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Mobilising Affects: Withdrawal of Citizenship and Politics of Security

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Affects (Mobilising Affects: Withdrawal of Citizenship and Politics of Security)

Reporting period: 2019-05-01 to 2021-04-30

The central problem addressed in this fellowship was the problem of citizenship deprivation, i.e. the possibility for states to deprive citizens of their citizenship. Mostly visible in times of crisis, citizenship deprivation is presented as a symbolic measure aimed to safeguard the national community from an internal threat. The research focused on the affective aspect of citizenship deprivation, looking at the ways in which affective frames enable state to legitimize citizenship deprivation despite well-documented legal barriers. Studying the ways in which states legitimize practices of citizenship deprivation is important because it ties into histories of repression that raise questions about security practices and their implications for expressing citizenship today. Indeed, practices of citizenship deprivation raise important questions about politics of belonging and repression.

The objectives of the fellowship were to make room for studying the histories of citizenship deprivation in the UK and the Netherlands, as well as to practice qualitative methods that support such interdisciplinary research while addressing histories that often remain invisible. A focus on creative methods has grown out of this practice, resulting in innovative propositions tying creative writing-knowledge practices to pedagogical and epistemological reflections.

In our times when colonial histories can no longer be ignored leading to a fundamental revisiting of institutional spaces of belonging and repression, tying the study of citizenship deprivation to the practice of creative methods made space for rethinking the ways in which history is written; for observing the tenacity of institutional repressive politics; as well as making room for alternative ways of writing that enables to write about our traumatic histories of the past and of the present.
The fellowship enabled the writing of two major articles: the first is under review in International Political Sociology, the second under review in Millenium. When published, both articles will be open access. The first one is on the deprivation of citizenship with a focus on affect, examining the work done by affective framings that establish divisions between citizens, i.e. between the desirable and the threatening ones. The article foregrounds practices of citizenship deprivation as an affective technology of government, thereby positioning affect as a political matter. Doing so, the article contributes innovative insights for the fields of International Political Sociology with a focus on security and citizenship studies. The second article explores questions of pedagogy and knowledge-writing practices in their relation to knowledge production, leading to innovative pedagogical and epistemological practices that converse with traditions of feminist epistemologies. Following the writing of this article, the fellow designed and animated a series of writing workshop to explore creative writing for academics, gathering a wide international audience.

Besides, the fellow set up and coordinated an international research network under the name of Doing IPS transnational hub (https://www.doingips.org/transnational-hub) connecting researchers across national and institutional borders, designing an online format to continue working together despite travel restrictions, organizing work-in-progress seminars as well as a series of public events centred on key concepts such as affect, creative methods, transversality, and the politics of the ordinary.
Next to the innovative outcome of the research, the fellowship generated a rich space of professional growth through a training programme continuously tailored and adjusted to the researcher’s needs as the fellowship progressed. From research design to career plans, from networking to grant writing, from writing techniques to leadership skills, the training programme has been a constant support both for the research and impact strategy (generating unexpected material for research as the research plan needed to be adjusted) and for the researcher’s career development, leaving the researcher with a concrete vision and business plan to start working as a creative entrepreneur.

Via a series of public events co-organized with the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations in London, the fellow extended inclusive and creative methods and tools for an international audience of organizational development consultants affiliated with the Tavistock Insitute or connected to their network of practitioners. These tools and methods include inclusive and creative methods for working online without losing our creative potential, as well as practices for designing sustainable change and growth in organizations.
norms of citizenship and practices of security