【会议预告】Conference "Migration, Ethnicity, and the State"
26 to 28 March 2015 at Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, China
co-organized by the UoC Forum ‘Ethnicity as a Political Resource’, Cologne, Germany and the Center of Urban
Studies, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou
Migration of people from one region to another is a phenomenon that stretches back through human history.
Globalization has put the relocation of people in an international focus and has made the matter of ethnic identity,
belonging, and the handling of national and international policy frameworks highly discussed topics. As the diverse
reactions of people and governments to international and internal migration show, we still do not have sufficient
knowledge of variations in the political importance of ethnicity in this context today as well as in previous historical
periods. In this conference, we attempt to develop a comprehensive understanding of the interrelation of migration,
ethnicity, and the state by addressing it from three different angles:
1. What role does migration play in the processes of ethnogenesis, and how can we locate diaspora groups within
this context, viewed in different regional and historical contexts?
2. Are there visible ethnic migration patterns and governmental regulations concerning migration?
3. In which ways do governments differentiate between population groups regarding their access to rights and
For this endeavor we invite scholars from diverse disciplines and global regions to interact in three consecutive
roundtable discussions, and to jointly develop a comprehensive approach to the role of ethnicity in the context of
migration and national policy frameworks.
Panel 1: Migration, diaspora and ethnogenesis
In charge: n.n., Sarah, Albert，Min Zhou, or Hong Liang, Golden Mathew, Zhiming Chen, Ying Duan
Current anthropological case studies as well as historical research have shown that migration often leads to the
genesis of ethnic groups. For example, accounts of mythical migration play an important role in narratives about
primordiality, and myths of common origin are taken as constitutive for the formation of ethnic groups. The latter
are also employed in political struggles, and are often invoked in individual and collective strife for resources. This
panel aims to explore, if and how diaspora groups contribute to ethnogenesis and how they may use ethnicity as a
political resource. Furthermore, transnational network patterns and transnational strategies of diaspora groups
merit a more profound attention; because we believe that the different ways they are being used (or not) represent
a significant factor in gaining (or loosing) access to several kinds of resources. While looking at these patterns of
mobility and the groups involved, as well as the active use of resources, we also want to take into account the
framing factors that intersect with them, especially kinship, gender, and class.
1.This panel will focus on the following subjects:The relationship of migration, diaspora, and ethnogenesis
nowadays as well as in the past; especially if they lead to the use of ethnicity as a political resource.
2.Cases in which migration has led to the loosening and disappearance of ethnicities.
3.The interaction between different groups with a migration background, and how they have employed their
migration history and/or (alleged) primordiality to position themselves strategically vis-à-vis each other.
4.If and how diaspora groups contribute to ethnogenesis and how they may use ethnicity as a political resource.
Panel 2: (Im)migrant populations, urban spaces, and the state
In charge: n.n., Sofie, Tobias，Liang Zai, Chan Kwo-Bun, Dan Lin, Tongxue Tan
This panel focuses on the role of ethnicity and the state in the context of internal and international migration. We
invite contributions that engage with governmental strategies to channel and shape domestic as well as cross-
border movement and to influence the ethnic composition of the national population by legal, social, and other
means. We discuss the application of policies of immigration and/or nationality; for instance, when the respective
legal frameworks have been altered or are in the process of being amended. Equally, space will be given to discuss
migrants’ strategies in reaction to state power and efforts to evade state interventions. Other possible issues are
the formation of ethnically segregated neighborhoods in major cities due to internal and or international migration.
Here as well, we want to address the relationship between ethnic migration patterns and governmental regulations.
This panel will address the following topics:
1.Ethnic organization and identity formation of migrants in urban spaces
2.Rural to urban migration: emergence of ethnic enclaves in major cities?
3.Ethnic conflicts, migration policy, and the state
4.Policy strategies to differentiate between desired and unwanted immigrants
5.Does ethnicity matter? How states consider origin or culture when they intervene in the recruitment of (domestic,
agricultural, highly skilled) labor migrants
6.Legal frameworks of migrant admission, residence, and access to nationality
7.Policing across borders: Consequences of immigration policies for sending regions or neighboring countries
8.Strategies of migrant actors vis-a-vis immigration restrictions
Panel 3: Ethnic minorities and social governance
In charge: n.n., Antonio, Michaela, Anja, Yucheng Liang, Guoxiong Zhang, Xiangyi Li,
This panel focuses on the political management of ethnic diversity in the context of state building and state
consolidation processes. The presentations will address different examples of the interplay and/or conflict between
the state and non-majoritarian ethnic groups in Africa, Asia and Latin America. They discuss the question of the
legal and political recognition of ethnic minorities as well as the ways in which minority groups try to use legal and
political frameworks for their own benefit. An additional thematic focus will be the shaping of intellectual discourses
regarding the official and social categorization of nationality/nationalities (both in History and Anthropology) and its
diffusion and popularization by the (mass) media.
This panel will address the following topics:
1.Legal recognition of ethnic minorities (constitutional law, legislative implementation, administrative practices)
2.Policy frameworks with regard to nationalities/ethnic minorities
3.Strategies of social and political participation of ethnic minority groups
4.The role of anthropologists/historians in the categorization of ethnic difference and its political implications
(institutional practices, criticism and debates inside the disciplines)
5.The role of the media
Timetable for Participants:
*Before Dec.5, 2014 submit title and abstract (1-2page)
*Before Mar.30, 2015 submit brief statement of your paper (5-7page).
UC takes the charge of the international fare
SYSU takes the the charge of local meeting expenditure, includes accommodation, and meal.s