Dossier Section (2022) [EXTENSION]: The Criminalization of Migratory Movements and Contemporary Global Criminal Networks


Errantes ( ), from Latin "the ones who wander," focuses on topics in social and cultural anthropology and features papers investigating intersections, hybridizations, and border-crossings (or their impediment) of people, objects, practices, memories, ideas. The journal, supported by the University of Bologna, favors ethnographic and theoretical contributions that focus on inequality and power, meetings and conflicts, marginality and subalternity, mobility and migration, resistance, and creativity. Furthermore, the journal aims to shift anthropological debates outside their comfort zones to experiment with alternative ethnographic forms and problematize the epistemological tools specific to the discipline. Finally, Errantes also wishes to enhance interdisciplinary collaborations and to promote the public dimension of anthropological knowledge.

For its 2022 launch issue, the journal proposes to explore the themes of crime and criminalization in relation to people on the move and contemporary global criminal networks. We are looking for contributions that focus on practices and discourses (legal, social, enacted by state agents, NGOs, or associations) around migration, and how they shape, and are shaped by, imaginaries about a criminal migrant “Other” and by attempts to resist such criminalization process. Discussing crime in relation to migration will also allow us to look at transnational criminal groups, economies, and activities when they are defined as illegal and disguised as lawful (when legal activities would be impossible without illegal ones). 

On the one hand, in many countries, whole legal apparatuses have been set up to regulate flows of people, producing a criminalization of migration that, in recent years, has been referred to as "crimmigration" (Stumpf 2006). An increasingly larger part of the population is systematically denied rights and the possibility to live the life they aspire to, while at the same time, as criminalized people, they become the object of a moral panic fostered by public political and media representations (Wortley 2009). In this context, migrants are thus forced to negotiate their position between a wide range of state and non-state actors, some of which are committed to criminalizing them and others to safeguard their rights.

On the other hand, crime now follows the international paths of migration and the current neoliberal economy. Criminal groups are now operating from different countries, thus establishing transnational symbolic codes and imaginaries around the figure of the "criminal" at the intersections between the local and the global. The smuggling of drugs and the commerce of luxury goods, human trafficking, and the make-up industry, to cite a few, reveal not only the global scale of criminal organizations but also the increasing blurring of the boundaries between these underground illicit transnational practices and the so-called "legitimate" businesses (Nordstrom 2007).

We encourage articles that explore these topics based on original research, but we will also consider up-to-date and ambitious papers that present theoretical reflections about crime, criminalization, and migration. We invite social and cultural anthropology essays, but we also evaluate other disciplines' contributions in dialogue with ethnography.

All articles should introduce a research topic, research questions, methodology, the case study presented, and the implications of its findings for the debate it aims to contribute. All contributions will undergo the journal's standard double-blind peer-review process.


  • Abstracts, of 200 words maximum, should be in English or in Italian.
  • In English or in Italian, articles will follow the American Anthropological Association Style Guide (Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition), and their length should range from 5,000–9,000 words (including abstract, notes, and references).

The (extended) deadline for articles submission is October 1st, 2022 (due to a deadline extension also as a consequence of the conference Anthropology of Crime and Security 2022).


Please submit your articles by following the instructions on Submissions and selecting the Dossier section.


Nordstrom, C., 2007. Global outlaws: crime, money, and power in the contemporary world (Vol. 16). Univ of California Press.

Stumpf, J., 2006. The crimmigration crisis: Immigrants, crime, and sovereign power. Am. UL Rev.56, p.367.

 Wortley, S., 2009. Introduction. The immigration-crime connection: Competing theoretical perspectives. Journal of International Migration and Integration/Revue de l'integration et de la migration internationale10(4), p.349.