Here are four statements about race and the recent series of hate crimes that it seems few people, if anyone, is talking about:
- American culture is obsessed with pop-psychology and the concomitant pathologizing of race and racism.
- George Zimmerman’s feelings had nothing to do with whether Trayvon Martin’s murder was racist or not. [To be clear, it was.]
- Hate crime legislation places primary definitional power on motivation, precisely as a move to re-establish, secure, and consolidate white supremacy once again in the legal system.
- The recent media coverage of a number of apparent “racially motivated” hate crimes is merely laying bare what millions of everyday people already know by the fact of their continued subordination in a system of national and global apartheid.
As I’ve written about before, racism is about power, not personal feelings of bias or prejudice. I define racism with my students as a political technology of division and hierarchization that specifically utilizes the nexus of skin color, language, national origin, and perceived “essential characteristics” as a way to effect the distribution of power. In theory this means that in different contexts the racial hierarchy can be expressed differently (as in black racism towards whites, etc.). However – and here’s the key point – the globe has developed through a specific set of contingent historical events that led racism to express itself as a white vs. other relationship that distributes power clearly towards whites.
And this is the real problem.
Interpersonal racism is merely one tactic belonging to a specific subset of strategies to ensure racial privilege continues to tip in favor of whites. Racism, therefore, is not a psychological phenomenon; so-called interpersonal racism is merely an expression of systemic racial exclusion and oppression. Which is why it does not matter, at all, whether Zimmerman dislikes black people, or that because he is Latino he can’t be racist, or whatever argument is mobilized for or against him.
Allowing racism to be an individual phenomenon of motivations is to ignore what structures both those feelings and the systems that privilege white people. It allows us to dismiss or valorize someone like Zimmerman as either a “lone gunman” or a “neighborhood watch leader acting in self defense.” It allows for the resolution of the specific case, in either direction – guilty or not guilty – without fundamentally altering the underlying racial structure. It allows the fact that Martin was killed by Zimmerman in a gated community, itself an expression of white racial privilege, to go unquestioned. It allows for the racialization of clothing as expressions of criminality. Most importantly, it allows “stand your ground” laws to go fundamentally unchallenged as a tactic to further the re-establishment of white supremacy in areas where white hysteria is fueled by economic fluctuation, dishonest politicians, and manipulative organizations (ALEC, the NRA, etc.). And it allows the police – everywhere guilty of racialized violence in service to white supremacy – to protect white murderers because all they have to do is claim a generalized fear in the presence of black bodies to justify their violence.
Whether or not Zimmerman goes to jail or not should not be the rubric of the success or failure of Justice. Yes, there is a kind of justice to be had in ensuring proper legal procedures are followed; but it is a weak justice, a procedural justice. Justice in this case is nothing short of the overthrow of the system of white supremacy, which cannot be achieved in the courtroom or the statehouse, in the Senate or Congress. It will be achieved only through the unflinching contestation of white supremacy wherever it expresses itself, including in those spaces of national exclusion (the border), on the street, in the classroom, and so on. It involves, as merely first steps, cop-watch programs, strong citizen oversight of the police, the de-militarization and disarmament of the police.
So, it doesn’t matter if Zimmerman “is a racist” or not. Or whether the perpetrators of bias crimes (see a few below) acted alone or not. It has everything to do with the fact that these kinds of crimes are expressions of a system of global apartheid that, in America, is racialized along a black/white or brown/white color line. Attempting to find the psychological motivations for such cases misses the point entirely, and allows for white supremacy to go fundamentally unacknowledged and unexamined.
Some recent cases:
Trayvon Martin case (here)
Hate crimes at Ohio State
John McNeil case in Geogria (here), where being black means “stand your ground” defenses don’t apply to you
US soldier murders 17 Afghan civilians (here)
I submitted an abstract for the 2012 International Geographical Congress (August 2012 in Cologne, Germany). It’s a huge conference, from what I gather, and they seem very concerned about the submissions being “cutting edge science.” So I have no idea if I’ll get in, but I figured I’d apply and see what happens.
This paper responds to the call for research on the practices motivating and promoting changes in the management of international mobility, the social consequences for migrants and societies resulting from mobility-related practices, with a view toward elaborating normative ideas of a “no borders” politics.
Contemporary practices of policing migration flows no longer follow a logic of inclusion/exclusion because the border is no longer the primary site of enforcement and the goal of such practices is no longer to keep mobile populations out of a territory. Western (“receiving”) states rely instead on myriad techniques that implement three broad strategies: the internalization and externalization of policing, and the excision of territory. By shifting migration enforcement away from borders, the governance of human mobility has become dislocated from territory, contributing to the rapid rise in the securitization of migration precisely because of this dislocation. This paper explores various technologies of migrant policing and their relation to, production of, and ambivalence toward various territorialities. Using Gilles Deleuze’s analysis of “control societies,” the author orients these technologies as mechanisms that modulate population flows in ways that produce “inclusive exclusions” and “exclusive inclusions,” where migrant presence or absence is approached as a process of filtration rather than exclusion. The author argues that these control mechanisms, or modulating technologies, help to produce a generalized condition of precarity, which facilitates state and economic interventions that would not otherwise be possible. The paper concludes with a consideration of potential political subjectivities produced by and through governmentality without territory. Rather than a project of “open borders,” the author explicitly locates these subjectivities as operating in a politics of “no borders,” paralleling the territorially dislocated technologies of population modulation. New spaces, literally and figuratively, for politics and resistance are opened as an incitement toward articulating a stronger “no borders politics.”
Title: Free Flow or Better Stay at Home? Changing Practices in the Management of International Mobility
Abstract: This session discusses new developments in the field of mobility and migration politics. The international governance or ‘management’ of human mobility is based on the (re‐)construction of migrants as ‘risks’ and of cross‐border mobility as a ‘risky project’ for individuals and receiving societies. The trend to distinguish between the ‘openness’ to skilled migration (‘free flows’ across ‘smart borders’) and the ‘closure’ to unskilled workers obscures the convergence of apparently different state and non‐state policies and practices in creating categories that order human mobility. Contemporary state and non‐state practices of cross‐border mobility and migration are characterized by a high degree of complexity; they are based on a mix of traditional coercive and direct interventions (‘border management’) and less repressive and indirect practices. Mobility and migration ‘management’ takes place at mostly all political levels and scales: transnational, international, and national scales; the individual migrant ‘level’; social behavior and body politics (as illustrated e.g. by the use of large‐scale ‘information campaigns’ that promote ‘better stay at home policies’ or the increasing popularity of ‘medical pre‐departure screenings’). Against these material practices of control and regulation, migrants and the advocates for ‘free movement’ and ‘no borders’ are challenged to find their own creative spaces and answers to the question if and how migration should be regulated and how autonomous mobility projects can still be realized.
We invite contributions that analyze the (1) narratives and worldviews of recent mobility and migration politics; (2) key actors and practices motivating and promoting changes in the management of international mobility; (3) social consequences for migrants and societies resulting from mobility‐related discourses and practices; (4) spatial and multi‐level modes of mobility politics; and/or (5) normative ideas of the free and open cross‐border flow of people.
A consistent problem of Western political theory has been the confusion of politics (the political) with the problem of organization. Historically, to be political has been to be organized. We can see this from the Greeks (the polis) through the Latins (civitas, cive), and into modern liberal politics (social contract, the citizen).
However, these are figures of organization, not politics. It is not to say that these figures cannot become political, but they should not be confused with politics as such.
Politics, instead, is an absolute exteriority (what Deleuze and Guattari call a war machine). Various forms of organization (including the State apparatus but also the Party, social movements, etc) must seize apparatuses that embody specific power relations that we see as political institutions, political power, sovereignty, the citizen, the partisan, and so on. This ambiguity is what makes genuine politics so dangerous to contemporary forms of organization and why police (n the Ranciereian sense) is preferred to politics.
This is not an argument for the autonomy of the political in the sense of Schmitt or various phenomenological understandings of politics (see Arendt). It is instead an acknowledgement that politics is a force of exteriority that serves to force apart milieus of interiority formed through the double articulation of conquest-pacification, which is the State apparatus.
Politics, then, is not an operation of consensus, it is a differentiation machine, constantly interrupting the process of consensus production/maintenance.
Especially in conjunction with recent news about expanded FBI powers, this is an alarming trend.
“The search was part of a mysterious, ongoing nationwide terrorism investigation with an unusual target: prominent peace activists and politically active labor organizers.
The probe — involving subpoenas to 23 people and raids of seven homes last fall — has triggered a high-powered protest against the Department of Justice and, in the process, could create some political discomfort for President Obama with his union supporters as he gears up for his reelection campaign.”
From the Washington Post
Last week I was at the 2011 Association of American Geographers conference in Seattle, Washington. It was a fantastic experience, and I can’t wait to keep going back (next year is in New York City). The last session of a conference-within-the-conference (Mobilities, Borders, and Confinement/Imprisonment – 7 sessions!) was on articulating a geography and/or politics of a “no borders” approach. My comments (or a close approximation of them, since I was only in the session with notes rather than prepared comments) are below.
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Framing the panel as “no borders” rather than “open borders,” opens a discursive space in which to situate a non-State-centric, activist research that is explicitly political. I mean what I have to say as an explicitly provocative set of statements, and I understand that much of what I have to say has some problems to be worked out. But I want to take my inspiration from Jacques Ranciere to expose a particular logic operating in a geo-politics of borders. Ranciere referred to a syllogism of suspicion, in that by assuming an axiom of inequality (in research, specifically education research, i.e. Bourdieu), we infinitely reify that inequality. Instead, we need to operate from a different logic, with an axiomatic equality.
Given that, I want to propose that we already exist in a time/space in which there are no borders. Instead, we have practices and processes of exclusion and inclusion, separation and expulsion (Bigo; Coleman; Mountz). Borders are not divisions, they are mobius strips, wherein there is only an interpenetration of the inside and the outside (Bigo). But this mobius strip image is actually a lagging-behind of an ontological space that has already lost borders entirely.
Our concepts have not caught up to our ontology. This is incorrect – catching up implies progression. I should say, our concepts have not sufficiently intensified to match the extensive shifts in thinking borders.
Borders have long been conceptual spaces that have been subjected to an ever-intensifying problematization (Foucault) as the State as singularities have merged into the State as totality. The fiction of the Cold War produced and (re)produced the friend/enemy distinction with such force that its own remainders hastened its downfall; but those remainders had to be recuperated somewhere. The logic of the sovereign State recuperated this remainder as “human waste” or “vagabonds” as Bauman notes; a bare life – or almost bare – that is largely stripped of meaningful forms of life that is shunted across ‘borders’ as part of a global policing phenomena designed to ensure the reproduction of State and Capital.
The question, then, is not “is there a world without borders?” It is instead, “how can mobile bodies hasten the final collapse of the logic of the living dead?”
We have today a tendency toward psycho-borders. We have the internalization of unease (Bigo), the very production of the desire for borders, coupled with exclusion and inclusion practices that are non-localized to physical borders (Mountz; Coleman). The key to this shift is the the simultaneous operation of two phenomena:
a) The banopticon – Bigo refers to the selective, yet total, ban that relies on a system of surveillance. We are all surveilled, but to differing degrees; only some are actively banned. Combine these and you get a revision of Foucault’s panopticon into the banopticon.
b) The totality of terrorist potential – In other words, even though there are systems of differentiation and selective banning, we are all potentially terrorist in the eyes of the State.
This coeval phenomenon, the selective ban under a logic of absolute terrorist potential, both heightens our desire for borders even while the world continues to operate without them at all scales (global to local).
As States lose control of the economy, meaningful politics, and so on, the policing of its population is becoming the last bastion of sovereignty. Wendy Brown highlights the use of walls to symbolically combat this impotence. In response, then, we need to articulate a new vision, one that moves beyond a methodological nationalism. An image struck me as particularly poignant: fighter planes are designed to be aerodynamically unstable; our theory and ethnographic practices need to be the same and therefore purposively dangerous.
As globalization continues to be the predominant mode of international economic and political interaction, the questions of immigration and refugee status have taken on a new importance. The United States’ border with Mexico and the external borders of the European Union have become sites for a protracted struggle over the creation of “smart borders,” or borders that allow the passage of qualified labor and economic goods while preventing the crossing of unskilled labor, drug traffic, and terrorism. However, as these border policing techniques have intensified, a new logic of immigration and refugee enforcement has arisen that has produced a de facto collapse between the foreign and domestic policies regarding inclusion in the state. This indistinct border, resembling what Didier Bigo (2001) has referred to as the Mobius ribbon of internal and external security, has in turn intensified the sense of crisis surrounding immigration and refugee policing in the public eye.
This research will address a recent event, where an ethnic and cultural minority – the Roma – living in France were identified as a security and public health threat, detained, and finally deported. European Union agreements allow for the free movement and settlement of all citizens of every member state. The French government argued that the Roma had the right to free movement, but not settlement. The entire situation revealed a problem that has been haunting Europe: even while viewing itself as the ultimate experiment in tolerance and inclusion after the trauma of World War II and the Holocaust, deep-seated prejudices remain. The Roma, known in the popular European mind as Gypsies, remain one of the last cultural and ethnic minorities against whom it is acceptable to discriminate. The existence of a relatively small number of recent Roma immigrants from Romania and Bulgaria is used to produce the entire population as lawless, nomadic, and as a general threat to the social body.
The Roma expulsion of 2010 is a clear case of the crisis of borders ushered in by globalization. However, we have very little understanding of how the processes that produced the Roma as a sort of ‘internal immigrant’ interacted with national and international law and policy to create the conditions for the expulsion. This research project will expose these processes and interactions by primarily producing a pair of intersecting histories, one policy and law driven, one politically and culturally driven. Coupled with selected interviews and fieldwork, the research will develop into a robust case illuminating the problems and processes of border security in a globalized world.
In July of 2010 the French police shot a young Romany man to death. The French authorities claimed that the 22-year-old Luigi Duquenet did not stop his car at a police checkpoint, and in the process of running the barricade knocked over a gendarme. The gendarmes opened fire and killed Duquenet. In response, dozens of Roma (often referred to as Gypsies) rioted in Saint Aignan, wielding hatchets and iron bars as they confronted authorities at a local police station. President Sarkozy’s government soon responded with a “crackdown on illegal camps,” claiming that the camps were “sources of illegal trafficking, of profoundly shocking living standards, of exploitation of children for begging, for prostitution and crime” (BBC “Q&A,” 2010). The crackdown was ostensibly aimed at all illegal encampments in France, but in practice and policy targeted the Roma specifically (Bennhold and Castle 2010; Willsher 2010). As several scholars have pointed out over a number of years, most Roma in the European Union are citizens of the countries in which they reside, including France, and live in permanent housing, not in camps or semi-permanent housing (Cahn & Guild 2008); however, a minority of Roma are recent arrivals from Romania and Bulgaria who do not always appear ‘normalized.’ What is unique in the current situation is how the Roma are collectively being produced by the French state as an immigration enforcement issue, disregarding numerous agreements, treaties, and policy statements by the European Union, the European Commission, the Council of Europe, and the European Parliament that state that all member state citizens have the right to movement and settlement.
Sarkozy has argued that the expulsions were to be voluntary repatriations, but as numerous media accounts have shown, many Roma have been ‘agreeing’ to leave France quite literally as their makeshift homes are bulldozed to the ground or wheeled away by contracted companies (Davies 2010). Voluntary expulsion has included a plane ticket to Romania or Bulgaria and 300 euro per adult and 100 euro per child (BBC, “France,” 2010).
The controversy has raised numerous questions about human rights, citizenship, and immigration. This research project fills a gap in the current conversations, though, by focusing on how immigration enforcement tactics are being mobilized against a population that has many established rights, including the rights to free movement and settlement within the European Union generally and France specifically. These tactics have the effect of freezing populations in place, even while the EU continues to construct an identity for itself as founded on the free movement of people, goods, and services. This expansion of tactics typically used against an outside, non-EU citizens, has been turned onto a population on the inside, highlighting the interpenetration of domestic and foreign policies in the context of post-9/11 securitization (Bigo 2001; Coleman 2008). The Mershon Center grant will allow me to investigate the specific practices that make up this turn toward domestic/foreign policy indistinction in the context of the Roma expulsions.
This project fits with the Mershon Center theme of “the ideas, identities, and decisional processes that affect security.” I argue that the indistinction between foreign and domestic policies, especially those pertaining to human mobility, are predicated upon notions of nationhood and otherness that produce resentment and antagonism. Understanding the political, cultural, and economic constructions of this self/other relationship are crucial for addressing contemporary climates of securitization. Further, it is important because there is a gap in the current literature on immigration and security studies. Much of the literature either treats immigration as an abstract theoretical issue, privileging discussions of rights and belonging in the abstract (Calavita 2005; Walters 2004), or through policy analysis, privileging what governments say rather than what they do (Dauvergne 2008; Cornelisse 2010). An emerging body of literature (Bigo 2001; Coleman 2008; Mountz 2010), of which this study would be a part, focuses on the nexus among these two areas with an added focus on what governments actually do: in other words, focus on the abstract notions of political philosophy, the aspirational/rhetorical activity of policy, and the practices of immigration policing.
The focus on the state as a practice (Mountz 2010), rather than strictly an idea, brings discussions of immigration policing and securitization out of the realm of rhetorical battles and into the material study of how the nation-state is constructed. Rather than following the lead of much established research which foregrounds a search for an originary position from which to construct an argument for or against immigration – and therefore engage in an endless back and forth between the privileging of human rights or national security – the focus of the proposed research on the practices of security, in the context of the French Roma expulsion, is the feedback loop of the abstract imagined community/concrete human individual. Situating the research in a way that engages this loop properly addresses the complexity of contemporary immigration security.
Research Design and Methods
Given the context outlined above, I propose to do the following:
1) archival research,
2) map access to the government ministries relevant to the Roma expulsions,
3) interviews with non-governmental organizations working on Roma rights issues,
4) site visits and fieldwork.
I will outline in more detail each aspect of the project below. Overall, I propose to spend up to twelve weeks in Paris, France. The time frame for the project would be between September and December 2011 – late enough to accommodate the French holiday month of August, wherein access to archives and interview subjects would be difficult. French language is a necessary skill for completing this research: I have been taking French courses, and will continue to do so until I embark on this research trip.
Archival research in the Archives Nationales (at Le Hôtel de Soubise and Le Hôtel de Rohan in the Le Marais district in Paris for documents before 1958 and the Centre des Archives Contemporaines in Fontainebleau for the period after 1958) will result in the production of two related but distinct historical projects. The first, a legal history, will focus on the legal and policy decisions that led to the expulsion of Roma from France in late summer and early fall 2010. This will include European Union and French national policies, and will target the longest term possible to draw connections and disjunctures between previous eras and the present. The second is a political history, and will focus more broadly on conceptions of French and Roma identities as constructed in the French media, scholarship, and literature. This dual trajectory is possible, based on overlapping sources and the likelihood of archival availability. It is also desirable, in that having a history of law and policy as well as a one of culture and identity will provide a robust conception of the genesis and execution of the Roma expulsion that highlights gaps and convergences among rhetoric and practice, aspiration and material reality.
For the present project’s time frame, it is unreasonable to expect to interview representatives from the government ministries pertinent to the Roma expulsions. First, the events are so recent as to render any outsider enquiry immediately problematic, and will most likely position interviewees in an unnecessarily defensive or antagonistic stance. Second, the French bureaucracy is highly complex, and the proposed time frame will not be long enough to map the terrain, build trust, and conduct interviews. So, the current project will focus on mapping the French bureaucracy – especially the offices of the Foreign Minister, Defense Minister, Immigration Minister, and the Ministry of Culture, the office charged with maintaining and protecting French identity – and on making inroads toward building trust and rapport, to make future interviews possible.
Where I have already begun to lay the groundwork for interviews is with representatives from relevant non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working on Roma rights and immigration issues. I have already made contact with a number of people who can help this research succeed. Interviews will be semi-structured, with a small number of core questions that will be asked of all interview subjects; however, the desire is that each interview will yield emergent themes and ideas that will spin off in unique ways, opening up spaces and questions that cannot be anticipated in advance.
Finally, several site visits are proposed to known Roma encampment locations, both closed and active camps. These site visits are crucial for understanding the terrain and locales of the camps, as one of the primary objections to the Roma camps voiced during the expulsion debates was their appearance as public health hazards and eyesores. Understanding the locations of the encampments past and present will help shed light on the legal and political dynamics of how the Roma have and have not integrated into French society, adding another layer of complexity to the histories undertaken in the archives.
This pilot project will generate data for the core of my dissertation research in the Department of Comparative Studies, and will serve as preliminary research for a successful National Science Foundation dissertation improvement grant. I will apply for the NSF grant in February 2012. I also anticipate publishing at least one peer-reviewed article in a top journal in my interdisciplinary fields as a result of my research.
I am requesting a 12-week budget, totaling $7205, to be spent in the following ways:
|International Flight||$1000||Housing in Paris||$250/week
|Mandatory Insurance Office of International Affairs||$33/month
|Local Transportation||$200||Archive Expenses (including photocopies)||$500|
BBC. 2010. “Q&A: France Roma expulsions.” BBC Online. October 19: www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-11027288.
BBC. 2010. “France sends Roma Gypsies back to Romania.” BBC Online. August 20: www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-11020429.
Bennhold, Katrin and Stephen Castle. 2010. “EU calls France’s Roma expulsions a ‘disgrace’.” New York Times. September 14: www.nytimes.com/2010/09/15/world/europe/15roma.html.
Bigo, Didier. 2001. “The Mobius Ribbon of Internal and External Security(ies).” in Mathias Albert, David Jacobson, and Yosef Lapid (eds.), Identities, Borders, Orders: Rethinking International Relations Theory. Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press: 91-116.
Calavita, Kitty. 2005. Immigrants at the Margins: Law, Race, and Exclusion in Southern Europe. New York, Cambridge University Press.
Cahn, Claude and Elspeth Guild. “Recent Migration of Roma in Europe.” commissioned by the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities and the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights (10 December 2008).
Coleman, Mathew. 2008. “Between Public Policy and Foreign Policy: US Immigration Law Reform and the Undocumented Immigrant.” Urban Geography 29(1): 4-28.
Cornelisse, Galina. 2010. Immigration Detention and Human Rights: Rethinking Territorial Sovereignty. Boston, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers.
Dauvergne, Catherine. 2008. Making People Illegal: What Globalization Means for Migration and Law. New York, Cambridge University Press.
Davies, Lizzy. 2010. “France pushes forward Roma deportations: ‘They are trying to get rid of us all’.” The Guardian. August 19: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/aug/19/france-begins-roma-deportations.
Mountz, Alison. 2010. Seeking Asylum: Human Smuggling and Bureaucracy at the Border. Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press.
Walters, William. 2004. “Secure Borders, Safe Haven, Domopolitics.” Citizenship Studies 8(3): 237-260.
Willsher, Kim. 2010. “France’s deportation of Roma shown to be illegal in leaked memo, say critics.” The Guardian. September 13: www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/sep/13/france-deportation-roma-illegal-memo.
I’m busy putting together a proposal for a travel grant, so I’d like to rehearse some of the abstract and proposal here. I’m also in the midst of putting together as comprehensive as possible a bibliography on France’s recent actions against the Roma in English, French, and some Italian sources (as the “controversy” has spilled over the Alps, where Rome has an even worse track record on the issue). Feel free to post links to media sources or references to articles, books, etc. To see what I have already, here is a link to my Digg site, which is dedicated to this bibliography.
Proposal Abstract (very rough right now):
In late July 2010, a French immigration enforcement decision sent shockwaves around Europe and the world. The French government was to begin “getting tough” on illegal camps of an ethnic group often (and often incorrectly) labeled as nomadic: the Roma, or less accurately, Gypsies. Amid rampant speculation of French president Sarkozy’s pandering to his conservative base in the midst of dismal approval ratings, his government initiated the identification, destruction, and detainment of about 300 Roma encampments and hundreds of Roma families. France has a population of about 400,000-500,000 Roma, the vast majority of whom are French citizens and settled permanently in traditional housing. However, a small portion of the Roma in France live in semi-permanent camps on the outskirts of major cities.
Of primary concern to many were two issues: 1) the historical persecution of the Roma (and other similar groups, such as the Sinti) in Europe, including targeted extermination during World War II by the Nazis, and 2) an historical backdrop leading to international legal conventions guaranteeing the Roma the right to move and settle within the European Union. Observers, from EU Justice Commissioner [name] to philosopher Jacques Ranciere, raised objections to France’s decision. Many commentators were concerned specifically with the human rights implications of the forced removal of a group that has historically been singled out in Europe for their ethnic background and sometimes refusal to live by established European norms.
However, few commentators in the public forum have addressed the most pressing issues at hand: an inability or refusal to find another way to address issues of human mobility create conditions for future insecurity.
This pilot-study research project will include fieldwork at existing Roma encampments, archival research on French and EU policies, interviews with government ministers, and interviews and participant observation with non-governmental organizations. The goal of this project is to begin to conceptualize the role of human mobility in the contemporary political moment. Preliminary research goals include:
1) To observe the functioning of state practices which control human movement.
2) To observe a population considered “migrant” and their practices of movement, resistence, and acquiescence (i.e. how and why do migrant populations themselves buy into – or not – logics of State control of movement).
4) To observe the interrelationship between NGOs and the State.
5) To understand how technologies of surveillance and control affect space, movement, and the distribution of people wherein.
6) To theorize the relation between movement, constraint, and the contemporary performance of State sovereignty.
[Photos from the New York Times]