The radical politics of alterity: towards a unified analysis of 'crisis', migration and the workings of power.

Elisabeth Kirtsoglou (Durham University)
Olga Demetriou (University of Durham)
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Short abstract:

The panel focuses on the neoliberal political project as the common foundation of the European economic and migration 'crises', and scrutinises visions of 'modernity', 'progress' and 'integration' that produce economies of alterity and dependence, congruent with post/crypto colonial geographies.

Long abstract:

Taking its inspiration from the anthropology of South Europe, the panel wishes to ethnographically substantiate the effects of the (neo)liberal political project as the shared foundation of the European economic and migration 'crises'. Our aim is to demonstrate that neoliberal visions of 'modernity', 'progress' and 'integration' produce economies and hierarchies of entitlement, desirability and undesirability, exclusion and inclusion and, ultimately, taxonomies that appear to be congruent with post and crypto colonial geographies. We wish to document different -culturalist, racialist, historical and economic- forms of establishing alterity and undesirability and the ways in which alterity has been discursively and biopolitically managed through a series of (supra)state policies and structural adjustment measures in a neo-colonial manner. We claim that neoliberal visions of modernity form the bedrock of xenophobic, islamophobic, anti-migrant discourses, but also of asymmetrical structures of extractive economic relations between national and supranational entities. The panel invites papers that scrutinise the role of concepts such as 'progress', 'integration', or 'humanitarianism' as (post)colonial technologies that permeate state-citizen relations, policy narratives and casual sociality. Ultimately, we wish to document a series of regimes of producing and managing difference, that either transform difference into forms of 'radical and incommensurable alterity' or seek to eradicate it by hegemonically commanding the conditions of the 'Other's' integration. Keywords: Migration, Economic Crisis, Humanitarianism, Modernity, Progress, Neoliberalism, Crypto/post-coloniality, Radical alterity.