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Biopolitics of migration and borders: an assemblage approach

Critical research on migration, borders and camps has used the notion of biopolitics to interrogate how sovereign power or the state differentiate and govern the life of mobile populations. Yet despite its popularity, biopolitical theory is not without limitations, particularly when used as an analytic lens for empirical research. In addition to a lack of clarity about the precise meaning of biopolitics, many theorists are concerned with grand historical shifts and diagnoses and binary oppositions between life and death, inclusion and exclusion, bare life and political rights. Such oppositions have been challenged by recent research on migration, borders and camps that points to complex and nuanced differentiations of belonging and citizenship, the ambiguity of power relations, and prioritizes the agency and experience of individuals over structuralist conceptions of oppression. Against this background, the project explores how the works of Deleuze and Guattari offer terms and concepts that can be made useful to reconsider biopolitics as an analytic approach for empirical research. Assemblage thinking challenges traditional oppositions between the individual and the collective, structure and agency, oppression and resistance and may thus be more sensitive to the complexity of power relations that integrate the life of migrants.

Ansprechpartner: Wiertz T
Email: thilo.wiertz@geographie.uni-freiburg.de
Projektbeginn: 2017
Projektende: (unbegrenzt)
Wiertz T

Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
Institut für Umweltsozialwissenschaften und Geographie

Schreiberstraße 20
79098 Freiburg i. Br.

Telefon: 203 - 3563
Fax: 203 - 3575
Email: humangeo@geographie.uni-freiburg.de

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