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Vicki Squire

Reader in International Security

Tel: +44 (0)24761 51977
Room: E1.13, Social Sciences Building
Advice and Feedback Hours: I am on study leave 2016-17, please email for an appointment


I joined PAIS as Associate Professor of International Security in 2012. Previously, I was RCUK fellow at the Centre of Citizenship, Identities and Governance, The Open University. Prior to that, I was ESRC postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Birmingham.

My research cuts across the fields of critical citizenship, migration, border and security studies, and coalesces around my interest in the emergence, development and contestation of various rationalities or techniques of governing mobility. Specifically, I consider the political implications of different practices of governing mobility, as well as the transformative potential of diverse struggles through which such practices are contested, resisted and/or subverted.

I have published widely in this area, and have presented lectures by invitation across the world, including in Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, the UK and the US. I am Co-Editor of the journal International Political Sociology, and co-convenor (with Hannah Jones, Department of Sociology, and Khursheed Wadia, Centre for Lifelong Learning) of the Warwick Borders, Race, Ethnicity and Migration (BREM) Network. I am carrying out research funded by a Leverhulme Fellowship in 2015-2017, entitled Human Dignity and Biophysical Violence: Migrant Deaths across the Mediterranean Sea. I am also PI on an ESRC urgent research grant from 2015-17, Crossing the Mediterranean Sea by Boat: Mapping and Documenting Migratory Journeys and Experiences.

Research interests

My interest in the emergence, development and contestation of various rationalities or techniques of governing mobility is reflective of a broad range of research activities and interests. I am currently developing these along three main lines:

  • Sanctuary enactments, the politics of asylum and of refugee protection
  • Border struggles, the politics of mobility, and the material and spatial dimensions of migration and migratory control
  • Acts of citizenship, the politics of community, and the possibilities and limitations of enacting ‘citizenship without community’

My first line of research emerges from my ESRC-funded research on asylum, which was published as a monograph entitled The Exclusionary Politics of Asylum in 2009. From this I have developed an interest in diverse enactments of urban sanctuary or welcome in both the US and the UK. This work follows on from my funded project entitled Mobile Acts of Solidarity.

My second line of research is concerned with contemporary border struggles, which I have developed through an edited volume of essays published in 2011, entitled The Contested Politics of Mobility: Borderzones and Irregularity. This theme is further developed in my most recent book entitled Post/humanitarian Border Politics Between Mexico and the US: People, Places, Things. Drawing on fieldwork that I carried out in 2011 and 2012, it examines 'the human' as a stake of humanitarian politics in a context of emergent forms of biophysical violence. In the forward to the book, Professor Brett Neilson (University of Western Sydney) says: “Squire successfully … opens new and hopeful paths of movement through the desert of contemporary critical thought". I am continuing the analysis of themes developed in this book through my Leverhulme Fellowship, Human Dignity and Biophysical Violence: Migrant Deaths across the Mediterranean Sea, and ESRC project, Crosssing the Mediterranean Sea by Boat: Mapping and Documenting Migratory Journeys and Experiences, during 2015-17.

My third line of research draws on previous work that I have carried out on ‘acts of citizenship’, as part of the European Commission funded Framework 7 project, Enacting Citizenship. This involves consideration of the potential and limitations of enacting ‘citizenship without community’, and is a theme examined in a special issue of the journal Environment, Planning and Space, which I co-edited with Dr. Angharad Closs Stephens (University of Durham), entitled Citizenship Without Community.

Teaching and supervision

During 2015-2016 I am on research leave from my role as Director and Tutor on the MA modules PO966 Concepts and Theories of International Security and PO9A2 Borders and Migration. I have wide-ranging experience in teaching across the related fields of politics and international studies, as well as across the social sciences more widely.

I have experience of supervising a range of PhD students. I welcome PhD proposals on any of the above or related topics. Prospective students are invited to send me a short outline proposal for their proposed project. Students supervised to completion include:

Dr Helen Arfvidsson, On Burning Cars, Concrete and Citizenship (2014)

Dr Jennifer Bagelman, City of Sanctuary: A State of Deferral (2012) (currently lecturer at University of Durham)

Recent publications

Some of my most recent works include:

  • Squire, V. (forthcoming) "“Governing migration through death in Europe and the US: Identification, burial, and the crisis of modern humanism”, European Journal of International Relations.
  • Squire, V. (2015) "Acts of desertion: Abandonment and renounouncement at the Sonoran borderzone", Antipode, 47(2): 500-516.
  • Squire, V. (2015) “Reshaping critical geopolitics? The materialist challenge”, Review of International Studies, 41(1): 139-159.
  • Squire, V. (2014) “Desert ‘trash’: Posthumanism, border struggles, and humanitarian politics”, Political Geography, 39: 11-21.
  • Squire, V. and Darling, J. (2013) “The 'Minor' Politics of Rightful Presence: Justice and relationality in City of Sanctuary”, International Political Sociology, 7(1): 59-74.
  • Closs Stephens, A. and Squire, V. (2012) “Politics through a web: Citizenship and community unbound”, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 30(3): 551-567.
  • Squire, V. (Ed.) (2011) The Contested Politics of Mobility: Borderzones and Irregularity (Abingdon: Routledge).
  • Squire, V. (2011) “From Community Cohesion to Mobile Solidarities: The City of Sanctuary network and the Strangers into Citizens campaign”, Political Studies, 59(2), 290-307.
  • Squire, V. (2009) The Exclusionary Politics of Asylum (Basingstoke: Palgrave-Macmillan).

For a full list of my publications, please see my Publications page.



My newest article on structure/agency and unauthorised migration is now published for Politics journal on eary view.

My article on governing migration through death in Europe and the US is now published in European Journal of International Relations

Check out my most recent blog on a novel refugee housing initiative in Athens in the Conversation  

Please see important initial research findings on the European migration agenda in my article with Vassiliki Touhouliotis in openDemocracy

openDemocracy have published important testimony from an unaccompanied minor in Sicily along with my reflections on his experiences

From September 2015 I am PI on an ESRC urgent research project, Crossing the Mediterannean Sea by Boat: Mapping and Documenting Migratory Journeys and Expereinces.

I have a Leverhulme research fellowship from 2015-17 for my project: Human Dignity and Biophysical Violence: Migrant Deaths across the Mediterranean Sea

My most recent book is now pulished: Post/Humanitarian Border Politics between Mexico and the US


exclusionary politics of asylum

contested politics of mobility