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

Davitti, Daria LU (2019) In European Journal of International Law 29(4). p.1173-1196
Abstract
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... (More)
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. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Public international law, Human rights, Folkrätt, Mänskliga rättigheter
in
European Journal of International Law
volume
29
issue
4
pages
1173 - 1196
publisher
Oxford University Press
external identifiers
  • scopus:85062717691
ISSN
1464-3596
DOI
10.1093/ejil/chy065
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
55ebdcb5-a24c-41b0-86b1-e44d9b9c42fd
date added to LUP
2018-11-07 16:53:15
date last changed
2019-03-24 04:50:09
@article{55ebdcb5-a24c-41b0-86b1-e44d9b9c42fd,
  abstract     = {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.},
  author       = {Davitti, Daria},
  issn         = {1464-3596},
  keyword      = {Public international law,Human rights,Folkrätt,Mänskliga rättigheter},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {12},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {1173--1196},
  publisher    = {Oxford University Press},
  series       = {European Journal of International Law},
  title        = {Biopolitical Borders and the State of Exception in the European Migration 'Crisis'},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ejil/chy065},
  volume       = {29},
  year         = {2019},
}