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dr. P.E. (Polly) Pallister-Wilkins

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences
Programme group: Transnational Configurations, Conflict and Governance
Photographer: onbekend

Visiting address
  • Nieuwe Achtergracht 166
  • Room number: B9.04
Postal address
  • Postbus 15578
    1001 NB Amsterdam
  • Profile


    I am an assistant professor in international relations and conflict resolution and governance. I specialise in the intersection of humanitarian intervention and border control and am currently researching what I term 'humanitarian borderwork' in Europe that builds on previous research into humanitarianism, border policing and the political sociologies of walls, fences and security barriers.

    My work therefore broadly sits in the borderland between International Relations, Critical Security Studies and Political Geography with a regional expertise focused on the Mediterranean, specifically Greece, and the Middle East.

    Geopolitics Forum and Review Editor

    Principal Researcher ADMIGOV: Advancing Alternative Migration Goverance European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme grant agreement No 822625





    • Polly Pallister-Wilkins (2017) 'An interview with Polly Pallister-Wilkins: Mediterranean as a Humanitarian Border,' Meltem: Journal of the Izmir Mediterranean Academy 2: 91-96,_Sayfa_91-96.pdf.
    • Polly Pallister-Wilkins (2017) 'Humanitarian Rescue/Sovereign Capture and the policing of possible responses to violent borders,' Global Policy 8(1): 19-24.
    • Polly Pallister-Wilkins (2017) 'Humanitarian Borderwork: actors, spaces, categories' in Reece Jones, Corey Johnson, Wendy Brown, Gabriel Popescu, Polly Pallister-Wilkins, Alison Mountz and Emily Gilbert 'Interventions on the state of sovereignty at the border,' Political Geography 59: 1-10
    • Polly Pallister-Wilkins (2017) 'Humanitarian Borderwork' pp. 85-103 in Border Politics: Defining Spaces of Governance and Forms of Transgressions, Cengiz Günay and Nina Witjes ed.s, Springer.


    • Polly Pallister-Wilkins (2016) 'The Tensions of the Ceuta and Melilla Border Fences,' pp. 63-81 in EurAfrican Borders and Migration Management: Political Cultures, Contested Spaces and Ordinary Lives, Alice Bellagamba, Stephan Dünnwald and Paolo Gaibazzi, ed.s. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillian.
    • Michelle Pace and Polly Pallister-Wilkins (2016) 'EU-Hamas: actors in a state of permanent liminality,' Journal of International Relations and Development, DOI: 10.1057/s41268-016-0080-y.
    • Polly Pallister-Wilkins (2016) 'Personal Protective Equipment in the humanitarian governance of Ebola: between individual patient care and global biosecurity,' Third World Quarterly 37(3): 507-523, DOI: 10.1080/01436597.2015.1116935.
    • Julien Jeandesboz and Polly Pallister-Wilkins (2016) 'Crisis, routine, consolidation: the politics of the Mediterranean migration crisis,' Mediterranean Politics 21(2): 316-320, DOI: 10.1080/13629395.2016.1145825.
    • Polly Pallister-Wilkins (2016) 'Interrogating the Mediterranean 'Migration Crisis',' Mediterranean Politics 21(2): 311-315, DOI: 10.1080/13629395.2016.1145826.
    • Polly Pallister-Wilkins (2016) 'How Walls Do Work: Security Barriers as Devices of Interruption and Data Capture,' Security Dialogue 47(2): 151-164, DOI: 10.1177/0967010615615729.


    • Corinna Mullin and Polly Pallister-Wilkins (2015) 'The West Asian and North African Uprisings and the Limits of Liberal Governance,' Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding 9(2): 151-161,  DOI:10.1080/17502977.2015.1020739
    • Polly Pallister-Wilkins (2015) 'Bridging the Divide: Middle Eastern walls and fences and the spatial governance of problem populations,' Geopolitics 20(2): 438-459, DOI: 10.1080/14650045.2015.1005287
    • Polly Pallister-Wilkins (2015) 'The Humanitarian Politics of European Border Policing: Frontex and Border Police in Evros,' International Political Sociology 9(1): 53-69.


    • Julien Jeandesboz and Polly Pallister-Wilkins (2014) 'Crisis, Enforcement and Control at the EU Borders,' pp. 115-135 Crisis and Migration: Critical Perspectives, Anna Lindley ed. London: Routledge.


    • Polly Pallister-Wilkins (2011) 'The Separation Wall: A Symbol of Power and a Site of Resistance?' Antipode 43(5): 1851-1882


    • Polly Pallister-Wilkins (2010) 'Anarchists Against the Wall: A Post-Structuralist Challenge to Zionism,' pp. 213-228 in Rebels Against Zion: Studies on Jewish Left Anti-Zionists, August Grabski ed. Warsaw: Jewish Historical Institute.


    • Polly Pallister-Wilkins (2009) 'Radical Ground: Israeli and Palestinian Activists and Joint Protest Against the Wall,' Social Movement Studies 8(4): 393-407.


    Other Publications

    'Walking, Not Flowing: The Migrant Caravan and the Geoinfrastructuring of Unequal Mobility.' Society & Space, February, 2019.

    'Dit is waarom media niet moeten schrijven over ‘migrantenstromen’.' De Nieuwe Reporter, October, 2018.

    'Criminalising Αssistance and Solidarity: The ERCI Case and Beyond.' Refugee Observatory, September, 2018.

    'Hotspots and the Politics of Humanitarian Control and Care.' Society & Space, December 2016.

    The Papacy: Paternalistic as Ever: A Response to Anja Karlsson Franck

    Guns at the border?

    "There’s A Focus On The Boats Because The Sea Is Sexier Than The Land: A Reflection on the Centrality of the Boats in the Recent ‘Migration Crisis.’" The Disorder of Things. December 2015.

    "The Politics of Illegality in the Humanitarian Borderwork of Médecins Sans Frontières." Border Criminologies, November 2015.

    "Aylan Kurdi: Coming to Terms With an Image. Invoking the Child as Totem." Society & Space, October 2015.

    "Categories and labels in emergency governance." BLIND: online interdisciplinair tijdschrift 40, September 2015

    "The Humanitarian Policing of ‘Our Sea'." Border Criminologies, April 2015

    “Fences Don’t Make Us Safe.” 14 February 2012.

    “Searching for accountability in EU migration-management practices.” openDemocracy. 19 October, 2011.

    “Criticism of EU-Libya migration policy is too little, too late.” openDemocracy. August, 2011.

    “Entry Denied: Revolution in North Africa and the Continued Centrality of Migration to European Responses.” Jadaliyya. 29 May, 2011.

    “Playing Politics with Schengen.” openDemocracy. 16 July, 2011.


  • Teaching

    Cooridnator of the Minor in Conflict Studies


    Academic year 2018-2019

    Blocks 2 & 3

    Humanitarianism in crisis and conflict (9 ECTs)

    Blocks 4, 5 & 6

    Research Project Conflict Resolution and Governance (30 ECTs)


  • Publications


    • Pallister-Wilkins, P. (2019). Im/mobility and humanitarian triage. In K. Mitchell, R. Jones, & J. L. Fluri (Eds.), Handbook on Critical Geographies of Migration (pp. 372-383). (Research Handbooks in Geography). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar. [details]
    • Pallister-Wilkins, P. (2019). Médecins Sans Frontières and the Practice of Universalist Humanitarianism. In R. Jones (Ed.), Open Borders: In Defense of Free Movement (pp. 141-155). (Geographies of Justice and Social Transformation). Athens: University of Georgia Press. [details]



    • Jones, R., Johnson, C., Brown, W., Popescu, G., Pallister-Wilkins, P. E., Mountz, A., & Gilbert, E. (2017). Interventions on the state of sovereignty at the border. Political Geography, 59, 1-10. [details]
    • Pallister-Wilkins, P. (2017). The tensions of the Ceuta and Melilla border fences. In P. Gaibazzi, S. Dünnwald, & A. Bellagamba (Eds.), EurAfrican borders and migration management: Political cultures, contested space, and ordinary lives (pp. 63-81). (Palgrave series in African borderlands studies; No. 1). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. [details]




    • Jeandesboz, J., & Pallister-Wilkins, P. (2014). Crisis, enforcement and control at the EU borders. In A. Lindley (Ed.), Crisis and migration: critical perspectives (pp. 115-135). London: Routledge. [details]


    • Pallister-Wilkins, P. (2011). The Separation Wall: a symbol of power and a site of resistance? Antipode, 43(5), 1851-1882. [details]
    • Pallister-Wilkins, P. (2011). The anarchists against the wall: a post-structuralist challenge to Zionism. In A. Grabski (Ed.), Rebels against Zion: studies on the Jewish left anti-Zionism (pp. 213-228). Warsaw: Żydowski Instytut Historyczny w Polsce. [details]










    • Pallister-Wilkins, P. (2018). ADMIGOV: Advancing Alternative Migration Governance.

    Journal editor

    • Pallister-Wilkins, P. (editor) (2019-2024). Security Dialogue (Journal).
    • Pallister-Wilkins, P. (editor) (2018-2022). Geopolitics (Journal).

    Talk / presentation

    • Pallister-Wilkins, P. (speaker) (27-11-2018). Humanizing Borders, International Committee of the Red Cross.
    • Pallister-Wilkins, P. (speaker) (10-10-2018). Im/mobility and humanitarian triage: Spaces, speeds, and types of care in Europe (2015-8), University of the Aegean.
    • Pallister-Wilkins, P. (speaker) (15-6-2018). Border Deaths, VU Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
    • Pallister-Wilkins, P. (speaker) (30-5-2018). Borders, Walls, Rescue, Sandberg Instituut.
    • Pallister-Wilkins, P. (speaker) (30-1-2018). Humanitarian Borders, Peace Research Institute Oslo.
    • Pallister-Wilkins, P. (speaker) (14-11-2017). Im/mobility and the making of a humanitarian borderscape, Jean Monnet Network: Comparing and Contrasting EU Border and Migration Policy – Are They Exemplary?, Brussels, Belgium.
    • Pallister-Wilkins, P. (speaker) (7-9-2017). Humanitarian borders, externalized migration control and climate migration in the Anthropocene, Aalborg University Denmark.
    • Pallister-Wilkins, P. (speaker) (25-7-2017). The Politics and Policies of Refugee Resettlement, Concordia University.
    • Pallister-Wilkins, P. (speaker) (27-6-2017). A new paradigm for humanitarian intervention, University of Catania.
    • Pallister-Wilkins, P. E. (invited speaker) (27-10-2016). Médecins Avec Frontières: Humanitarian Borderscapes and the ‘Migration Crisis’ in Europe, Invited lecture at King’s College London Border Lecture Series, London.
    • Pallister-Wilkins, P. E. (invited speaker) (30-5-2016). Invited Keynote Presenter, European Diplomatic Programme (Migration Track) at the Netherlands' EU Presidency 2016, Amsterdam.
    • Pallister-Wilkins, P. E. (invited speaker) (27-5-2016). Invited speaker, at the Dutch Association for Migration Research Spring Meetings at the Research and Documentation Center of the Ministry of Security and Justice, Den Haag.
    • Pallister-Wilkins, P. E. (invited speaker) (6-11-2015). Invited speaker: 'The Mediterranean: How to prevent the human tragedies at sea and adopt a viable and sustainable European immigration policy?', European Summit, Prague, Czech Republic.
    • Pallister-Wilkins, P. E. (invited speaker) (30-5-2015). Invited lecture on humanitarian search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean, MSF-Holland General Assembly, Amsterdam.
    • Pallister-Wilkins, P. E. (invited speaker) (10-4-2015). The Politics of Walls, Fences and Borders, Association for Borderland Studies Annual Convention, Portland, Oregon.
    • Pallister-Wilkins, P. E. (invited speaker) (3-10-2013). The use of walls and fences in the governing of Middle Eastern populations, Invited lecture at Amsterdam Centre for Middle Eastern Studies, Amsterdam.


    • Pallister-Wilkins, P. (participant) (2018). Structures of Protection, Oxford, United Kingdom (participating in a conference, workshop, ...).
    • Pallister-Wilkins, P. (participant) (2018). European International Studies Association Conference, Prague, Czech Republic (participating in a conference, workshop, ...).
    • Pallister-Wilkins, P. (participant) (2018). SOLIDERE, Athens, Greece (participating in a conference, workshop, ...).
    • Pallister-Wilkins, P. (participant) (2018). International Studies Association Annual Conference, San Francisco, United States (participating in a conference, workshop, ...).
    • Pallister-Wilkins, P. (participant) (2018). International Humanitarian Studies Association (IHSA) Conference, Den Haag, Netherlands (participating in a conference, workshop, ...).
    • Pallister-Wilkins, P. (participant) (11-2017). Universities Responding to the Refugee Crisis, Beirut, Lebanon (participating in a conference, workshop, ...).
    • Pallister-Wilkins, P. (consultant) (22-9-2017). Stakeholder Dialogue on Forced Displacement, Research Unit on Humanitarian Stakes and Practices (UREPH) MSF-Switzerland (consultancy).
    • Pallister-Wilkins, P. (organiser) (4-5-2017). Humanitarian Mobilities, Amsterdam, Netherlands. This workshop brings together researchers and practitioners working at the intersection of mobility and humanitarianism to discuss critical issues (…) (organising a conference, workshop, ...).
    • Pallister-Wilkins, P. (participant) (2017). Annual Meeting of the International Studies Association, Baltimore, United States (participating in a conference, workshop, ...).
    • Pallister-Wilkins, P. (participant) (2017). Secrecy and Methods in Security Research, Haarlem, Netherlands (participating in a conference, workshop, ...).
    • Pallister-Wilkins, P. (participant) (2017). Annual Meeting of the American Association of Geographers, Boston, United States (participating in a conference, workshop, ...).
    • Pallister-Wilkins, P. (participant) (12-2016). Remapping Europe, Amsterdam, Netherlands (participating in a conference, workshop, ...).
    • Pallister-Wilkins, P. E. (organiser) & Wissink, L. M. (chair) (18-11-2016). UvA-MSF joint event, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Amsterdam. "People on the move" (participating in a conference, workshop, ...).
    • Pallister-Wilkins, P. E. (participant) (6-4-2016 - 8-4-2016). At the ‘European Workshops in International Studies’, Tübingen, Germany. Organiser of the workshop Human rights, humanitarianism, security: beyond the sovereign politics of life (participating in a conference, workshop, ...).
    • Pallister-Wilkins, P. E. (participant) (16-3-2016 - 19-3-2016). At International Studies Association Annual Convention, Atlanta. Organiser of the double panel ‘Consolidating the Humanitarian Border’ (participating in a conference, workshop, ...).
    • Pallister-Wilkins, P. (participant) (2016). Annual Meeting of the International Studies Association, Atlanta, United States (participating in a conference, workshop, ...).
    • Pallister-Wilkins, P. (participant) (2016). Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers, San Francisco, United States (participating in a conference, workshop, ...).
    • Pallister-Wilkins, P. (participant) (2016). Data, People, Objects: The Security Governance of Contemporary Mobilities, Montreal, Canada (participating in a conference, workshop, ...).
    • Pallister-Wilkins, P. E. (participant) & Wissink, L. M. (participant) (18-11-2015). UvA-MSF joint event, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Amsterdam. People on the Move (participating in a conference, workshop, ...).
    This list of publications is extracted from the UvA-Current Research Information System. Questions? Ask the library or the Pure staff of your faculty / institute. Log in to Pure to edit your publications. Log in to Personal Page Publication Selection tool to manage the visibility of your publications on this list.
  • Ancillary activities
    • No ancillary activities