Podcast Episodes


Episode 20: Quaran ‘Strongly Requests’ You to Stay Home

In this podcast Kyohei Yamada details Japan’s peculiarly non-intrusive measures to COVID-19, and points to the unique historical and constitutional factors that explain their approach. In addition, Kyohei chats yakuza, pachinko- and of course: mascots!Listen to the podcast here



Episode: 19: Stay in Your Box!

Singapore has been hailed as a ‘model’ response to COVID-19, but in recent days its cramped and crowded migrant worker dormitories, were been the site of a surge of cases. In this podcast Jia Ye – Geographer at Nanyang Technical University – tells us about the impossibility of social distancing for workers – who remain in the dorms, in the trucks and on their work sites. She also gives us an insider’s look into Singapore’s state led response, and the unique codes of self-policing and ‘civility’ that hold it in place. Listen to the podcast here



Episode 18: Sunshine in the Abyss

This week Abbey introduces us to two of her pals from London. The conversation plumbs the depths of terror and shock that accompany the crisis, but at the same time reveals some surprises about different groups and actors advocating for and achieving progressive change in these odd days. Listen to the podcast here



Episode 17: Stock up on Hand Cream Before Lockdown

Abbey and Darshan speak to Oxford scholar, Andrea Ruggeri about his experiences, the impact on Italian democracy and daily life. And yes, Andrea advises buying some hand creme and getting a haircut before lockdown. Listen to the podcast here


Episode 16: Winter is Coming

We discuss the COVID-19 response in South Africa, where an impending winter, a long history of the HIV-AIDS pandemic, and xenophobic attitudes are combining to generate some surprising and unexpected responses to the crisis. Listen to the podcast here



Episode 15: Much Ado About Le Pen?

In this episode, François Bonnet, assistant research professor at the National Center for Scientific Research (France), talks about the French first round election results, arguing that the National Front may have seriously underperformed. Listen to the podcast here.

Dutch ballot

Episode 14: Are We Heading Towards More Populist or Pluralist Societies Within Europe?

In this episode, Sarah de Lange, Professor by special appointment at the Department of Political Science at the University of Amsterdam, talks about the international perception of the recent Dutch elections, the rise of populist right-wing as well as migrant parties, and the contemporary tendencies towards increasingly fragmented societies in Europe at large. Listen to the podcast here.

Xenophobic attacks

Episode 13: Killing in the Name of…

In this episode, Loren Landau, professor and Director of the African Center for Migration and Society (ACMS) at Wits University in Johannesburg, speaks about the recently increasing violent attacks against foreign nationals in South Africa. He tells us that poor, black South Africans use this violence to demand the attention of political elites. Increasingly, and disturbingly, their appeal is being heard. Listen to the podcast here.

Listen to a rejoinder by Michael Onyebuchi Eze (University of Amsterdam) here.


Episode 12: The Trump Presidency: The Real First 100 Days

In this episode we reconvene with Austin Kocher, PhD student at the Department of Geography of the Ohio State University, on the implications Trump’s Presidency will bring to US immigration policy, as well as what the (new) hopes are against the xenophobic, racist and sexist immigration issues. Listen to the podcast here.


Episode 11: The Dismantlement of the ‘Jungle Camp’

In this episode, Claudio Minca, professor and Head of the Cultural Geography chair group at Wageningen University (WUR), speaks about the spatiality and the functional logic of  contemporary refugee camps. These new realities lead to the construction of a new geography within Europe in which these camps will probably have a permanent presence. Listen to the podcast here.


Episode 10: The Bratislava Declaration

Sandrino Smeets (Radboud University), an expert on EU Council deliberations, tells us how European countries decided upon the making of the Bratislava Declaration and what it means, while  also offering the sobering thought that the document may shape EU migration policy for years to come. Listen to the podcast here.

Germany Merkel's Migrant Troubles

Episode 9: No More Mr. Nice Guy?

Matthias Leese, a Senior Researcher at the Centre for Security Studies in the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, discusses whether immigrants in Germany are being scapegoated in the CDU’s attempt to get tough on terror. Listen to the podcast here.


Episode 8: Better Off in Turkey?

In this podcast Can Mutlu (Bilkent University) tells us why some of the temporary protection measures – like offering work permits – have had limited effects, and explores whether there is a long term future for asylum seekers on Turkish soil. Listen to the podcast here.


Episode 7: The New Hope for Diversity?

American anthropologist John Bowen (Washington University, St. Louis) talks about the election of Sadiq Khan and the UK multicultural tradition. Listen to the podcast here.


Episode 6: Childhood Without a Future? Unaccompanied Youth Migrants in Europe

Elaine Chase, a Senior Lecturer at University College London asks what it is like for unaccompanied young migrants to navigate adolescence without much ability to plan for the future. Listen to the podcast here.

Listen to a rejoinder by Stanford Mahati (University of Cape Town) here.


Episode 5: A Papal ‘Gesture’: Can We Help Asylum Seekers without Exploiting Them?

Anja Karlsson Franck, Senior Lecturer at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, draws on her extensive fieldwork on the island of Lesbos to look at Pope’s recent media splash on the island. Listen to the podcast here.

Listen to rejoinders by Polly Pallister-Wilkins (University of Amsterdam) here and by the Trasnscapes Research team (Durham University) here.


Episode 4: A Trump Presidency: The First 100 Days

In this week’s podcast, we ask Austin Kocher (Ohio State University) to forecast what the first 100 days of a Trump Presidency would mean for US migrants and politics more generally. Listen to the podcast here.


Episode 3: EU-Turkey: Deal or no Deal?

Franck Düvell (University of Oxford) tells us about the controversial EU plan to send non-refugees back to Turkey while offering to resettle those people who Turkey has already qualified as refugees. Listen to the podcast here.

Germany-Cologne-Cr_2633932a (1)

Episode 2: Cologne and the Art of Not Being a Racist

In this week’s podcast  Francois Bonnet of the CNRS talks about the aftermath of the Cologne Attacks. He explains why we have struggled to balance our righteous indignation at the attacks with our fear of being labelled a ‘racist’. Listen to the podcast here.

Listen to the rejoinder by Kendra Bricken here, and read Francois’ reply here.


Episode 1: Guns at the Border?

Polly Pallister-Wilkins chatted with our host Darshan Vigneswaran about the changing tone of Europe’s response to the migration crisis. Listen to the podcast here.