Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2803

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Peripheral Contingencies: Experiences of International Scholars in Latvia

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Abstract:  This article examines the notion of the academic life course from the perspective of international scholars in Latvia—a research system characterised by “projectarisation,” yet also by aspirations of increased international competitiveness. In conversation with literature on academic precarity andmobility justice, I investigate the contingencies and non‐linearities embedded in the transnational movements of research workers. In the academic life course, mobility across borders is supposed to lead to a permanent job in the future, yet often turns into an indefinite process of moving from one country and institution to the next. Based on semi‐structured interviews with 29 international scholars in Latvia, as well as other qualitative data, I examine how this contradiction is experienced in more peripheral contexts of academic knowledge production. I suggest that international scholars in Latvia experience heightened job insecurity while simultaneously making use of professional and personal opportunities.

Keywords:  academic precarity; knowledge production; Latvia; mobility; mobility justice; peripherality; projectarisation



© Ieva Puzo. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.