Documenting State Violence Using Critical Digital Methodologies: A Case Study Involving Vulnerable Migrant Populations

Sat, 6/3: 12:45 PM - 2:30 PM
Paper Session 
Caribe Hilton 
Room: Beach Wing – Flamingo B 


A fundamental problem facing anyone attempting to hold states accountable for systemic violence involves documenting the underlying violence in a way that facilitates transparency, accountability, and justice. Yet very often, the most reliable, complete, and legally powerful forms of evidence are precisely those data sets that states possess and which states have an vested interest in withholding from the public. In this paper, I explore how a wide variety of researchers, activists, and attorneys in the United States and around the world are increasingly using what I refer to as "critical digital methodologies" to develop more robust understandings of state practices in an attempt to further the goals of accountability and justice. Despite the growth of these creative and forward-thinking projects, I also highlight the many limitations of these methodologies to achieve their goals. I draw specifically on a series of case studies from my own work that show the potential and limitations to this work, including a recent study of migrant youth applying for legal protection in the United States. 


Austin Kocher, Syracuse University  - Contact Me
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