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Novak, Paolo (2019) 'The neoliberal location of asylum.' Political Geography. (Forthcoming)

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Abstract

What can be learned about the European migration crisis by studying it at its margins? Framed by this question and premised on evidence collected during four months of field research in a central Italian province, the paper investigates the governance transformations engendered by the migration crisis through a study of the Extraordinary Reception Centres (CAS) set up by the Italian government to host asylum seekers across its territory. The paper builds upon Dikeç’s (2009) conceptualisation of the “where” of asylum to map their legal and geographical location within the EU border regime, and engages with current debates on EU borders a) to highlight the centrality of marginal locations such as Macerata to the functioning of the EU border regime, arguing that CAS are central to such regime as they confirm its humanitarian pretences b) to intervene on debates concerned with the spatiality of EU borders, arguing that greater analytical attention should be given to their territorial configurations c) to evidence the neoliberal character of the governance transformations engendered by the crisis, beyond their migration management function. Border management is an engine of state transformation. The paper highlights the all-pervasiveness of neoliberalism in this process and the weakening of democratic accountability that accompanies it. It suggests, on these bases, that what can be learned about the European migration crisis by studying it at its margins, is that the governance transformations it has engendered invest migrants and non-migrants alike, offering two reflections in this respect.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: borders, asylum, neoliberalism, migration, EU, governance, spaces of law
SOAS Departments & Centres: School Research Centres > Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies
Departments and Subunits > Department of Development Studies
Subjects: H Social Sciences
ISSN: 09626298
Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2019 09:53
URI: http://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/30165
Funders: British Academy

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