Närbild på jordglob

Welcome to the migration seminar!

Convoluted mobility: On the precarious movements of transnational migrant workers


Marlene Spanger, Associate Professor Global Refugee Studies, Dept. of Politics & Society, Aalborg University


This presentation discusses how the precarity of migrants working in the national labour markets of the Global North is shaped throughout the entire transnational migration process encompassing the planning, the journey as well as the arrival, re-arrival, and engagement across the sending and the receiving societies. Introducing the concept of convoluted mobility, I analyse how the mediation of transnational labour migration is uneven and filled with frictions of de-tours, stuckness, and obstacles leaving the migrant workers in precarious positions across the sending and receiving societies.

Through the empirical examples of Ukrainian migrants working within the agricultural industry in Denmark and brokers in Ukraine, I argue that the precarity of the migrants is established through convoluted mobility characterised by the interlink between the transnational migration infrastructure that moves the migrants and the migrants’ autonomy moving through the migration infrastructure.


This is a hybrid seminar, you are welcome to connect via Zoom or join us at MIM seminar room, floor 9, Niagara, Nordenskiöldsgatan 1. To attend on campus, please gather by the reception area at 14.05.

If you have any questions, send an email to mim@mau.se.