Mobilities is the central notion in Karin Dean’s research, viewed as the spatiality of movements of people and ideas and as an integral part of the contextual political identities in the continuous remaking of the socio-political orders. Mobilities in the research are not so much about meaning than about various movements both in time and space. Following Sassen’s (2006) construct of capabilities as the collective productions, which development over time entails making, competition, and conflicts, the research identifies mobilities as the defining feature (and capability) within the Kachin society and their contentious politics. The research demonstrates how mobilities have been inseparable from the ways how the Kachin sustain and adopt themselves to the ever changing social, political and economic conditions – particularly to the emergence of the Kachin as an important political subject in the contentious politics in Myanmar and to the on-going politico-economic reforms in Myanmar that are unleashing new types of forces and movements.
Mobilities as a tool helps to theoretically conceptualize various concerns such as negotiating scales, cross-border cultural continuities, identities on the move, role of space and spatiality.