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Conferencia Internacional "Contested Mobility: People, Commodities and Policies across Latin America and the Caribbean"

Actividad de centro | Países Bajos - Leiden
13-14 de octubre de 2011
Conferencia Internacional "Contested Mobility: People, Commodities and Policies across Latin America and the Caribbean"

Esta conferencia internacional sobre la movilidad de personas y mercancias en América Latina está organizada por Asociación Holandesa para América Latina y el Caribe (NALACS), el departamento de estudios latinoamericanos de la Universidad de Leiden, el Centro de Estudios y Documentación Latinoamericanos (CEDLA), y el Institute of Development Policy and Management (IOB) de la Universidad de Antwerp.

The circulation of people, labour, commodities, illegal goods and state policies across national boundaries has become one of the most distinctive elements of global neoliberalism in 21st century Latin America and the Caribbean. Mobility provides new opportunities, but also contributes to exclusion, marginalization, insecurity and violence. Millions of Latin Americans and Caribbeans have left their communities of origin to pursue material improvement, thereby creating transnational families. Remittances provide their families back home with a stable source of income. Yet, at the same time, the migrants’ often illegal status also jeopardizes security. The trafficking of people, illegal drugs, weapons, animals, pirate CDs and other values has constituted new international markets that rearticulate legal frameworks, the administration and monopoly of violence, and state-society relations at large. Technological developments such as biometrics and the digitalisation of control (e.g. body, iris or passport scans), or the creation of databases affect mobility and governance structures. Such developments are supposed to ease mobility and expand state surveillance, yet in practice, the deployment of such techniques makes movement but slower and can even erode state authority.
In the 1990s Manuel Castells coined the concept ‘space of flows’ in order to capture the circulation of people, commodities and ideas through global circuits. This conference seeks to make a contribution to this academic discussion and assesses the conflicts around mobility from a cross-border perspective. We seek to bring together perspectives ‘from above’, ‘from below’ and ‘at the border’ to study the visibility and regulation of flows throughout the region and beyond.
Mobility in Latin America and the Caribbean as well as to Europe and North America is the main topic of this conference. What sorts of chains and networks emerge in the circulation of people, commodities and policies across Latin America? How does the distinction between legality and illegality affect these flows? Does the nation really matter when it comes to their functioning and control? What are the policies governments implement at national and international level to regulate mobility? What are the implications of these flows for the livelihoods of Latin Americans?

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