Countering the changing genealogies of migration in the EU

Sokhi-Bulley, Bal (2016) Countering the changing genealogies of migration in the EU. In: Bevir, Mark (ed.) Governmentality after neoliberalism. Routeledge, Abingdon, pp. 193-211. ISBN 9781138923447

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On 9 October 2014, the seaside town of Clacton-on-Sea in Essex in the United Kingdom was the site for a new Banksy painting that gave voice to racist national views on immigration. The painting depicts a group of grey pigeons carrying banners saying "go back to Africa", "keep off our worms" and "migrants not welcome" sitting on one side of a telephone wire and a single green migratory swallow on the other (Jones 2014). It has been termed the "pigeons of bigotry" and is a satire on UK attitudes towards migration – even the exotic and attractive migratory foreigner is no longer welcome because she poses a threat. The border, specifically the EU border, enacts the story of "Banky’s pigeons"; the migratory swallow that has flown in from afar (often depicted as arriving through illegal channels), is not welcome because it poses a new threat to the area of freedom, security and justice. The EU version of the story is particularly interesting because the mixed technologies of governance that regulate migration are couched in a language of rights producing a strong discrepancy between the story (or the "in theory") and the practice, which appears to ignore rights. Yet, what is more important and interesting is the way in which the governance of migration in the EU conceals a (re)turn towards the values of labour and security over rights protection, and the way in which the migrant continues to be treated as "irregular", with efforts in migration policy being directed towards "keeping them out" rather than safely getting them in. There are also consequences for the migrant identity, which continues to be demonized and set apart from the ideal "rights-bearing citizen" of the EU. How can the EU speak of a rights-based migration policy? How does this language construct the migrant? How can the migrant claim rights? These are some of the questions I address in this chapter. To do so, I employ a governmentality perspective married with a genealogical examination of migration in the EU.

Item Type: Book Section
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Law
Depositing User: Bal Sokhi-Bulley
Date Deposited: 29 Jan 2017 10:11
Last Modified: 29 Jan 2017 10:11
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