MOBILE – Mobility Law Open Lab with Florian F. Hoffmann

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Beyond the Normative Impasse of Environmental Migration: From Regimes to Infrastructures 

Guest presenterFlorian F. Hoffmann is a Professor of Law at the Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio), Brazil, a co-speaker of the UNHCR Cátedra Sérgio Vieira de Mello in Refugee Studies at PUC-Rio and an associate researcher at the Human Rights Center of the Law Department (Núcleo de Direitos Humanos). 

Presentation: One of the challenges of the emerging epistemic horizon of (global) mobility law has been the at once static and fragmented way in which the interaction between ‘people on the move’ and the legal frameworks through which they are defined and regulated has been conceived – notably as a set of discrete legal regimes each with their specific actors, institutions, and norms. While these can overlap, occasionally interact and, at times, clash, the regime logic ultimately presents a disjointed and distorted vision of the complex reality of human mobility, not least at and around (state) borders. As an alternative, this paper proposes a more holistic perspective that focuses on mobility as the product of spatio-temporally dynamic (legal) infrastructuring processes. Building on a growing literature that explores (material and legal) infrastructures as an alternative explanatory framework for inherently fragmented and (legally) pluralist scenarios such cross-border movement, the proposed paper argues that mobility can be seen as infrastructured by the continuous entanglement of mobility-constitutive legalities (and illegalities) as they emerge in different scenarios. Different (legal) regimes are here framed as nodes in an emergent and adaptive network which continuously normativizes cross-border movement. We argue that such a perspective (shift) provides a more comprehensive account of both cross-border movement and of the (legal) protection afforded to those on the move (whether ‘forced’ or ‘voluntary’). We further argue that Latin America, at once a migration hotspot and an outlier (of sorts) in migration studies, might be a ‘type specimen’ for such legal infrastructuring processes due to its specific approach to certain types of cross-border movement, which, in turn, is the product of historical legacy and particular legal culture(s).

Time: 16 May 2024 13:00-14:15

Place: MOBILE – 6B-2-22 Southern Campus + ONLINE

Online participation

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