E02
The European Other as site of institutional experiment. Articulating friction in infrastructures for processing alterity

Convenors:
Annalisa Pelizza (University of Twente)
Melpomeni Antonakaki (Technical University of Munich)
Chair:
Melina Antonakaki (Technical University of Munich), Annalisa Pelizza (University of Twente)
Discussant:
Anne-Marie Fortier (Lancaster University), Lucy Suchman (Lancaster University)
Stream:
Assembly, silence, dissent
Location:
Bowland North Seminar Room 7
Start time:
27 July, 2018 at 14:00
Session slots:
2

Short abstract:

This panel seeks to investigate the frictions arising between established institutional and emerging knowledge infrastructures in the management of the "European Other". We ask how such infrastructures constitute experiments in enacting individuals and institutions.

Long abstract:

European "alterity processing" (Pelizza under review) via expert institutions has been developed, shifted and re-negotiated following multi-level changes in the order of governance. The so called "Hotspot approach" addresses the ongoing crisis of the Dublin System, while as at the same time it inherits and re-distributes all of Dublin's institutional components in novel settings. This panel seeks to investigate the frictions arising between established institutional and emerging knowledge infrastructures in the management of the "European Other". Adopting an open understanding of Otherness, from migrant and refugees to travellers, we ask how such infrastructures constitute experiments in enacting individuals and institutions. Hotspots are spaces where legal, medical and geopolitical matters of concern are worked out. As such, they convene multiple forms of knowledge, mediate among some of them, silent some others. At the fringes of Europe where the approach has been implemented so far, "spaces of experimentation" not yet shaped by concrete policy and reļ¬ned regulations have been carved out, bringing together people, data and diverse technologies in a trial-and-error setting (Antonakaki and Kasparek 2017). However, Hotspots are not the only such spaces. By designing and developing data infrastructures that privilege certain standards instead of others, trans-national IT engineering labs also contribute to the legitimization of specific forms of knowledge about the European Other, while silencing others. We suggest that the strategic horizon of such techno-social assemblages of alterity management cannot be caught if not recurring to an STS understanding of infrastructures as coalescing experimental practices, knowledge tensions, polities transformation.