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Corps migrants aux frontières méditerranéennes de l’Europe, Critique internationale, 2019/2 (83)

“La dangerosité croissante des parcours migratoires est étroitement liée au « régime des frontières » mis en place par l’Union européenne et les États depuis une vingtaine d’années. En 2018, le nombre d’arrivées de migrants par la mer Méditerranée a diminué mais le taux de mortalité n’a cessé d’augmenter. Ce dossier traite des conséquences de la mort par migration. Caractérisées par la diversité de leurs ancrages disciplinaires et par leur richesse empirique en termes de lieux et de méthodes, les contributions réunies ici décrivent les conditions dans lesquelles s’exerce la violence frontalière dans l’espace maritime Méditerranée, les mobilisations des proches des morts et disparus (compagnons d’infortune, familles, pêcheurs), les enjeux de l’identification et de la reconstitution des histoires et pratiques d’inhumation ainsi que les facteurs économiques sous-jacents à la politique mortuaire. En révélant les mises en récit et les symboles produits autour de la question des corps de migrants morts ou disparus aux frontières de la Méditerranée, ce dossier s’inscrit résolument dans un courant critique des sciences sociales.” (présentation éd.)






Illustration@Stéphanie Bonnefille (programme Médimurs), Cimetière des bateaux, Lampedusa, 2014

Samuel Norton Chambers, Geoffrey Alan Boyce, Sarah Launius & Alicia Dinsmore, Mortality, Surveillance and the Tertiary “Funnel Effect” on the U.S.-Mexico Border: A Geospatial Modeling of the Geography of Deterrence, Journal of Borderlands Studies, 31 Jan 2019


Theories of migration deterrence have long posited that border enforcement infrastructure pushes migration routes into more rugged and deadly terrain, driving an increase in migrant mortality. Applying geospatial analysis of landscape and human variables in one highly-trafficked corridor of the Arizona / Sonora border, we test whether the expansion of surveillance infrastructure has in fact shifted migrants’ routes toward areas that are more remote and difficult to traverse. We deploy a modeling methodology, typically used in archaeological and military science, to measure the energy expenditure of persons traversing the borderlands. Outcomes of this model are then compared to the changes in border infrastructure and records of fatality locations. Findings show that there is a significant correlation between the location of border surveillance technology, the routes taken by migrants, and the locations of recovered human remains in the southern Arizona desert. Placed in the context of ongoing efforts by the United States to geographically expand and concentrate border surveillance and enforcement infrastructure, we argue that this suggests a third “funnel effect” that has the outcome of maximizing the physiological toll imposed by the landscape on unauthorized migrants, long after migration routes have moved away from traditional urban crossing areas.

KEYWORDS: GIScience, health, human migration, border surveillance, biopolitics, spatial analysis


Maze or Labyrinth: Identifying PTSD Stressors in the Built Space of Zaatari and Calais Refugee Camps, Samuel N. Chambers et al. , The Professional Geographer Volume 70, 2018 – Issue 4 Published online: 5 Apr 2018

Border work: surveillant assemblages, virtual fences, and tactical counter-media , Tamara Vukov et al. , Social Semiotics Volume 23, 2013 – Issue 2, Published online: 20 May 2013

Speaking to The Wall: Reconceptualizing the US–Mexico Border “Wall” from the Perspective of a Realist and Constructivist Theoretical Framework in International Relations, Jessica Becker, Journal of Borderlands Studies , Published online: 12 Jun 2018

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illustration @ Damien Simonneau, avec son accord

Stephan Scheel, Funda Ustek-Spilda, The politics of expertise and ignorance in the field of migration management, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, April 25,


This paper shows that the field of migration management features a politics of expertise through which migration is enacted as a reality that can be managed because it can be precisely quantified. For instance, the International Organization for Migration maintains a “Global Migration Flows Interactive App.” This interactive map suggests that the number of people migrating from country A to B can be exactly known at any point in time. This enactment of migration sits in contrast with the widely acknowledged unreliability and noncoherence of migration statistics. This paper investigates how this tension is negotiated through the production of “strategic ignorance” (McGoey) about the known limits of quantifying migration. Drawing on work from ignorance studies we highlight four practices producing strategic ignorance: (1) omission of the significant gap between recorded immigration and emigration events, (2) compression of different accounts of migration into one “world migration map,” (3) deflection of knowledge about the specifities of different methods to production sites of statistical data, and (4) usage of metadata for sanitizing the statistical production process of any messy aspects. Our analysis shows that the politics of expertise in the field of migration management are intertwined with a politics of ignorance.


Enactment, expertise, ignorance, International Organization for Migration, migration statistics, nonknowledge, performativity

Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space- Volume: 37, Number: 3 (May 2019)

#LetThemStay#BringThemHere: Embodied politics, asylum seeking, and performativities of protest opposing Australia’s Operation Sovereign Borders, Paul Hodge


The body is the object of border protection. Yet the body remains largely outside reigning notions of the political in debates on bordering practices and challenges to it. Exploring what bodies do in their performativity as they negotiate and resist the securitisation of forced migration can open up new ways of understanding the disruptive potential of the body. In this paper, I draw on Judith Butler’s seminal work on contingency and norms of existence, along with her musings on forms of assembly, and recent feminist scholarship on social movements, to think through what the #LetThemStay and #BringThemHere protests in Australia might signal as advocates for those seeking asylum put their bodies on the line to disrupt the federal government’s border protection policy – Operation Sovereign Borders. While people seeking asylum themselves are at the bodily forefront of opposition and resistance – their bodies and bodily tactics negotiating border enforcement technologies – it is the bodily performativities of advocates for those seeking asylum that are the focus of this paper. The paper describes the way linguistic and bodily performativity coalesce in these performativities of protest as advocates embody the sociality being asserted. By making explicit the embodied politics at play in these forms of assembly, I explore the transformative potential of the body in its myriad capacities adding to long-standing feminist calls for a ‘corporeal geopolitics’ in political geography, one that centres the already existing politics of bodies.

Keywords : Corporeal geopolitics, Judith Butler, crafting recognisability, asylum seeking, political geography, social movements

Seeing like a border city: Refugee politics at the borders of city and nation-state, Julie EE Young


Local advocacy practices in Detroit–Windsor in response to the refugee “crisis” that unfolded around the Canada–US border in early 1987 revealed a different way of working with the border in the city. They were “seeing like a border city”: working as though Detroit–Windsor were one place, even as they made use of the ways in which it remained two distinct places with different political and legal contexts. Advocates mobilized resources and expertise on both sides of the border, drawing on the sense of community offered by the city, and made use of the distinct policy frameworks, securing legal status for refugees who had been consigned to legal limbo through the policies of both states. This approach troubled the state’s logic of border control even as it refortified the boundaries of exclusion underlying it. Their work highlights the possibilities and limitations of advocacy work around an international boundary line.

Keywords : Border cities, Canada–US border, Detroit–Windsor, refugee policy, advocacy

Elasticity at the Canada–US border: Jurisdiction, rights, accountability , Emily Gilbert


Borders are being stretched as they are deterritorialized, reterritorialized and extra-territorialized. But borders are not only being relocated elsewhere: just as they are extended they are also snapped back into place in order to limit the rights of travellers and migrants, and to deny the accountability of border officials. This elasticity—expansion but also contraction—is the focus of this paper, with particular attention to the Canada–US border with respect to how legal jurisdiction is being reworked territorially, and the ways that the law gets attached to particular bodies. Three contemporary case studies are examined: the Safe Third Country Agreement, the Shiprider program, and the expansion of preclearance programs. While each of these cases is quite different in that they deal with asylum seekers, cross-border policing, and extra-territorial customs programs, together they illustrate how borders are being made elastic, and with what political implications.

Keywords : Borders, Canada, United States, jurisdiction, accountability

François DUBET (dir.), Politiques des frontières, Paris, La Découverte, 2018

En 1989, la chute du mur de Berlin s’est accompagnée d’une plus libre circulation des hommes, des capitaux et des marchandises, laissant croire à l’abolition progressive des frontières. Cette chimère fut rapidement démentie par l’apparition, dans différentes régions du monde, de conflits visant à redéfinir les territoires et les souverainetés, de nouvelles affirmations nationalistes et de mouvements sociaux appelant au retour des frontières perçues comme des protections économiques, culturelles et sociales. Cet ouvrage retrace, à travers l’étude de cas particulièrement éclairants, cette évolution planétaire. Il montre ainsi comment, au sein même de l’Europe, de nombreux mouvements ont revendiqué l’instauration de nouvelles frontières après les guerres de l’ex-Yougoslavie, et de quelle manière la mondialisation et la construction européenne ont renforcé de petits territoires, les émancipant de leurs voisins. Récemment, bien des pays ont édifié des murs et fermé leurs frontières afin de se protéger de vagues migratoires vues comme dangereuses : entrons-nous dans un monde où seules les marchandises, les informations et les élites mondialisées circuleront librement ? À quoi les frontières servent-elles ? À qui profitent-elles ? À qui manquent-elles ?

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