Accepted Paper:

Understanding displacement and globe-spanning forces of dispossession: power and new political subjectivities in the 'new culture of hospitality' in grassroots responses to Europe's migration crisis  

Author:

Giulia Sinatti (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

Paper short abstract:

This paper suggests a framework to understand displacement and global dispossession in the context of the European migration crisis that looks at power dynamics and emerging political subjectivities in everyday encounters between migrant mobilities and citizens engaged in welcoming initiatives

Paper long abstract:

In this paper, I use the current European migration crisis as a backdrop to rethink predominant analytical frameworks for the understanding of displacement and globe-spanning forces of dispossession. As Europe experiences the largest inflow of migrants and refugees since WWII, anthropologists address this drama in two main ways. On the one hand, scholars inspired by autonomous migration theory celebrate the agency of people on the move and frame migration as a politically subversive act. On the other hand, scholars inspired by securitization theory analyze the inner workings of the system of European border control and uncover how the issue is de-politicized by stripping migrants of their 'human-ness'. I argue that both these approaches conceive mobility as oppositional to borders and that both are inappropriate to grasp the full complexity of power dynamics and political subjectivities as they unfold on the ground. The migration crisis, in fact, has generated unprecedented responses on behalf of European residents, who have engaged in spontaneous initiatives to welcome migrants. These initiatives speak to how connections are experienced and established in everyday encounters with multiple forms of displacement as: i. Power shapes relationships between hosts and guests; ii. Solidarity bonds are created between people locally and across national borders; iii. New political subjectivities are constituted and mobilize around the right to move and settle. Inspired by debates in anthropology of mobility, I suggest a framework that invites to look at these every day relational processes as well as at the political subjectivities that inform them

Panel P101
Political subjectivities in the face of displacement: claiming rights, belonging, and social citizenship [ANTHROMOB]