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Margit Fauser & Xóchitl Bada (eds.) (2024) The Routledge International Handbook of Transnational Studies. London: Routledge. DOI: 10.4324/9781003329978


The Routledge International Handbook on Transnational Studies offers a comprehensive overview of the dynamic evolution and the most recent debates in this interdisciplinary field. The collection assembles scholarship from the social sciences and the humanities that share a critical perspective extending beyond the nation-state. The contributions investigate sustained connections, events, and activities across state borders and acknowledge prevailing global power asymmetries.

Margit Fauser, Corinna A. Di Stefano & Elena Fattorelli (2023) Multiple Facets of Borderwork. Urban Actors Between Migrants’ Struggles and State Control, Journal of Intercultural Studies, 44:1, 61-76, DOI: 10.1080/07256868.2022.2159340


In this article, we investigate the roles of urban actors supporting migrants’ struggles and confronting state control, focusing on the fields of family reunification and access to health care in the city of Frankfurt am Main. We bring together insights from border studies, street-level theory, and social policy and social work literature to elaborate on the notions of ‘urban border space’ and borderwork to offer a new theorisation on ‘where the border is’ and ‘who makes the border’. Multiple transformations that have taken place in border control and the welfare state regime have led to diverse engagement on the part of civil society towards migrants, particularly in cities. City authorities, in turn, enforce the border, yet also respond to migrants’ exclusion. Here, devolution and collaboration between city and civil society organisations have partly blurred the line between different types of urban actors. Our analysis identifies four roles within urban actors’ borderwork – brokerage, advocacy, direct care and gatekeeping –, each of which is associated with a different relationship with state migration control. We thus argue that the supposed dichotomous relationship between state (re-)bordering and civil society de-bordering is too simplistic and that urban actors’ roles in borderwork are instead multifaceted.

Menke, Katrin / Rumpel, Andrea, 2022: Who belongs, and how far? Refugees and Bureaucrats within the German Active Welfare State. Online first. In: Social Inclusion 10 (1)


Concepts such as “belonging” (Yuval‐Davis, 2011) and “community of value” (Anderson, 2013) try to capture the multiple ways of classifying migrants. In this article, we argue that belonging needs to be analyzed against the backdrop of active social citizenship in European welfare states. Although the literature acknowledges the increasing links between migration and social policies, the latest “turn to activation” in social policy has hardly been accounted for. By focusing on two policy fields in Germany, the labor market and health policies, we briefly describe discourses and social right entitlements and their ambivalences. Empirically we show (a) how bureaucrats within the two policy fields regulate and justify refugees’ social rights in practice and (b) how refugees act vis‐à‐vis relevant institutional opportunity structures. Our study contributes to previous research twofold: Firstly, we illustrate processes of positioning and selecting refugees that stem from recent social policy architecture. Secondly, we demonstrate everyday experiences from refugees’ vis‐á‐vis relevant institutional opportunity structures in Germany. Our results show that inconsistencies within and between social policy fields of one welfare state have to be taken into consideration for further national and transnational research.

Fauser, M., Friedrichs, A. & Harders, L. (2021). Migrations and Border Processes: Practices and Politics of Belonging and Exclusion in Europe from the Nineteenth to the Twenty-First Century. Routledge.


Current media images of a “fortress Europe” suggest that migrations and borders are closely connected. This special issue brings together scholars from history, sociology and anthropology to explore cross-border mobility and migration during the formation, development, and transformation of the modern (nation-)state explicating the conflictive and fluctuating character of borders. The historical perspective demonstrates that such bordering processes are not new. However, they have developed new dynamics in different historical phases, from the formation of the modern (nation-)state in the nineteenth century to the creation of the European Union during the second half of the twentieth. This introduction explains the dynamic relationships between borders and migratory movements in Europe from the nineteenth century to the present by approaching them from four different, overlapping angles, which the articles analyze in more detail: (1) the multiple actors involved, (2) scales and places of borders and their crossings, (3) the instruments and techniques employed, and (4) the significance of social categories. Focusing on the historical, local specificity of the complex relations between migration and boundaries will help denaturalize the concept of the border as well as further reflection on the shifting definitions of migration and belonging.

Margit Fauser, 2020, Mobile Citizenship. Spatial privilege and the transnational lifestyle of senior citizens, London: Routledge


Mobile Citizenship addresses the crucial question of how mobility reconfigures citizenship. Engaging with debates on transnationalism, citizenship, and lifestyle migration, the book draws on ethnographic research and interview material collected among retired lifestyle migrants moving south from Germany to Turkey to explore the practices and narratives of these privileged migrants. Revealing the ways in which these migrants relate to their old homes and to their new places, the author examines the social, political, and spatial dimensions of citizenship and belonging and argues that citizenship is key to understanding the privileges of transnational lifestyles. By taking up discussions emanating from studies on other privileged lifestyle migrations—around social welfare and well-being, social participation, and affective belonging, as well as class and racialized privileges—the book exposes particular comparative value and showcases similarities and differences across this emerging type of migration. Mobile Citizenship thus shows how citizenship allows for mobility, resources, and privilege yet is also replete with limitations and ambivalences. The book brings together perspectives on citizenship, space, and privilege and will appeal to social scientists with interests in lifestyle migration and citizenship and their interconnections with global and social inequalities.

Menke, Katrin, 2019: »Wahlfreiheit« erwerbstätiger Mütter und Väter? Zur Erwerbs- und Sorgearbeit aus intersektionaler Perspektive. Bielefeld: transcript Verlag. Gesellschaft der Unterschiede 53, ISBN: 978-3-8376-4709-9


Der deutsche Wohlfahrtsstaat hat sich gewandelt - und mit ihm seine Familienpolitik. Doch die vordergründigen Fortschritte und Gleichstellungsgewinne erreichen nicht alle Mütter und Väter gleichermaßen: Zentral für die »Wahlfreiheit« von Eltern bei der Gestaltung von Erwerbs- und Sorgearbeit ist und bleibt ihre soziale Positionierung nach Geschlecht, Klasse und Ethnizität. Dies zeigen qualitative Interviews mit Müttern und Vätern mit und ohne Migrationshintergrund sowie in unterschiedlichen Beschäftigtengruppen, die exemplarisch im deutschen Krankenhaussektor geführt wurden.
Durch die Verknüpfung einer intersektionalen Perspektive mit Wohlfahrtsstaatenforschung zeigt Katrin Menkes Studie, wie soziale Ungleichheiten zwischen Müttern und Vätern gegenwärtig (re-)produziert und legitimiert werden. Dabei fällt auf: statt als Sorgetragende werden Mütter und Väter von der Familien- und Sozialpolitik primär als Wirtschaftssubjekte adressiert.