Rethinking the biopolitical : Borders, refugees, mobilities…

Minca, Claudio; Rijke, Alexandra; Pallister-Wilkins, Polly; Tazzioli, Martina; Vigneswaran, Darshan; Houtum, Henk van; Uden, Annelies van


This Symposium reflects on the growing relevance of biopolitical perspectives in camps studies, border studies, refugee studies, and in particular in research at the intersection between mobility studies and political geography. The five interventions accordingly engage with questions regarding the use of biopolitics as an analytical framework, but also as a pervasive strategy and governmental tool in Western societies. Through an analysis of several empirical cases – most notably hotspots on the Greek Aegean Island, refugee’s forced hyper mobility in Europe, speech acts connected to the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya people in Myanmar and the ‘voluntary return’ policies in Europe, and the paper borders created by visa systems – the authors indicate new possible fields of enquiry related to the biopolitical critically inspired by the work of authors such as Giorgio Agamben and Jasbir Puar, while also clearly restating the fundamental importance of Foucault’s original contribution to any biopolitical analytical framework today.