Anna Wyss

Anna Wyss is a social scientist interested in the governance of migration, mechanisms of in- and exclusion and people’s mobilities. Theoretically she approaches these themes from the perspectives of critical migration and mobility studies, socio-legal studies and gender/intersectionality theory. She has conducted fieldwork in Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Malta, Austria and Indonesia applying different qualitative research methods.

Currently, Anna Wyss is post-doctoral researcher in the nccr – on the move project Small Localities at the Outskirts of Europe: Transnational Mobilities, Diversification and Multi-Scalar Place-Making. From a mobility perspective, the project explores how diverse and entangled mobilities shape small localities on the outskirts of Europe. The research team explores non-urban places ethnographically and asks what we can learn about the migration-mobility nexus and multi-scalar place-making under conditions of diversification.

Before joining the nccr – on the move, Anna Wyss was part of the project Engendering migration, development and belonging: The experiences of recently arrived Afghans in Europe, which was funded by the Swiss Network for International studies (SNIS) and affiliated with the Laboratory for the Study of Social Processes at the University of Neuchâtel. This project examined how gender shapes understandings of home, belonging and the self among recently arrived Afghan migrants in Europe.

Anna Wyss holds a PhD from the Institute of Sociology at the University of Bern. Her doctoral thesis is entitled Interrupted Journeys – Disrupted Control. Male Migrants with Precarious Legal Status and the European Migration Regime. The multi-sited ethnographic project looked at journeys of migrants with precarious legal status within Europe. Wyss studied to what extent and how persons with low chances of being granted legal residence status can circumvent the implementation of increasingly restrictive migration policies, as well as how migration law and its implementation influence their life prospects and their inclusion in unstable social networks. Her dissertation project was funded by the Doc.CH scheme of the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF).

In 2017/2018 Anna Wyss was a visiting researcher in the Law and Anthropology Department of the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle and in 2017 at the Sussex Centre of Migration Research. Anna Wyss taught courses in Sociology at the Universities of Basel, Bern and Neuchâtel on forced migration, migration and illegalisation, transnational studies, capitalism, Pierre Bourdieu and Michel Foucault. She holds an MA in Social Anthropology and Sociology from the University of Zurich.

Post-doctoral researcher



Wyss, Anna. 2022. Navigating the European migration regime. Male migrants, interrupted journeys and precarious lives. Bristol University Press. https://bristoluniversitypressdigital.com/view/book/9781529219623/9781529219623.xml

Eule, Tobias G., Lisa Marie Borrelli, Annika Lindberg, and Anna Wyss. 2020. Hinter der Grenze, vor dem Gesetz. Eine Ethnographie des Europäischen Migrationsregimes. Hamburg: Hamburger Edition. https://www.hamburger-edition.de/buecher-e-books/artikel-detail/hinter-der-grenze-vor-dem-gesetz/ (German translation of ‘Migrants Before the Law’)

Eule, Tobias G., Lisa M. Borrelli, Annika Lindberg, and Anna Wyss. 2019. Migrants Before the Law. Contested Migration Control in Europe. London: Palgrave Macmillan. https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-319-98749-1

Peer Reviewed Articles  

Wyss, Anna, and Janine Dahinden. 2022. “Disentangling Entangled Mobilities: Reflections on Forms of Knowledge Production within Migration Studies.” Comparative Migration Studies 10 (1): 33. doi:10.1186/s40878-022-00309-w.

Wyss, Anna, and Carolin Fischer. 2022. ‘Working for Protection? How Afghan Refugees Navigate the Violence of Precarious Legal Inclusion in Germany and Switzerland’. Antipode. 54 (2): 629–644. Open Access: doi:10.1111/anti.12778.

Borrelli, Lisa Marie, Annika Lindberg, and Anna Wyss. 2021. ‘States of Suspicion: How Institutionalised Disbelief Shapes Migration Control Regimes’. Geopolitics 0 (0): 1–16. doi:10.1080/14650045.2021.2005862.

Wyss, Anna, and Carolin Fischer. 2021. ‘Männlichkeit im Spannungsfeld. Auswirkungen ambivalenter Repräsentationen afghanischer Geflüchteter in Deutschland und der Schweiz’. Zeitschrift für Flucht- und Flüchtlingsforschung 5 (1): 44–76. Open Access: doi:10.5771/2509-9485-2021-1-44.

Wyss, Anna. 2019. “Stuck in Mobility? The Interrupted Journeys of Migrants with Precarious Legal Status in Erope.” Journal of Immigrant and Refugee Studies 17 (1): 77–93. doi:10.1080/15562948.2018.1514091.

Wyss, Anna. 2018. “Illegalisation, Masculinity and Intimacy. The Impact of Public Images on Male Migrants with a Precarious Legal Status”. Tsantsa, 23: 121–126. https://tsantsa.ch/article/view/7315/10340

Eule, Tobias G., David Loher, and Anna Wyss. 2018. ‘Contested Control at the Margins of the State’. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 44 (16): 2717–29.doi:10.1080/1369183X.2017.1401511 


Wyss, Anna. 2020. ‘Mobility as a Forced Condition – Uneven Access to Stable Living Conditions’. Blog nccr – on the movehttps://blog.nccr-onthemove.ch/mobility-as-a-forced-condition-uneven-access-to-stable-living-conditions/?lang=de

Wyss, Anna, Annika Lindberg, Tobias G. Eule, and Lisa M. Borrelli. 2020. ‘Kämpfe um Zeit im europäischen Migrationsregime’. Der Bürger im Staat; Landeszentrale für Politische Bildung Baden-Württemberg 3: 120–126. http://www.buergerimstaat.de/3_20/migration.pdf

Borrelli, Lisa Marie, Tobias G. Eule. 2019. 'Implementing Dublin – Administrative Perspectives on Practices, Complexity and the Flux in Legislation'. Blog nccr – on the move. https://blog.nccr-onthemove.ch/implementing-dublin-perspectives-on-the-legislation-practice-continuum/?lang=de

Wyss, Anna. 2017. 'Zwischen Bevormundung und Überwachung'. Rundbrief Freiplatzaktion Zürich 2017/3: 3–5.


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