and Philosophy of Science (HPS), National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA). The workshop aims at facilitating encounters between Critical Border & Migration Studies and the study of Technology from the perspectives of the humanities and the social sciences (especially Science and Technology Studies and related fields such as History of Technology).
We invite applications on technologies and infrastructures of migration and border regimes, among other things concerning:
● technopolitics, promises and imaginaries of big data, algorithms, and AI innovation and regulation
●  data practices, politics of expertise and the (un)making of knowledge
●  digitized and algorithmic forms of (counter)surveillance
●  racial and (post)colonial legacies
●  controversies and issues on data justice and accountability
●  socio-technical cultures of the mobile commons (autonomy of migration)
●  (the lack of) social service provision and citizenship
●  forms of and tensions in counter trafficking interventions
●  biopolitical modes of bordering and how they affect migrant subjects
The workshop aims at getting paper drafts ready for publication, and therefore invites interested participants who have work-in-progress writing projects to join to advance their work for final publication.

The workshop consists of a programme covering three days with sessions on paper drafts presented by participants in the morning, followed by afternoon lectures by prominent scholars in the field of STS, history of technology and border & migration studies. Participants will get feedback from experts in the field about their research contributions. Discussants will cover topics dedicated to themes around how to advance papers in the thematic areas of the workshop towards publication. Post-workshop versions of the participant papers will be published in a bilingual online and open access volume (English, with a translation into Greek, arranged by the organizers). A detailed program will be released soon.

Location and accomodation
There are no enrollment fees for participation in the workshop. Accommodation (3 nights) and all meals are covered by the organizers. The workshop will take place in Athens, Greece, however, in case of new pandemic restrictions, the workshop might be held online.

Workshop organising team
Aristotle Tympas, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece
Lisa Marie Borrelli, HES-SO Valais-Wallis, Institute of Social Work, Switzerland
Olga Usachova, University of Padova, Italy
Mara Clemente, ISCTE – University Institute of Lisbon, Portugal
Emellin de Oliveira, NOVA School of Law, Portugal

For questions, please contact Vasilis Argyriou (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece):

Previous Events

STS-MIGTEC Paper Workshop 2022 ONLINE
15-17 February 2022

Prof. Amade M’charek (University of Amsterdam)
Beyond Borders: Postcolonial Flows and Forensics as an Art of Paying Attention (abstract)
Wednesday, February 16, 14.-16.00 CET (online)

Conference program: please find here

About the workshop:
The STS-MIGTEC network aims to stimulate and communicate work at the intersection of science and technology studies (STS) and critical migration, security, surveillance, and border studies. It seeks to bring together researchers from different disciplines and around the world and to initiate scientific exchange to produce synergies for relevant knowledge production (
The STS-MIGTEC Paper Workshop 2022 invites scholars to present and discuss current work in several panels, to plan future network research activities, and to think about interventions beyond academic research. We invite you to submit your paper proposal, which are concerned with (but not limited to) the following questions:
How do migration and border technologies shape transnational migration and border regimes?
• Which material and epistemic practices manifest or counter migration management/control regimes?
• What are the material/ontological politics involved and what power effects do such entanglements produce?
• What data infrastructures of migration and border control emerge; how are these configured alongside intersecting grids of power such as race, gender, sexuality, ability, nationality, age, generation and in which ways are they/can they be contested?
• What new forms of health and migration surveillance technologies and infrastructures did the Covid-19 global health pandemic trigger which now shape how we ‘see’ migrations and how versions of ‘migrants’ are enacted?
• How are migrant subjects shaped and affected by migration and border technologies? How do migrant subjects enact, subvert, appropriate them?
• What role do alternative, interventionist or oppositional technologies and infrastructures enacted by migrant subjects or other actors in solidarity with migrant subjects play?
• How can we critically and publicly engage with migration and border control technologies and infrastructures? What can the methodological and conceptual repertoire of STS add to engage critically with human rights issues, inequalities, public ignorance linked to migration and border control regimes? What role do science and critical scholars have in that process?

STS-MIGTEC Paper Workshop team:
Olga Usachova, Nina Amelung, Silvan Pollozek, Aristotle Tympas, Georgios Glouftsios, Maria Ullrich, Ana Visan, Vasiliki Makrygianni, Jasper Van Der Kist, Koen Leurs

STS-MIGTEC Workshop 25-26 January 2021 – ONLINE

Conference program: please find here

About the workshop:
The first STS-MIGTEC Paper Workshop invites scholars to present and discuss current work in several panels, to plan future network research activities, and to think about interventions beyond academic research. We invite you to submit your paper proposal, which are concerned with (but not limited to) the following questions:
How are migrant subjects shaped and affected by migration and border technologies? How do migrant subjects enact, subvert, appropriate them?
• How do migration and border technologies shape transnational migration and border regimes?
• How are migration/ border technologies and border control practices co-shaped?
• What is the role of alternative, interventionist or oppositional technologies and infrastructures that are enacted by migrant subjects themselves or other actors in solidarity with migrant subjects?
• Which material and epistemic politics are involved in this enactment?
• What power effect does such involvement produce?
• What are ways to critically and publicly engage with technologies and infrastructures of migration and border control?
Variety of topics linking STS and critical migration/border/security/surveillance studies is welcomed.

Panel #1: Material Enactments beyond Migration Management Infrastructures
Fredy Mora-Gámez and Eric Snodgrass, Linköping University

Panel #2: The Politics of (Non)Knowledge in the (Un)Making of Migration
Stephan Scheel, Institute of Sociology, University of Duisburg-Essen

Panel #3: Open Panel: Agency – Alterings
Olga Usachova, University of Padua

Panel #4: Open Panel: Biometrics – Imaginaries – Materialities
Jasper van der Kist, University of Manchester

Panel #5: Border Control Technologies
Nina Amelung, Universidade de Lisboa  & Vasilis Galis, IT University of Copenhagen

STS-MIGTEC MEETING at EASST/4S conference in Prague 2020

A first STS-MIGTEC network meeting will take place in the planned dates of the EASST / 4S conference “Locating and Timing Matters: Significance and Agency of STS in Emerging Worlds” between August 18-21, 2020.
As the organizers decided to migrate the event to the virtual timespace, we follow and will have meeting online.

OPEN PANELS of STS-MIGTEC members at EASST/4S conference in Prague 2020
In case you are attending the EASST conference you might be interested what other STS-MIGTEC members are doing there. Here is a list of panels hosted by members here asap.
Open Panel No. 14. Borders in the Anthropocene: Transformations of Climates, Human and Nonhuman Mobility, and the Politics of the Earth
Huub Dijstelbloem, University of Amsterdam; Polly Pallister-Wilkins, University of Amsterdam
– Open Panel No. 30. Contesting the ‘migration/border control machine’: entanglements of information and surveillance infrastructures with the making of publics/’non-publics’
Nina Amelung, University of Minho; Silvan Pollozek, MCTS, Technical University of Munich
– Open Panel No. 137. Proliferation, dispersal and (in)security: towards new vocabularies for the debate between STS and critical security studies
Annalisa Pelizza, University of Bologna and University of Twente; Claudia Aradau, King’s College London