Centre for Women's and Gender Research
BSRS 2014: Governance to Meet Global Development Challenges

Differentiated Citizenship: Governing Populations beyond Territorial State Borders

The Bergen Summer Research School invites PhD students and young researchers, to explore governance complex and interlinked challenges from different disciplines. The BSRS 2014 will be organized in six parallel courses.


Main content

Course description

This interdisciplinary course will explore how economic, political and cultural processes of globalization have blurred the boundaries between inside and outside nation states – between an internal ‘we’ and an external ‘them’ – in ways that profoundly challenge state sovereignty and universal citizenship models.

This course will give students insight into the ways in which many nation states are responding to globalization and the waning of sovereignty through a more rigid migration politics, stricter border control and extensive policies of securitization, while at the same time safeguarding the circulation of people, goods and services to increase economic competitiveness in a global market.

Students will explore issues concerning the dependence of economic growth on a high level of gendered labour mobility that produces – and gives legitimacy to – extensive securitization and stricter border control. Students will be introduced to both theoretical and methodological challenges involved in gender-related research on these issues, from theoretical/philosophical, juridical, anthropological and sociological perspectives, using various feminist/gender and postcolonial theories.

Specifically they will concentrate on how circulatory flows draw on pre-existing gender relations that target cheap and flexible female workers.


Goals and objectives

This interdisciplinary course will provide a general theoretical introduction to the conditions of differentiated citizenship in a globalized and postcolonial context.

It will be followed by indepth analyses of the various ways in which the increased marketization of people and their bodies is played out in specific geo-political contexts: South-East Asia, Southern Africa, Eastern Europe/EU and South-America.

The main aim of the course is to enable students to achieve a critical understanding of how the differentiation of citizenship entitlements serves to ensure a flexible, compatible economy by privileging certain populations, while preventing others from obtaining the same rights and entitlements.

We will read texts from the fields of political theory/philosophy, feminist/gender studies, social anthropology, postcolonial and globalization studies, literature and cinema studies, sociology, migration studies and critical race theory in order to address how gendered and hierarchical detachments of entitlement from political membership entail a fragmentation of citizenship.

This interdisciplinary approach will guide students through key concepts to enhance understandings of the relationship between citizenship, the human and capital in a global, comparative context. Group discussions, doctoral presentations and film discussions will provide students with an interactive framework in which to locate the content of the course. This enquiry-based learning will enable students to work with their individual projects and to interrogate the contribution of different disciplines to better understand new forms of differentiated citizenship in current and changing global power matrices.


Targeted students

The course welcomes PhD students from different professional and disciplinary backgrounds related to the fields of governance, citizenship and gender.

The reading list will be ready by the end of April 2014, and must be read prior to the course.

Group work and presentations will be set during the course.

Students are required to attend all sessions of the course, and participation is also mandatory in the plenary events of the overall programme of the Bergen Summer Research School 2014.

After the course, students are expected to present a written assignment utilizing the course curriculum.

Deadline for submission will be specified by the course leader and announced during the course.

The papers will be graded according to approved/not approved by the course instructors, and are expected to meet the standards of publishable papers (with revisions) in peer reviewed journals.

10 ECTS will be awarded upon successful participation of the full programme, including submission of the research paper.


Course outline:

  1. Introduction with overarching themes (23 June, 1300-1530):
    Synnøve Bendixsen, Randi Gressgård and Donna McCormack
  2.  Student introduction (23 June, 1600-1700)
  3. Focus on South-America: Conceptions of race, security and gender (24 June, 1030-1200)
    Tina Jensen
  4. Focus on South-Asia: War, gender and territory (24 June, 1300-1630
    Helle Rydström
  5. Focus on South-Asia: Social movements, civil society and the late-socialist state (25 June, 1030-1200)
    Helle Rydström
  6. Focus on EU/Eastern Europe: Gender and transnationalism (25 June, 1300-1630)
    Umut Erel
  7. Focus on Scandinavia: Migration politics and the welfare state (26 June, 1030-1200)
  8. Focus on EU/Eastern Europe: Migrant mothers as citizens (June 27, 1030-1200)
    Umut Erel
  9. Film screening, with open discussion (1300-1630)
  10.  Migration and state borders (30 June, 1030-1200)
    Synnøve Bendixsen
  11. Student presentations, with comments and discussion (June 30, 1300-1630)
  12. Postcolonialism and us/them representations (July 1, 1030-1200)
    Donna McCormack
  13. Student presentations, with comments and discussion (July 1, 1300-1630)
  14. Differentiated citizenship and zoning politics (July 2, 1030-1200)
    Randi Gressgård
  15. Focus on Southern Africa: Gender and multiculturalism revisited (July 3, 1030-1200)
    Amanda Gouws
  16. Focus on Southern Africa: Race and gender relations in courts and governance (July 2,1300-1630)
    Amanda Gouws
  17. Panel discussion (July 3, 1300-1630)
    Amanda Gouws, Kari Jegerstedt and Gaudencia Mutema


PhD project presentations: Students will present their projects and receive comments from the instructors:
Synnøve Bendixsen, Randi Gressgård, Kari Jegerstedt and Donna McCormack