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Gordon Michael, PhD Student

Michael Gordon

PhD Student

Graduate Students
Department of Political Science

Area(s) of Interest:

Biography

My work is focused on furthering the knowledge and understanding of irregular migration through an investigation of migrant journeys into the European Union. The project examines migrant journeys within the humanitarian-security nexus framework and explores the construction and evolution of the image and imaginary of ‘illegal’ migrants, while interrogating border crossing as a form of migrant resistance to state bordering practices. This contradictory notion of the humanitarian-security nexus sees a duality in the nature of irregular migrants as victims deserving of assistance and needing to be saved, while conversely being perceived as a threat to the safety and security of the state. This process necessitates both the securitization of the individual and in turn, the enhancement of violent state bordering practices.

The project interrogates the evolution of state contestations of migrant journeys as an effort to limit migration through bordering practices while examining the implications for irregular migrant populations. My aim is to contribute to the burgeoning literature on migrant journeys and expand the understanding and implications of state bordering practices on the lived experience of irregular migrants while challenging the way in which state policy concerning irregular populations addresses the needs of vulnerable and marginalized groups. 

Tentative Dissertation Title: (De)Constructing ‘Illegality’: Migrant Journeys and the Humanitarian-Security Nexus

Supervisor: Dr. Peter Nyers

Areas of Interest:

  • Irregular Migration
  • Humanitarian Border Policy
  • Migrant Journeys
  • Border Industries
  • Human Smuggling
  • Critical Security Studies

Awards:

Education

  • M.A. Global Governance - Balsillie School of International Affairs, University of Waterloo (2016)
  • B.A. (Hons) Political Science - McMaster University (2014)

Teaching

Teaching Assistant

  • POL SCI 2I03 - Global Politics - Dr. M. Busser (Fall 2017)
  • POL SCI 1AB3 - Politics & Power in a Globalizing World - Dr. T. Alway (Winter 2017)
  • POL SCI 1AA3 - Government, Politics and Power - Dr. T. Alway (Fall 2016)

Research

Research Contributions

Daniel, B & Gordon, M. (2015). Enhancing Migrant Women’s Workers Rights and Mainstreaming Gender in Global Migration Governance. CIGI Graduate Fellows Policy Brief Series No. 2. Equal Authorship. https://www.cigionline.org/publications/enhancing-women-migrant-workers-rights-and-mainstreaming-gender-global-migration-govern

Conference Presentations

Gordon, M. (2017). (De)Constructing the European Refugee 'Crisis’: Producing the Humanitarian-Security Nexus. Presented at the Centre for Refugee Studies (CRS) Conference. York University, Toronto, ON

Gordon, M. (2017). Border Spectacle and the Construction of ‘Illegality’: Borders, Irregularity and the Humanitarian-Security Nexus. Presented at the Canadian Association of Refugee and Forced Migration Studies (CARFMS). University of Victoria, Victoria, BC

Gordon, M. (2017). Border Spectacle and the Construction of ‘Illegality’: Borders, Irregularity and the Humanitarian-Security Nexus. Presented at the Migration/Representation/Stereotypes Conference. University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON

Gordon, M. (2017). Growing Global Apartheid: The Securitization of Borders and the Politics of Aid. Presented at the Migration and Ethnic Relations Graduate Student Conference. Western University, London, ON

Gordon, M. (2017). Borders, Security and the Global Migration Industry. Presented at the Mapping the Global Dimensions of Policy 6 Conference. McMaster University, Hamilton, ON

Gordon, M. (2016). Enhancing Migrant Women’s Workers Rights and Mainstreaming Gender in Global Migration Governance. Presented at the Global Labour Research Centre Graduate Student Symposium, York University, Toronto, ON

Gordon, M. (2015). Constructing ‘Natasha’: Human Trafficking Discourse and ‘Humanitarian’ Border Policy Regimes. Paper presented at the Governing Migration from the Margins Workshop, Balsillie School of International Affairs, Waterloo, ON

Daniel, B. & Gordon, M. (2015). Enhancing Migrant Women’s Workers Rights and Mainstreaming Gender in Global Migration Governance. Presented at the CIGI Graduate Fellowship Symposium, Balsillie School of International Affairs, Waterloo, ON

Gordon, M. (2015). The Humanity of ‘Illegality’: An Auto-Ethnographic Account of Irregular Migration in Central America. Presented at the Engage 2015 Graduate Conference, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON