Accepted Paper:

Pastoral power and sacred realms in the Italian state migration regulation project  
Maurizio Albahari (University of Notre Dame)

Paper short abstract:

The paper presents the Italian state’s management of migration through the intersection of police, Catholic and charitable activities. Within humanitarian and emergency-based modalities, pastoral power and the sacred emerge as techniques of secular governance vis-à-vis migration.

Paper long abstract:

The paper speaks to the interest in the emergence of humanitarian, emergency-based and religious national and EU practices of governmentality, focusing on the intersections of state and religious approaches vis-à-vis migration. It starts by exploring the Italian state's management of migration and borders through the labor of Roman Catholic charitable activities. It then addresses the implications of the state's management of both its constituencies and its new non-citizen subjects, many of which Muslim, through charity. On the one hand, I propose that Catholic social teachings and theological understandings of charity and humanism need to be analytically situated within local and overarching politics and practices of governmentality. On the other, the paper draws attention to the mechanisms through which the Italian state appropriates, materially and discursively, Catholic charitable activities and pastorship; establishes the "sacred" nature of its territory and constituencies; and consequently legitimizes its large-scale, unrewarding, and often lethal project of borders and human mobility regulation. Finally, the paper relates the Catholic institutional involvement with its state counterparts and migrants to the broader scholarly and political discussion on the place of migration and religion/secularism in the constitution of normative Italian and European public spheres.

Panel IW04
Diaspora and migration