PROVIR closing conference – Call for Papers

Closing conference PROVIR “Exceptional welfare: Dilemmas in/of irregular migration”

How do states respond to the physical presence and needs of people it officially has excluded? To what extent do international human rights provide protection? How does migration control and welfare policy affect irregular migrants’ experiences and subjectivities?

Physically present, but legally excluded, irregular migrants’ present societies with particular dilemmas relating to both sovereignty and human suffering. European countries increasingly involve welfare services in migration control, either by restricting access, or by using welfare services to detect/expose irregular migrants. This raises important questions concerning not only how migrants’ legal status influences their capacity to access services, but also the practical and ethical implications for service providers. Furthermore, it challenges the extent to which human rights actually limit the exclusionary powers of states and as such whether human rights are viable outside the confines of citizenship.

Provision of Welfare to Irregular Migrants (PROVIR) will be organizing its closing conference at the University of Bergen, 19th – 21th of November 2014. As an interdisciplinary project, the PROVIR research group and its international partners have combined a legal and social science approach to the provision of welfare to ‘irregular migrants’ in Norway, and comparatively in Europe, looking particularly at health care and education. The aim of the project has been to investigate the complex relationship between law, institutional practice, and migrants’ lived experience.

The closing conference aims to bring together researchers from various disciplines who are interested in the interplay between migration control and welfare policy. At the conference, findings from the PROVIR-project will be presented by the research team. We are also awaiting response from a number of prominent keynote speakers, some of which have already confirmed. There will be more information about the program soon on our website. In addition, the PROVIR research team also welcomes papers to be presented at workshops. We especially invite contributions addressing:

1) Irregular migrants’ legal situation regarding access to welfare provisions, either in national or international law.

2) Institutional practices and responses by service providers.

3) Migrants’ experiences, agency and embodiment.

We welcome both theoretical and empirical ventures into these questions, and papers may combine the aforementioned issues with interdisciplinary approaches. We particularly encourage papers exploring issues related to health, education and children.

Paper proposals (maximum 300 words) can be submitted until the 25th of April 2014. Please include a short bio with the abstract.

Conference registration deadline is 1st of October. 

For submitting abstract or other enquiries, please send an e-mail to More information about the PROVIR-project is available at and about IMER Bergen at