“Passport Geographies” Call for Papers – AAG 2014

Call for Papers – Association of American Geographers (AAG) meeting 2014

April 8th -12th, 2014: Tampa Bay, Florida, USA.


Sponsored by the Population Specialty Group (PSP) at AAG

Download Call for Papers in PDF


Pablo Mateos, CIESAS, Mexico / University College London, UK
Adam Dennett, Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis, University College London, UK
Fernando Riosmena, Department of Geography, University of Colorado at Boulder

Map of the forbidden world

Map of the ‘forbidden World’ (Le Monde Diplomatique, 2013)


Scholarly attention in migration studies has tended to sideline the question of migrant citizenship as a binary condition given by the migrant’s position in an ‘integration continuum’ between an origin and a destination country. This has meant that nationality, understood as formal membership in one or more States, is generally treated as a rather secondary factor in explaining various migrants outcomes. However, which passport/s a person is entitled to do actually determine many of his/her life chances and those of his/her family and descendants, mediated in terms of their associated mobility rights. A world hierarchy of passports (Castles, 2005) is emerging that determines people chances in life through a system that Dorling (2011) has termed ‘global apartheid’ ultimately based on race, social class and education, and disguised under a ‘geography of passports’. Such system is governed by immigration legislation that permits visa-free travel for a privileged minority with certain passports, while imposing a host of increasing mobility restrictions and life threatening situations to others with the wrong kind of passports. Some of these marginalized nationals can circumvent these immigration restrictions by benefiting from asymmetric legislation on naturalization – including language and citizenship tests and reduced residency exceptions for kin states and ex-colonies-, ius sanginis provisions for ancestry-based transmission of citizenship, family reunion, mixed marriages, and some other routes to citizenship that privilege a few deemed to fit well into the nation. In this view, as opposed to the binary origin-destination perspective, migrants take pragmatic citizenship practices within a complex system of ‘citizenship constellations’ (Bauböck, 2010) maximizing their chances in such global hierarchy of passports. Geographers are well positioned to study how such global hierarchy of passports is enabling or restricting pragmatic citizenship practices and how these in turn are introducing complex spatialities of national state membership; new ‘passport geographies’.


Papers in this session may discuss issues relating to:

  • Multiple citizenship and migration
  • Ancestry-based access to citizenship
  • Race and citizenship
  • The geography of visa-free travel
  • Integrated spaces of free mobility (Schengen, Mercosur, ASEAN, others)
  • Exceptions in naturalization rules
  • Citizenship and language tests
  • Network analysis of country-to-country travel restrictions (visas, naturalization, stocks, etc)
  • The geography of naturalization rates
  • European Union citizenship and mobility of third country nationals
  • Return migration and dual citizenship
  • Pathways to widen mobility rights
  • Hierarchies of citizens
  • Postnational citizenship
  • Citizens of convenience
  • Passport discrimination
  • Border control technologies and global apartheid


Please e-mail the abstract and key words with your expression of intent to Pablo Mateos (pmateos@ciesas.edu.mx) on or before November 19th, 2013. Please make sure that your abstract conforms to the AAG guidelines in relation to title, word limit and key words and as specified at <http://www.aag.org/cs/annualmeeting/call_for_papers>. An abstract should be no more than 250 words that describes the paper’s purpose, methods, and conclusions as well as to include keywords..


Sept. 30th, 2013: Call for papers published.

Oct. 23rd, 2013: Deadline AAG Early bird registration rate. If interested please submit your paper by this date via www.aag.org. Upon registration you will be given a participant number (PIN). Send the PIN and a copy of your final abstract to p.mateos@ucl.ac.uk

Nov. 19th, 2013: Deadline abstract submission to session convenors. Please submit an abstract and keywords with your expression of intent to p.mateos@ucl.ac.uk.

Nov. 22nd, 2013: Session finalization. Session organizers determine papers accepted for the session and notify authors.

Dec. 1st, 2013: Deadline final abstract submission to AAG, via www.aag.org. All participants must register individually via this site, paying the registration fees. Upon registration you will be given a participant number (PIN). Send the PIN and a copy of your final abstract to p.mateos@ucl.ac.uk . Please be aware that neither the organizers nor the AAG will edit the abstracts.

Dec. 3rd, 2013: AAG session registration deadline. Sessions submitted to AAG for approval.

Apr. 8th -12th, 2014: AAG meeting, Tampa Bay, Florida, USA.


Bauböck, R. (2010). Studying Citizenship Constellations. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 36(5), 847–859. doi:10.1080/13691831003764375

Castles, S. (2005). Nation and Empire: Hierarchies of Citizenship in the New Global Order. International Politics, 42(2), 203–224. doi:10.1057/palgrave.ip.8800107

Dorling, D. (2011). Possible “peak population”: a world without borders? |. Open Democracy.

Le Monde Diplomatique. (2013). Mourir aux portes de l’Europe – Les blogs du Diplo. Paris.


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