The ma(r)king of complex border geographies and their negotiation by undocumented migrants: The case of Barbados

  • Natalie Dietrich Jones

Student thesis: Phd


The University of ManchesterNatalie Dietrich JonesPhD Development Policy and ManagementThe ma(r)king of complex border geographies and their negotiation by undocumented migrants: The case of Barbados2013ABSTRACTUsing Barbados as a case study, this thesis examines the relationship between agency, undocumentedness and borders. The relationship between these three concepts has been debated in a well-established European and North American literature; however, there is no similar body of work for the Caribbean, a space which since its genesis has been shaped by b/ordering practices. Through a stratified view of the border, it explored the discursive and non-discursive (material) factors which constrained migrants' existence, and migrants' agentic response to these constraints.The timing of fieldwork meant that the location's geography, as well as migrants' narratives, was marked by a recent amnesty exercise. In addition to 'talk' the research also relied on text, in the form of government and other legal documents relating to the management of migration. The research is therefore based on a combination of narrative and critical discourse analysis, espousing the methodological eclecticism that is encouraged in critical realist methodology. The study makes an important contribution to the field of border studies, based on its exploration of the relationship between a complex border ontology and migrant agency. The principal finding is that borders create complex geographies, which operate at varying spatial scales. The thesis thus provides an enhanced theorization of border(s), in particular as it relates to conceptualizations of space, suspect status, governmentality, and agency.
Date of Award1 Aug 2014
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorTanja Müller (Supervisor) & Tanja Bastia (Supervisor)


  • undocumented migration, agency, borders, geographies, Barbados

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