Title: On the universal and the particular in studying oppressive mobility regimes

Authors: Barak Kalir

Addresses: University of Amsterdam, Nieuwe Achtergracht 166, 1018 WV Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Abstract: Focusing on the particularities of migration management and bordering in Portugal, contributions to this Special Issue inevitably raise our awareness about a more universal form that increasingly structures the management of mobility in states across Europe and beyond. This universal form that dominates migration management is colonial in its constitution, global in its reach, technologically advanced in its control, dehumanising in its implementation, and oppressive in its essence. Inspired by articles in this Special Issue, this afterword suggests that a key for studying critically the spread of the universal form in its particular instantiation is a reorientation of the ethnographic gaze towards moral subjectivities of bureaucrats and policymakers in institutions that implement oppressive migration policies. We must attempt to trace, analyse and understand how state actors justify servicing a blatant new form of an Arendtian 'banality of evil' that leads to the dehumanisation and exclusion of illegalised migrants and refugees.

Keywords: illegalised migrants; refugees; colonialism; racism; detention; deportation; dehumanisation; state bureaucracy; oppressive mobility regimes; Departheid.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMBS.2019.105814

International Journal of Migration and Border Studies, 2019 Vol.5 No.4, pp.409 - 416

Received: 01 Nov 2019
Accepted: 20 Dec 2019

Published online: 03 Mar 2020 *

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