New Special Issue in Social Identities (2017): Patterns of im/mobility, conflict and the re/making of identity narratives

The special issue was edited by PACSA member and host of our 2015 summit in Frankfurt, Birgit Bräuchler (Monash University, Melbourne)

Access the introduction to the special issue here.


This paper analyses the interrelationship between patterns of im/mobility on the one hand and the reconstitution of social collective identities and the related emergence or settlement of conflicts on the other. The main arguments are (1) that the im/mobility of a social or cultural group has major impact on how identity narratives, a sense of belonging and relationships to ‘others’ are shaped, and vice versa, and (2) that these dynamics are closely interlinked with mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion between groups and power structures that involve a broad variety of actors. Mainly looking at patterns of internal mobility such as ‘traditional’ or strategic mobilities and mobilities enforced by crisis, conflict or governmental programmes and regimes, the contribution provides the conceptual background for a special issue that aims to go beyond currently predominant issues of transnational migration. Established or emerging dynamics of (non-)integration and belonging, caused by im/mobility, are analysed on a cultural and political level, which involves questions of representation, indigeneity/autochthony, political rights and access to land and other resources. Conflict situations in contexts of mobility involve changes in the social understanding and renegotiation, reconstruction or reproduction of group identities and narratives with reference to certain socio-political and historical patterns. The legitimation of rights and access to various forms of citizenship and mobility need to be understood against the backdrop of emerging or established mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion between groups, which trigger or settle conflicts and make social identities to be constantly renegotiated.

Table of Content (incl. DOIs):

Bräuchler, B., & Ménard, A. (2017). Patterns of im/mobility, conflict and the re/making of identity narrativesSocial Identities. doi:10.1080/13504630.2017.1281418

Siraj, N., & Bal E. (2017). ‘Hunger has brought us into this jungle’: Understanding mobility and immobility of Bengali immigrants in Chittagong Hills of BangladeshSocial Identities. doi:10.1080/13504630.2017.1281443

Ménard, A. (2017). Interpreting conflict and integration through the reciprocity lens: Mobility and settlement in a historical perspective on the Sierra Leonean coastSocial Identities. doi:10.1080/13504630.2017.1281459

Bedert, M. (2017). The complementarity of divergent historical imaginations: Narratives of mobility and alterity in contemporary LiberiaSocial Identities. doi:10.1080/13504630.2017.1281467

Bräuchler, B. (2017). Changing patterns of mobility, citizenship and conflict in IndonesiaSocial Identities. doi:10.1080/13504630.2017.1281468

Sakti, V. K. (2017). Im/mobile subjects: Identity, conflict and emotion work among East Timorese Meto diasporaSocial Identities. doi:10.1080/13504630.2017.1281469

Borch, S. (2017). In ‘no man’s land’: The im/mobility of Serb NGO workers in Kosovo.Social Identities. doi:10.1080/13504630.2017.1281470