3-7 June 2024, Preston- University of Central Lancashire & Online

2024 IMISCOE PhD School

Migration, Race and Inclusivity

To ensure that our events remain safe and inclusive we have created the IMISCOE Code of Conduct (you can attach the document in this email document) for online, hybrid and face-to-face events. In case I have questions or wish to discuss potential breaches of the Code of Conduct during the 2024 PhD School, I will contact Lara Momesso and John Peter Wainwright 


This PhD school, organised by the Centre for Migration, Diaspora and Exile (MIDEX) and  the Global Race Centre for Equality (GRACE) at the University of Lancashire (UCLan) will revolve around the concepts of migration, intersectionality and inclusivity in relation to race.

Find out more about the full programme of the PhD School here

Migration, Race and Inclusivity

‘Migration’, the physical movement of people from one place to another for a short or long period of time, can be a source of opportunities and benefits, but it can also represent a powerful symbol of global inequality. Indeed, with the establishment of modern states and the emergence of a global economic system based on capital accumulation, human mobility has been increasingly regulated through borders, border regimes, immigration policies, and citizenship practices that built on and reinforced unequal and exploitative relations of power. For instance, the Transatlantic Enslavement Trade, rural to urban migration during the Industrial Revolution (which was fuelled by the profits of enslavement) and contemporary migration flows from peripheral to core areas shed light on how exploitation and oppression have been at the core of modern and contemporary human mobility.

Migration intersects with ‘race’. ‘Race’, a social construct embedded in larger socio-economic and political processes aiming to define hierarchies between different racial groups, has justified, on a global scale, dehumanising, racialised and racist attitudes aiming to distribute positions of power differently and reinforce inclusion/exclusion of certain racial groups within a society. Looking at migration through the lens of race helps to shed light on how notions of racial difference, ideas of race and racial experiences justify discrimination against certain racialised migrant groups. For instance, it is hard to understand the hostile environment against contemporary refugees in Europe without questioning how race/racialisation intersect with migrant experiences and identities. The opposite is also true: looking at race through the lens of migration allows to shed light on how racialised and racist attitudes are rooted in past migration patterns. For instance, recent events such as the Windrush scandal and the Black Lives Matter movement have sparked a global conversation on racial inequality and systemic violence. Though, racism directed against these communities often tends to obscure their colonial and neo-colonial roots of migration. As British-Sri-Lankan sociologist A. Sivanandan pithily summed up: ‘We are here because you were there.’ Furthermore, the contributions of racialised migrants have often been marginalised. For instance, as Paul Gilroy contends, protagonists of the Black Atlantic crossed the ocean not merely as commodities but also as agents of liberation, thus shaping transatlantic modernity. Importantly, several scholars have demonstrated that race could not be looked at in isolation: instead, the notion of race is relational and intersects with various other identities, such as religion, ethnicity, class, colour, gender, to produce differentiated and mutable experiences of domination and suppression throughout history. For instance, slavery, (neo-)colonialism, neo-liberalism, white supremacy, border regimes, refugee policies and practices have created intersections of oppression that often feature race.

To break experiences of oppression and domination and favour inclusion of racialised groups, various governments have promoted inclusive practices and policies providing equal access to opportunities and resources. Nevertheless, inclusive practices should not be framed solely as a top-down initiative. Individuals and social groups also engage in everyday activities as well as discursive, performative, and creative practices that foster different forms of membership and belonging within the communities they belong to. In light of this picture, solidarity plays an important role as it opens up possibilities for inclusion that are not necessarily or solely led by top-down initiatives. Solidarity refers to powerful stories of courage, unity, and civic engagement developed by marginalised individuals and communities. Historically embedded and geographically located, solidarity refers to a heterogeneity of political and social practices describing social and communal bonds, civic obligation, and social groups’ struggles for social justice that occasionally transcend racial boundaries.

It is not a coincidence that this PhD summer school will take place in Preston, a city on the English periphery that integrates the principle of ‘community wealth building’ with that of inclusive citizenship via the so-called Preston Model. This model aims to create an ecosystem of change that tackles inequalities by ensuring a more inclusive culture and society and a more sustainable and equal economic development amongst all its residents, including those who are marginalised due to their race/gender/mobility status. Thus, in the attempt to further contribute to the analysis of race and migration, this PhD school also aims to facilitate discussions around community wealth building, solidarity and inclusive citizenship programmes and their economic, social, political, or cultural impact on marginalised migrant/displaced groups and the broader societies they are part of.