The Political Economy of Control: Race and (In)Security in the Neoliberal Present

Sabrina Axster's picture
Call for Papers
March 18, 2019
Subject Fields: 
Diplomacy and International Relations, Immigration & Migration History / Studies, Political Science, Race Studies

The Political Economy of Control: 
Race and (In)Security in the Neoliberal Present

Early Career Researchers Workshop E-ISA 2019 
Sofia, 10 September 2019

Mass incarceration, frequent targeting by police, internal and external restrictions of movement through immigration, and border controls are part and parcel of the everyday experiences of marginalized and racialized communities across the world. Whilst these seemingly contradict the heralded breaking down of global borders and the apparent retreat of the neoliberal state, feminist, post-colonial and Critical Security scholars have pointed to the interlinkages between these two supposedly antithetical trends. What has emerged is a political economy of control that brings together private and public actors to police, manage, and pacify racialized and gendered minorities, activists, prisoners, and migrants, among others. Important scholarly research has examined these connections at the national level; examples range from work on policing and mass incarceration to the suppression of Black Lives Matter and Indigenous rights movements. In contrast, we seek contributions that offer a more thorough examination of how these practices span the globe. What does a global lens bring to our analysis of the political economy of control? In what ways are these different sites connected--politically, economically, and ideationally? What might it mean to think of local forms of policing, bordering, and surveillance as part of the same global “security archipelago”? What has been the role of race, gender, and sexuality in producing these practices? In what ways are contemporary forms of control continuations of colonial models of pacification, militarisation, and policing? Crucially, what does all of this mean for our understanding of neoliberalism?

This one-day workshop is open to PhD students and early career scholars working on the political economy of control from a global perspective. We invite both conceptual and empirical work, including research that puts domestic cases into a global context or that analyses the spaces between states such as global supply chains, migration control hotspots, and bordering practices.

Participants will be given the opportunity to present their own paper and to provide in-depth comments on one other paper on a related topic. Prem Kumar Rajaram (CEU) and Lauren Wilcox (Cambridge) will act as senior discussants and offer publishing advice. The overall goal is to help participants turn current drafts of papers into potential submissions for publication in an academic journal.

To apply, please send a 300 word abstract to and before 18 March, indicating any requirements for financial support. Funding is available for those unable to obtain institutional support.