Nina Amelung

c:o/re short-term Junior Fellow 07/24

photo credits:
Nina Amelung

Nina is Post-Doc Research Fellow at the Institute of Social Science, Universidade de Lisboa. Her research interests lie at the intersection of Sociology, Science and Technology Studies (STS), Critical Migration and Border Studies and matters of democracy and public engagement. She co-authored Modes of Bio-Bordering: The Hidden (Dis)integration of Europe (2021, Springer) and co-edited Material Politics of Citizenship: Connecting Migrations With Science and Technology Studies (2021, Routledge). She completed her PhD in Sociology at the Technische Universität Berlin. She was visiting scholar at Universidade de Lisboa, University of Stockholm, University of Gothenburg and worked previously at the University of Coimbra and Universidade do Minho. She is co-founder of the independent research network STS MIGTEC and currently in the leadership team of the COST ACTION DATAMIG and coordinating the working group 3, Laboratory on critical engagements with the datafied migration and border control regime.

Contentious Spaces: Social Movements and New-Tech-Based Migration and Border Control

In Europe, we witness unprecedented times of anti-migration political discourse and expansive securitized migration policies. Migrants and their solidarians are increasingly confronted with hostile and criminalizing societal conditions. Yet, migrants and solidarian civil society groups protesting and mobilizing for precarious migrants’ issues and rights has proliferated over the last decade although migrants’ politicization is constrained by legal obstacles, scarce resources and closed political and discursive opportunities. Complicating the picture, migrants are increasingly exposed to complex and opaque migration and border control regimes relying heavily on ambiguous technological instruments and infrastructures that make it difficult to fully understand their harm. The objectives of the project are: 1. Theoretically: Developing an analytical repertoire to study the mobilization of civil society, emergent contentious spaces in the area of datafied and algorithmic migration and border control regimes as ‘democratic situations’ and processes of democratisation. 2. Empirically: Understanding the a) particularities and differences of modalities of collaboration and action repertoires of civil society actors in the fields; b) the discursive and material practices to problematize, contest and politicize the promises and risks of technologized and algorithmic migration and border control regimes; c) imaginaries to create more inclusive and juster democracies; and forms of involving and representing migrants themselves. 3. Methodologically: Creating a data inventory of selected mobilizations that cover a) civil society-led mobilization to influence regulatory and legal frameworks representing migrants rights (e.g. advocacy, campaigning and strategic litigation work); b) civil society-led engagement monitoring and making ambiguous opaque and controversial governance regimes and implementation practices public that mostly harm migrants lives (e.g. freedom of information requests, investigative journalism creating counter-evidence and public archiving).


Amelung, Nina, Scheel, Stephan, and van Reekum, Rogier. 2024. Reinventing the politics of knowledge production in migration studies: introduction to the special issue. In Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 50(9): 2163-2187.

Amelung, Nina and Galis, Vasilis. 2023. Border control technologies: introduction. In Science as Culture, 32(3): 323-343. DOI: 10.1080/09505431.2023.2234932

Amelung, Nina. 2021. “Crimmigration Control” across Borders: The Convergence of Migration and Crime Control through Transnational Biometric Databases. In Historical Social Research 46(3): 151-177.

Amelung, Nina; Gianolla, Cristiano Sousa Ribeiro, Joana, and Solovova, Olga. 2021. Material Politics of Citizenship: Connecting Migrations With Science and Technology Studies. London: Routledge.

Amelung, Nina; Granja, Rafaela; Machado, Helena. 2021. Modes of Bio-Bordering: The Hidden (Dis)integration of Europe. Singapore: Springer.