Methodological denationalism: de-exceptionalising displacement, re-exceptionalising citizenship

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


This paper explores the extent to which de-exceptionalising displacement can help move research on human mobility beyond methodological nationalism. It begins with a brief overview of the advantages and risks of exchanging the lens of migration for one of displacement, arguing that the latter can help move away from assumptions about migrant difference. However, while it enables connections between different forms and methods of displacement to be made, it does not necessarily trouble the idea that some people are ‘out of place’ and others are ‘in place’. This is of particular importance because who is considered in and out of place is bound up with nationally specific ways of encoding and remaking race. I examine the implications of this with reference to the UK’s Windrush Scandal and go on to consider the class dimensions of displacement which are imbricated with race. I argue that this suggests the importance of attending to citizenship and its inequalities, and this requires re-exceptionalising citizenship at the same time as de-exceptionalising displacement.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number3
Early online date31 Jan 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 31 Jan 2022

Structured keywords

  • Migration Mobilities Bristol


  • racism
  • methodological nationalism
  • displacement
  • class
  • citizenship


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