Research in migration studies focuses mainly on countries of origin or destination, sidelining the actual migration routes between locations. However, these phases of mobility between spaces are determined by borders, privileges, and inherent inequalities of movement. In order to claim asylum in the EU, people must first physically reach EU territory via routes that are often dangerous, but also costly.
Drawing on economic sociology and migration studies, Hannah Pool examines borders and migration trajectories through the lens of money to show how social relations shape economic interactions and, conversely, how social relations enable economic transactions otherwise impossible.
To understand these undocumented migration trajectories, this research looks at the routes from Afghanistan to Germany asking what is required to cross borders. Based on a multi-sited ethnography spanning from Iran to Turkey, Greece and along the so-called Balkan route to Germany, the research draws on data collected since 2015.
Hannah Pool is a postdoctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, conducting research on how social relations facilitate economic interactions on the route from Afghanistan to Germany. Her ethnographic research has taken place in Iran, Turkey, Greece, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Germany.
Her research interest include (im)mobility, agency, forced migration trajectories, and research ethics. For her research on the questions of how (im)mobility shaped the perceptions of borders and solidarity within the European Union, she was awarded a Charlemagne Prize Academy Fellowship in 2020-21. In 2021 she was also a visiting researcher at the Centre on Migration Policy and Society, COMPAS, at Oxford University after working as a visiting scholar and visiting PhD candidate, respectively, at the Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB) and Columbia University, New York, in 2019.