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


Journée d’étude “Walls and Wars. Identifying and questioning the military in contemporary border security policies”, Université Saint Louis Bruxelles, 26/4/2019

programme et inscription : http://www4.usaintlouis.be/4DACTION/WEB_Agendafiche/311/39026


Border security implies a degree of militarization of borderlands through the variable use of military engineering, military practices, and routines of patrolling. In the present decade, the banalization of such military tools and practices (even though locally, nationally, and internationally contested) is more generally questioning militarism of societies when dealing with control of territory and foreigners. The conference aims to interrogate the mutual co-constitution of contemporary border security and militarism – broadly understood as how war tends to disseminate into society to become ordinary and determinate political and social relations. Thus, the participants based on their case studies will address the following questions: What are the frames of wars at the borders? Which police and military practices and technologies are used at the borders? Can we trace their genealogy? Which forms of circulation of border security practices and knowledge? A special lecture will also be given at the beginning of the conference by Prof. Anna Stavrianakis (University of Sussex).

illustration@Damien Simonneau, San Luis, Etats-Unis

Silvan Pollozek, Jan Hendrik Passoth, Infrastructuring European migration and border control: The logistics of registration and identification at Moria hotspot, Environment and Planning D, March 19, 2019

online : https://doi.org/10.1177/0263775819835819

“This paper examines Moria hotspot in Greece as a logistical site which fulfills two different functions within the European migration and border regime. It locates, contains, and sorts individuals locally at the external borders of the EU and creates, inserts, and processes data for controlling people on the move. Based on ethnographic fieldwork in Greece, including interviews with local administrators from the Registration and Identification Service, Médecins du Monde, Frontex and Hellenic Police and a collection of internal and publicly available planning, policy, and management documents and handbooks, the paper scrutinizes how both the movement of migrants and data is organized at the site. By developing an analytic lens of logistics, it outlines a specific mode of infrastructuring which aligns staff from different organizations with databases, devices, and migrants all in one place and organizes mundane practices such as filling out forms, taking fingerprints, signing, and entering datasets along a chain. That way the hotspot is able to locate, sort, and detain those who arrive at the hardened EU border and to create a data infrastructure for controlling, monitoring, and governing further movement by processing data through the bureaucratic channels of the EU’s transnational control assemblages.”

Keywords : Actor-Network Theory, border, control, data, infrastructure, logistics, migration.

illustration : Laurence Pillant (programme Médimurs), Lesbos 2011

Rencontre : L’asile et l’immigration : une question clé pour l’Europe, Paris, 6 et 7 mars 2019

Maires, chercheurs, associatifs et organisations onusiennes, se réuniront le 06 et 07 mars à l’Auditorium de l’Hôtel de Ville de Paris pour réfléchir ensemble à la poursuite de l’organisation d’une société civile européenne autour d’initiatives accueillantes et solidaires sous l’égide de France Terre d’asile et  de la Henrich Böll Stiftung.

Les enjeux de l’accueil des migrants et réfugiés en Europe sont urgents : • Les violations du principe de non-refoulement ; • La criminalisation des ONG en Europe ; • Les mécanismes de secours en mer et l’absence de solidarité entre Etats-membres ; • Le rôle des villes et des communautés locales dans l’intégration des demandeurs d’asile et réfugiés…

Parce que nous, associations et villes accueillantes, sommes tous les jours impliqués pour agir auprès des demandeurs d’asile, réfugiés et migrants ; Parce qu’il est essentiel de comprendre les peurs et les enjeux de nos concitoyens face à l’accueil ; Parce qu’il faut ouvrir la réflexion sur la politique migratoire, sans préjugés et sans faux-semblants ;

Nous vous invitons à venir échanger et réfléchir aux enjeux de l’accueil :

Mercredi 6 et jeudi 7 mars 2019, 9h00-17h30 et 9h30-13h30 à l’Auditorium de l’Hôtel de Ville de Paris (entrée par le 5 rue de Lobau, 75004)

programme : http://www.france-terre-asile.org/images/stories/evenements/Programme_colloque6-7mars2019_provisoire_1802.pdf

inscription obligatoire dans la limite des places disponibles : https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfdEMh-Dbq4WnctjJUC_qvN-DKVKlTXB0FP3pu9s4j1AEMvyw/viewform

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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