An Update


Dear friends of movements,

as you certainly have noticed, we haven’t published a new issue of movements since issue 4 (2), released in winter 2018/19. By means of this update we would like to inform you about the background and future direction of the journal. Moreover, we hereby publish a new call for papers.

We have launched movements. Journal for Critical Migration and Border Regime Studies in 2015 as a collective, critical and solidary open access journal. During the first two years, we were first and foremost occupied with organising the workflow and technology that are essential for every journal. In 2017, we entered into a cooperation with transcript publishing house, allowing us to make available a printed version in parallel to our open access publication on our website. This cooperation ended after issue 4 (2), as the distribution of a printed version of a journal which is also accessible in an open access fashion turned out to be economically unsustainable for the publishers.

We perceived the cooperation with transcript publishers as being very enriching, since it forced us to improve our production process, refine our technology and stick to deadlines in a more disciplined manner. At the same time, along with the pressure to reliably produce two issues per year, a certain decisionism creeped into our work. Decisions were often made under time pressure, and our collective approach was harmed in the process.

For these reasons, we also consider the end of our cooperation with transcript as a chance to improve this aspect of our collaboration as an editorial board. We took our time in 2019 to introduce more collective work and decision-making structures and to debate on the contribution that we wish to make to a collective, critical and solidary knowledge production with our journal. We are not the only ones having these discussions and questions,1 and we believe that they will gain even more importance in the future. At the same time, we have been using our production-free phase to contemplate on the future direction of the journal. As will be seen in the CfP attached to this update, we would like to disengage from an exclusively special-issues-based format in order to be more open to questions brought to our attention through the wide field of critical research on borders, migration and racism. Furthermore, we have been using the time to revise our layout.

However, all throughout the year, our content-related work has not been interrupted either. Currently, two issues are in preparation, which we are going to publish next year.

Old paths – new struggles: The European border regime in the Balkans

This issue looks at the current situation of migration struggles in the Balkan region and the diverse attempts by the EU, transnational institutions, regional countries, local and interregional structures, and multiple humanitarian actors to regain control over the movements of migration after the official closure of the humanitarian-securitarian corridor in 2016. It reflects on the highly dynamic and conflictual developments since 2015 and its historical entanglements, the ambiguities of humanitarian interventions and strategies of containment, migrational tactics to survive, local struggles, artistic interventions, regional and transnational activism and recent initiatives to curb the extensive practices of border violence and push backs. In doing so the issue brings back the region on the European agenda and sheds light on the multiple historical disruptions, bordering practices and connectivities that have been forming its presence.

as well as a guest issue by Regina Römhild and Johanna Rolshoven with the title

Mobility_Regimes: Contested politics of classification

The aim of this issue is to rethink the often claimed, but also extensively criticised, Mobility Turn by confronting and revising it through approaches of critical migration and border regime studies. Gaining centre stage, then, is the question whether and how the classifying, border-political markers become the matter of cultural, social and political struggles: between »majorities« and »minorities«, about the preservation or sharing of privileges, about participation and acknowledgement, about the trans/nationalisation, the trans/Europeanisation, the cosmopolitisation of society.

We are looking forward to enter into a new phase of movements with these two issues.

We have also published a fresh Call for Papers with this update.

  1. See e.g. Syrovatka, Felix (2019): Kritische Wissenschaft: Alleine machen wir uns ein. Ada Magazin. Online:; edu-factory (2019): Alle Macht der selbstorganisierten Wissensproduktion. transversal texts. Online:↩︎