Mag.a Judith Welz, MA

About the person

since 11/2017 | Institute of Contemporary History, University of Innsbruck: University assistant (pre-doc) and fellow of the Innsbruck Doctoral College "Dynamics of Inequality and Difference in the Age of Globalisation“

2015 | Institute of Political Science, University of Vienna: pre-doc researcher in the project „INSIDE the Deportation Gap – Social Membership for Non-Deported Persons“ (funded by the Austrian Science Fund - FWF)

2012–2014 | Institute of Political Science, University of Vienna: pre-doc researcher in the project “Deportation Politics in Austria” (funded by the Future Fund of the Republic of Austria)

2014 | Research Platform „Migration and Integration Research“, University of Vienna: creation of an online database on migration research conducted in Austria

2013 | Centre for Development Studies, University of Birzeit (occupied Palestinian territories): acquisition of funding for research projects

2012 | Research Platform „Human Rights in the European Context“, University of Vienna & Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights: Coordinator of doctoral dollege „Empowerment through Human Rights“ and Vienna-based coordinator of the „European Master’s Programme in Human Rights and Democratisation“

2008–2010 | Institute of Political Science, University of Vienna: pre-doc researcher in the project „FRAME – Interpretative Frames in the Perception of Televised Political Debates“ (funded by FWF)

2007–2010 | Institute of Political Science, University of Vienna: Diploma Studies (degree in 03/2010)

2005–2007 | Maison méditerranéenne des sciences de l’homme, Université de Provence Aix-Marseille (France): Master’s programme in Social and Cultural Anthropology (degree in 07/2007)

2004/2005 | Institut d’Études Politiques Lyon & Université Lumière Lyon 2 (France): ERASMUS-student

2002–2004 | University of Vienna: Studies in Political Science and Social and Cultural Anthropology

2001 | University of Innsbruck: Studies in Political Science and History

PhD project

The production of deportabilities: Austrian deportation politics from 1990 to the present

In my PhD-project, I am looking at how deportation policy has evolved over the past 35 years in Austria to target ever more but historically changing profiles of non-citizens. I am asking under which political and economic circumstances which groups of non-citizens are turned into the ‘abject’ of Austrian society and how this relates to societal power arrangements and dominant discourses reigning at the period under scrutiny. The project is designed as a multiple case study focussing on two or three particularly relevant episodes of deportation policy-making in Austria.
My material comprises written documents (among which policy documents, position papers, recommendations from experts and NGOs, media reports etc.) as well as transcripts of interviews with MPs and other relevant players, and is analysed employing a combination of techniques from Historical-Materialist Policy Analyses (HPMA) and Post-structuralist Policy Analyses (PSPA). While HPMA accounts for the complex net of public and private actors involved in struggles over deportation policy and their differing positions of power, PSPA focusses on meanings and truth claims vested in the various discursive positions competing for hegemony. My analytical framework is built on the concept of deportability by Nicholas De Genova (2002, 2007, 2010, 2013) and draws on critical state theories, feminist intersectionality and postcolonial theory.

Project Description

Research interests

  • deportation | deportation studies | deportability
  • Critical Border Regime Studies | Critical Migration Research
  • Feminist Theory | intersectionality
  • post-colonial theory
  • critical state theories

Publications (selection)

  • Sieglinde Rosenberger, Judith Welz (2018): Das Abschieberegime fast außer Kontrolle? Parlamentarische Anfragen zwischen Menschenrechten und Souveränität, in: Jennifer Carvill Schellenbacher, Julia Dahlvik, Heinz Fassmann, Christoph Reinprecht (Ed.): Migration und Integration – wissenschafltiche Perspektiven aus Österreich, Jahrbuch 4/2018, Göttingen: V&R unipress, 51–69
  • Judith Welz (2017): Deportabilities. Essay on the complexity of a social condition, in: Andreas Oberprantacher, Andreas Mubi Brighenti (Ed.): Deportations, Bans & Expulsions, lo Squaderno 44, Internet:, 13–17 
  • Sieglinde Rosenberger, Judith Welz (2016): Human rights or deportation gap? The Austrian deportation regime under parliamentary control, in: Insititutionelles Repositorium der ÖAW, Internet:, 1-25
  • Judith Welz (2015): Willkommen um zu bleiben? Humanitarismus und Abschiebungen in der aktuellen Flüchtlingspolitik, in: Migrazine. online magazin von migrantinnen für alle, Internet:
  • Judith Welz, Jakob Winkler (2014): Abschiebepolitik im Spannungsfeld des liberal-demokratischen Paradoxons: Ermessensspielräume in asylrechtlichen Ausweisungsentscheidungen, in: Florian Trauner, Sieglinde Rosenberger (Ed.): Abschiebungen: staatliche Zwangspolitik zwischen Migrationskontrolle und sozialer Selektion, Schwerpunktheft ÖZP, 169–186
  • Judith Welz (2014): Die österreichische Abschiebepolitik in Zahlen. 1995 bis 2013, in: INEX Working Paper 1, 1–32
  • Emo Gotsbachner, Judith Welz (2013): Volksnähe als Zuschreibung, diskursives Konstrukt und politischer Maßstab, in: Politix. Zeitschrift des Instituts für Politikwissenschaft an der Universität Wien. Schwerpunkt: Populismus 34, 14–15

Conference presentations

  • The political economy of deportation: A case study on Austrian deportation politics in the early 1990ies | International Symposium: Debates over Immigration. American and European Experiences in a Comparative Perspective, University of New Orleans, New Orleans/US, 23rd – 24th May 2019
  • „Neoliberal Deportation. The introduction of administrative expulsions in Austria in 1990. A case study | SOLIDERE-Conference: The Social Life of Deportation Regimes, Panteion University Athens, 05.–06.10.2018
  • Zusammen mit Nina Carlsson: “Long Summer of Migration” in political discourse – constructing refugee femininities and masculinities through invisibilizations and orientalisms | EL-FEM-Conference “Climate Change” and “Refugee Crisis”: Left-Feminist Perspectives on Two Major Challenges of Our Time, Frauenhetz Wien, 23.10.2015
  • Die Konstruktion von Deportabilitäten | Kongress der Österreichischen Gesellschaft für Soziologie, Panel „Recht und Gesellschaft“, University Innsbruck, 01.–03.10.2015
  • Zusammen mit Sieglinde Rosenberger: Außer Kontrolle – Parlamentarische Anfragen zum Abschieberegime | 3. Jahrestagung Migrations- und Integrationsforschung in Österreich, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien, 22./23.09.2014
  • Zusammen mit Sieglinde Rosenberger: Rights or gaps – Party politics of deportation control in the Austrian Nationalrat | 8th General Conference of the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR), Glasgow, 03.–06.09.2014
  • Abschiebepolitik im Spannungsfeld des liberal-demokratischen Paradoxons: Ermessensspielräume in asylrechtlichen Ausweisungsentscheidungen | Konferenz „Doing Deportation. Moral und Kontingenz in der Abschiebepraxis“, Freiburg, 17.–19.07.2014


Summer term 2019 | Bachelor seminar in Contemporary History: Mobilität und Grenzen: Staatliche Gewalt im Kontext transnationaler Migration in Österreich vom Zweiten Weltkrieg bis heute


  • Research Area „Cultural Encounters – Cultural Conflicts “, University of Innsbruck
  • Research Group „INEX – The Politics of Inclusion and Exclusion“, University of Vienna (2012–2015)
  • Research Cluster „Conflict, Development and Participation in Palestine“, University of Vienna (2011–2014)
  • Research Platform „Migration and Integration Research“, University of Vienna (2014)
  • Research Platform „Human Rights in the European Context“, University of Vienna (2012)


Innsbruck Doctoral College "Dynamics of Inequality and Difference in the Age of Globalization“
Research Focus „Cultural Encounters - Cultural Conflicts“


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