Date(s) - 31/10/2013
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
“Beyond Territoriality: rethinking human mobility, border security and geopolitical space from the Indonesian island of Bintan”
Speaker: Anne McNevin (PSI)
Discussant: Gabriella Sanchez (PSI)
This paper explores the co-constitution of border security, geopolitical space and migration governance from the perspective of the Indonesian island of Bintan. I argue that practices of border security threaten to outrun the explanatory capacity of the spatial (territorial) and subject
(citizen/migrant) registers habitually employed to think through human mobility. This represents a political problem as much as an empirical one. Not only does it imply a limited perspective on contemporary techniques of migration governance; it also obscures the operation of power that works to enforce profoundly unequal hierarchies of mobility and represent them as politically neutral. I show how an approach that resists reversion to problematic categories of analysis offers the potential to think human mobility without the state and territory as its foremost container concepts. Such an approach – beyond territoriality – is a crucial step on the way to negotiating the normative dimensions of border politics.