Aino E Korvensyrjä

Research activity per year

Personal profile

Description of research and teaching

Research interests: Borders, race and racism, deportation, policing, punishment, asylum, state, law, inequality, social movements, migrant struggles

Aino is a doctoral researcher (Social Anthropology) at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Helsinki, a lecturer at the Freie Universität in Berlin (European Studies Program) and a research associate in Justice Collective (Berlin) in a project on racism in the German criminal legal system. She is affiliated with the Centre for Research on Ethnic Relations and Nationalism (CEREN), University of Helsinki, and a member of the German Network for Critical Migration and Border Regime Research (kritnet).

Aino is active in social movements against borders, policing and punishment in Germany and transnationally. In 2015 she co-founded the collective Culture of Deportation, documenting and supporting migrant struggles against deportation, policing and externalisation in the German humanitarian migration regime. Since 2017 she conducted anti-racist court watching with the Berlin-based group Justizwatch.  She co-coordinates the West Africa working group in Migration Control – a transnational network of researchers, activists, journalists and NGOs documenting European border externalisation in Africa.

Aino's doctoral research is an ethnography of law enforcement in the German asylum-deportation regime through the lens of black migrants' struggles. The thesis examines the administrative suspension of deportation (Duldung) as migration governance and a site of conflicts involving migrants and diverse state authorities, and engages with West African diaspora movements' critique of borders. It builds on in-depth ethnographic fieldwork conducted between 2016 and 2022 with West Africans ordered to leave Germany after a rejected asylum request or Dublin decision and on work with social movements. Further, the thesis analyses laws, policy documents and administrative data.  It contributes to critical conversations on deportation, border enforcement, racism, humanitarianism, law and the state. The public dimension of the research included reporting on court hearings, charter deportations, police violence and migrant protests, and supporting migrants to take legal action. Funded by Kone Foundation.

Aino received her Master of Social Science degree in Social Science History in June 2015 (Excellent).





External positions

Research Associate, Justice Collective, Berlin

Jan 2023 → …

Lecturer, Freie Universität

2022 → …

International and National Collaboration

Publications and projects within past five years.