This article contributes to the literature debate on local-level as a crucial arena of migration government in Europe, after the so called ‘refugees crisis’ in 2015 and the attempt to limit migration movements towards Europe by restricting asylum rights. Drawing on 13 months of ethnographic research in Milan (Italy) between the years 2017 and 2018, we argue that the urban space can be turned into a setting of enforcing internal borders. The study focuses on implicit and informal ‘obstructions’ deployed by police immigration office (Questura) to hinder the attribution of legal status to prospect asylum-seekers or to block the renewal of refugees’ documents. In line with the national and European political orientation towards migration, such restrictive asylum policies have been deployed in Milan since 2016. Instead of placing the migrants in a ‘state of exception’, we argue that these praxes represent additional layers of control mechanisms. Refugees’ lives are directly affected by the obfuscation of their legal status produced by these obstructive praxes, which push recipients into the shadow of the law and are bearers of feelings of dependency and uncertainty. We ultimately argue that such indirect and informal bureaucratic obstructive practices can be interpreted as forms of structural violence.

Obstructing lives: local borders and their structural violence in the asylum field of post-2015 Europe / M. Artero, E. Fontanari. - In: JOURNAL OF ETHNIC AND MIGRATION STUDIES. - ISSN 1469-9451. - 47:3(2021 Feb 17), pp. 631-648. [10.1080/1369183x.2019.1608168]

Obstructing lives: local borders and their structural violence in the asylum field of post-2015 Europe

M. Artero;E. Fontanari
2021-02-17

Abstract

This article contributes to the literature debate on local-level as a crucial arena of migration government in Europe, after the so called ‘refugees crisis’ in 2015 and the attempt to limit migration movements towards Europe by restricting asylum rights. Drawing on 13 months of ethnographic research in Milan (Italy) between the years 2017 and 2018, we argue that the urban space can be turned into a setting of enforcing internal borders. The study focuses on implicit and informal ‘obstructions’ deployed by police immigration office (Questura) to hinder the attribution of legal status to prospect asylum-seekers or to block the renewal of refugees’ documents. In line with the national and European political orientation towards migration, such restrictive asylum policies have been deployed in Milan since 2016. Instead of placing the migrants in a ‘state of exception’, we argue that these praxes represent additional layers of control mechanisms. Refugees’ lives are directly affected by the obfuscation of their legal status produced by these obstructive praxes, which push recipients into the shadow of the law and are bearers of feelings of dependency and uncertainty. We ultimately argue that such indirect and informal bureaucratic obstructive practices can be interpreted as forms of structural violence.
refugees; borders; structural violence; bureaucratic practices; urban space
Settore SPS/07 - Sociologia Generale
Settore SPS/08 - Sociologia dei Processi Culturali e Comunicativi
Settore SPS/10 - Sociologia dell'Ambiente e del Territorio
29-apr-2019
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/650290
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