Aino E Korvensyrjä

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Description of research and teaching

Research interests: Critical migration and border studies, critical race studies, anthropology of state and law, deportation, asylum, migration justice and solidarity movements

Doctoral research project: Policing the "deportation gap": Borders, race and West African migrants' struggles in the German asylum aystem after 2015

An ethnography of the German asylum-deportation regime after 2015, focusing on the administrative suspension of deportation (Duldung), through the lens of migrant struggles. The study draws on 20 non-consecutive months of multisited ethnographic fieldwork conducted between 2016 and 2021 with persons from West Africa who sought asylum, on background interviews and (policy) document analysis. It examines the everyday governance of deferred deportation by multiple state agents and institutions – the asylum administration, police, immigration authorities, camp and criminal courts, politicians – with a methodological accent on migrants' mobility practices. The analysis seeks to contribute to debates on the state, citizenship and racism in the context of migration control. The theoretical framework draws on anthropology and sociology of law and state, critical migration studies, critiques of racial capitalism as well as on West African migration movements’ analyses. Funded by Kone Foundation.

Korvensyrjä is since 2015 a co-researcher in the interdisciplinary, activist research collective Culture of Deportation and was the coordinator in the project Welcome to Europe? realised by the collective and funded by Kone Foundation. In 2017 an online archive was created which documents the German asylum-deportation nexus and the EU model of border externalisation, focusing on the knowledge and analyses generated in migrant self-organisation ( Since 2018 Culture of Deportation has documented and supported struggles in Southern German asylum camps and against racist police and security guard violence together with other activist groups. Korvensyrjä is also conducting antiracist trial-monitoring with Justizwatch.

Korvensyrjä received her Master of Social Science degree in Social Science History in June 2015 (Excellent). She is currently doctoral student at the Department of Social Research (Sociology), Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Helsinki. She is also affiliated to the Centre for Research on Ethnic Relations and Nationalism (CEREN). She is member of the German kritnet (network for Critical Migration and Border Regime Research) and of Migration Control, a transnational network of researchers, activists, journalists and organisations collecting and publishing information on European border externalisation to Africa.