Skip to content

Toggle service links


Enactments interrogates the manner in which subjects, objects and spaces are constituted and challenged through practices, acts or performances.

About the programme

As its name indicates, the programme takes a broadly performative approach to social, political and cultural research. Much of our research shares the premise that social, political and cultural ‘realities’ are perpetually reconstituted by being enacted – in contested and often counterintuitive ways – by subjects who simultaneously constitute and re-constitute themselves through these continuous reenactments. The programme thus also places emphasis on how social methods (as part of social life) play a role in sustaining, abandoning or transforming subjects, objects and spaces.

Members of the programme operationalize these ontological, epistemological and methodological premises in research on citizenship, security and insecurity, migration, asylum, democracy, justice, and Europe. Citizenship, for instance, is interrogated not simply from the perspective of those with the legal status of citizenship – rather, we investigate how migrants, asylum seekers and other non-citizens challenge conventional notions of citizenship through their demands and acts. In this way Enactments also addresses the intertwinement of methods, people, things and places and what it means to change, innovate, and challenge social and political orders.

The programme’s first forum, Enacting Worlds, featured a keynote lecture on 'Enacting Values: On Good and Bad Food' by Annemarie Mol, Professor of Anthropology of the Body, University of Amsterdam. More recent Enactments events included CCIG forums on Enacting methods and CCIG lecture series.

The programme’s 2015-2016 calendar will include workshops and events on global justice; the UK-EU referendum; mobility, mobilisation & citizenship; and boundary-making around ‘Europe’.

The programme currently hosts the following related Projects:

  • Oecumene (funded by the European Research Council): An exploration of how the concept of citizenship is being refigured and renewed around the globe
  • Placing Ourselves: An investigation into local practices of belonging and integration

Some recent publications by Enactment members include:

Czajka, A. 2014 – Migration in the Age of the Nation-state: Migrants, Refugees and the National Order of Things. Alternatives. 39(3):151-163

Czajka, A. and B. Isyar (Eds.). 2013. Europe After Derrida: Crisis and Potentiality. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.]

Isin, Engin F. ed. (2015). Citizenship after Orientalism: Transforming Political Theory. Palgrave Studies in Citizenship Transitions. London: Palgrave.

Korkut, Umut; Mahendran, Kesi ; Buckan-Knapp, Gregg and Cox, Robert Henry (2015). Introduction: Discursive governance: operationalization and applications. In: Korkut , Umut; Mahendran, Kesi; Buckan-Knapp, Gregg and Cox, Robert Henry eds. Discursive Governance in Politics, Policy and the Public Sphere. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 1–11.

Prokhovnik, Raia (2015). From sovereignty in Australia to Australian sovereignty. Political Studies, 63(2) pp. 412–430.

Programme Directors

Dr Kesi Mahendran and Dr Agnes Czajka

Research highlights

Placing Ourselves - investigating categories of belonging and integration

Placing Ourselves

Despite decades of policy-research dialogue integration within the context of migration-mobility remains a contested concept. This project aims to challenge existing binaries in migration, multiculturalism and integration research by conducting research into the dialogical relations between place and practices of belonging and integration.

Oecumene: Citizenship After Orientalism

Oecumene: Citizenship After Orientalism

This project, led by Prof Engin Isin, is funded by the European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grant (Institutions, values, beliefs and behaviour ERC-AG-SH2). The project focuses on the interaction between two controversial and contested concepts: citizenship – the process by which belonging is recognised and enacted – and orientalism – the assertion of the superiority of western culture over its eastern counterparts.

Methods in Motion Blog 1: Elizabeth Silva introduces Methods in Motion

Methods in Motion logo
23 September 2016

Methods are ways of knowing, and they are always changing. Academics have recently become highly methodologically creative, inventing a swathe of new practical ways of knowing about social life. Yet we at CCIG would argue that researchers must go beyond meeting the intensified demand for new methods. Methods are important because what we know is changed by how we know it. Furthermore, the reasons why someone uses a particular method are linked to their wider ends and means; what makes useful knowledge in that specific field.

Mission Impossible?

Mission Impossible? The 1976 Spanish Law for Political Reform

This British Academy funded research project led by Georgina Blakeley seeks to explain an unexpected political outcome: why Francoist deputies voted overwhelmingly for the 1976 Law for Political Reform which brought about their own political demise.

Skin Lightening in England: a baseline survey

Steve Garner is leading a one-year pilot project funded by the British Academy on Skin Lightening in England. This ground-breaking project is the first attempt to measure and understand use of these products in England.

The project is a pilot whose objectives are:

- to create the first dataset about skin lightening in this country