The Marketization of Displacement

Project Details


The project examines a growing aspect of state and non-state actors’ migration management, namely upscaled and accelerated collection of data. This includes many different forms of data, including about biometrics, skillsets, communication, mobility and consumption. Data is considered "the new gold" and new markets crosscutting states, consultancies, humanitarian and development actors are emerging and being created. Transnational databases are increasingly underpinning policy-making at both national, EU and global levels, and the technical risks associated with their function creeps and interoperabilities constitute pressing questions.

This development is often framed positively in terms of migrant empowerment and increased efficiency and cost-effectiveness, asked for by donors, in migration management interventions. At the critical level, issues related to privacy, consent, and the formation of new social hierarchies for already vulnerable displacees are points of concern. Lemberg-Pedersen´s project analyses these issues through a postcolonial and political economic lens, by comparing current politics and practices with the harvesting of and reliance on data in earlier displacement, migration and labour regimes, including the European trans-Atlantic slavery from West Africa to the Americas, and the associated commodities chains in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The aim is to offer substantial reflections on the trajectories, potentialities and risks associated with the use of data in current migration management.
Effective start/end date01/09/201831/08/2021


  • Data
  • Fordrivelse
  • Nærområder
  • Biometri


  • 3 Organisation or participation in workshops, courses, or seminars
  • 2 Membership of research networks or expert groups
  • 1 Conference organisation or participation

Advisory Board, Data and Displacement: Assessing the Practical and Ethical Implications of Targeting Humanitarian Protection (Event)

Martin Lemberg-Pedersen (Member)

1 Jul 202030 Jun 2022

Activity: MembershipsMembership of research networks or expert groups

Dokumentation og formidling af forskningens samfundsmæssige impact

Martin Lemberg-Pedersen (Participant)

23 Apr 201925 Apr 2019

Activity: Attending an eventOrganisation or participation in workshops, courses, or seminars

International Conference on Critical Geography 2019

Martin Lemberg-Pedersen (Participant)

19 Apr 201924 Apr 2019

Activity: Attending an eventConference organisation or participation



Research Output

  • 2 Journal article
  • 1 Book chapter

Reassembling the surveillable refugee body in the era of data-craving

Lemberg-Pedersen, M. & Haioty, E. H. M., 1 Aug 2020, In : Citizenship Studies. 24, 5

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Open Access
14 Downloads (Pure)

Border-induced displacement: The ethical and legal implications of distance-creation through externalization

Moreno-Lax, V. & Lemberg-Pedersen, M., 1 Mar 2019, In : Questions of International Law. 56, 1, p. 5-33 29 p., 1.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Open Access
  • 77 Downloads (Pure)

    Security, industry and migration in European border control

    Lemberg-Pedersen, M., 11 Jul 2018, The Routledge Handbook of the Politics of Migration in Europe. Weinar, A., Bonjour, S. & Zhyznomirska, L. (eds.). Routledge, 12 p. (Routledge International Handbooks).

    Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review

    Press / Media

    Meget hård hverdag for flygtninge i lejre i Libyen

    Martin Lemberg-Pedersen


    1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Press / Media