Paper short abstract:
In this paper, I will discuss some of the complexities around issues of undocumented movement and rhizomatic nomadic crossings along the Thai-Burmese border.
Paper long abstract:
In this paper, I will discuss some of the complexities around issues of undocumented movement and rhizomatic nomadic crossings along the Thai-Burmese border. In considering Deleuze and Guattari's concepts on nomadic movement and rhizome theory, I look at how my participants are indeed individual rhizomes who are acting out of response and reaction to the state apparatus that has failed them in a number of ways. In each participant's migration narrative, their nomadic movement is impelled or explained by a specific set of circumstances that are intrinsically linked to state failure (i.e. their movement is merely an innovative solution to their predicament or difficulty). I suggest that this resistance to the state apparatus is a largely un-noted consequence of nomadic action, rather than a deliberate product of nomadic conscious thought. In this view, the state's re-territorialising of the concept of migration is a way to sanction and control the innovative nomadic movement. These efforts often create a criminalization framework around migration regulation issues, which is explicitly moral in tone and practice as it presents the nomads as transgressors from the controlled and approved methods of movement. However, these irregular movements and nomadic crossings exist outside of the state apparatus largely because the state has failed those populations most vulnerable that exist on its periphery.