Biopolitical Borders and the State of Exception in the European Migration 'Crisis'

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Biopolitical Borders and the State of Exception in the European Migration 'Crisis'. / Davitti, Daria.

I: European Journal of International Law, Vol. 29, Nr. 4, 01.12.2019, s. 1173-1196.

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift

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TY - JOUR

T1 - Biopolitical Borders and the State of Exception in the European Migration 'Crisis'

AU - Davitti, Daria

PY - 2019/12/1

Y1 - 2019/12/1

N2 - In this article I examine the current European refugee ‘crisis’ by challenging, from a theoretical perspective, the way in which the European Union (EU) has used the increased number of deaths in the Mediterranean as an opportunity to frame recent migration flows as an emergency which, by definition, can only be addressed through the adoption of exceptional measures. Throughout the article, I engage with the work of Giorgio Agamben on biopolitics and state of exception to illustrate, first, the need to rethink the way in which borders are defined and used (e.g. externalised) within the context of the European refugee ‘crisis’. Second, Agamben’s work is useful to understand what moves the externalisation and privatisation of migration, and to ascertain how international law has enabled the emergence of this ‘crisis’ framing, whilst at the same time partly losing its ability to challenge EU policies. I argue that the posture of humanitarianism adopted by the EU masks the fact that the appalling situation in which refugees are abandoned is not accidental but inherent to the enhanced measures adopted by the EU and its member states as part of the European Agenda.

AB - In this article I examine the current European refugee ‘crisis’ by challenging, from a theoretical perspective, the way in which the European Union (EU) has used the increased number of deaths in the Mediterranean as an opportunity to frame recent migration flows as an emergency which, by definition, can only be addressed through the adoption of exceptional measures. Throughout the article, I engage with the work of Giorgio Agamben on biopolitics and state of exception to illustrate, first, the need to rethink the way in which borders are defined and used (e.g. externalised) within the context of the European refugee ‘crisis’. Second, Agamben’s work is useful to understand what moves the externalisation and privatisation of migration, and to ascertain how international law has enabled the emergence of this ‘crisis’ framing, whilst at the same time partly losing its ability to challenge EU policies. I argue that the posture of humanitarianism adopted by the EU masks the fact that the appalling situation in which refugees are abandoned is not accidental but inherent to the enhanced measures adopted by the EU and its member states as part of the European Agenda.

KW - Public international law

KW - Human rights

KW - Folkrätt

KW - Mänskliga rättigheter

U2 - 10.1093/ejil/chy065

DO - 10.1093/ejil/chy065

M3 - Article

VL - 29

SP - 1173

EP - 1196

JO - European Journal of International Law

T2 - European Journal of International Law

JF - European Journal of International Law

SN - 1464-3596

IS - 4

ER -