Academy of Finland, 2018–2022

Project director:

Project objectives:

As a result of the ‘refugee crisis’, the variety and number of people to be deported from Finland have grown rapidly. However, there is still very little social science research related to deportations in Finland.

In this research project, action-oriented research is carried out on the deportation of asylum seekers from three thematic perspectives: 1) laws, policies and practices relating to deportations, 2) trust and mistrust in civil society activism related to deportations, and 3) deportation trips of asylum seekers.

  • The research project asks:
    • How has the deportation machinery (including laws, policies and deportation practices) developed?
    • How is the legislation on deportations used to produce deportable subjects and deportation status?
    • How is institutional (dis)trust reflected in deportations and related activism?
    • How is social (dis)trust manifested in expulsions and related activism?
    • What are the temporal and spatial dimensions of deportation trips?
    • How do various deportees of different backgrounds experience their deportation trips and how are forced returns collectively experienced in the communities of the deportees?

The aim of the multidisciplinary research is to provide new social, theoretical and methodological openings to support critical evaluation of the deportability of asylum seekers. The approach of ‘militant research’ contributes to this aim by strengthening the agency of those involved in the research.

Key partners:

Others:We see you (Linda Bäckman), Kaikkien Naisten Talo (Minna Saunders), Karina Horsti (University of Jyväskylä), Marko Juntunen (University of Helsinki), Päivi Rannila (University of Turku), Niina Vuolajärvi (Rutgers University), Ahmed Zaidan (freelance journalist-poet), Rewan Kakil (freelance photographer)

International mobility: Don Mitchell (Uppsala), Sieglinde Rosenberger (Vienna), Nick Gill (Exeter), Heaven Crawley (Coventry), Nicholas De Genova (Texas)



  • Presentation: The politics of protection regarding displacement from Ukraine – reflections from Finland, 4.5.2022, University of Exeter, Routes conversations
  • Symposium: On Being Displaced: Studying Forced Migration through the Lens of Mobilities Studies, 12.-13.5.2022, Helsinki
  • Presentation: Trust in Refugee Research, 18.5.2022, University of Coventry, CTPSR webinar series
  • Symposium: The Ethics of Studying Forced Mobilities, 7.-8.10.2020, Migration Institute of Finland.
  • Deportations and deportability in Finland Working group, ETMU Conference, 15.11.2019, University of Tampere.
  • Studia Generalia – Series of lectures on Return Migration (Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq), fall 2019, Migration Institute of Finland and Finnish Immigration Service.
  • Women’s views on refugeedom, an event on the World Refugee Day, 20.6.2019, Migration Institute of Finland.
  • Publication Seminar of the book Turvapaikanhaku ja pakolaisuus Suomessa, 24.1.2019, Migration Institute of Finland.
  • Symposium: Producing (Im)Mobilities: Do States Create Vulnerabilities? 25.-26.4.2019, Migration Institute of Finland.
  • Seminar From Flights to Forced Returns, 16.10.2018, Migration Institute of Finland.
  • Presentation: Trust and Mistrust in Deportation-Related Activism in Finland, University of Wien, 4.12.2019
  • Presentation: Legal geographies of the Finnish deportation machinery, University of Uppsala, 13.9.2019