Vortrag im Oberseminar
Dr. Ruben Andersson (London School of Economics)
Borders and the Political Economy of Fear
This paper offers some tentative notes on the politicised emotional terrains traced by today’s deepening borders. Starting with my research visit to Lampedusa in the summer of 2015, it suggests that Europe’s ‘migration crisis’ illustrates how (some) borders have become a sounding board for political fears variously stirred by the media, politicians and armed groups. Looking comparatively towards the US-Mexico border, the paper then discusses how ‘fear-inducing frontiers’ may act as a potential resource for competing and conflictive political ends (Robin 2006), before exploring how they can also become an ambivalent site for the enactment of a response to those fears. Standing on Lampedusa’s quay in 2015, among the coastguards in biohazard suits, Europe’s borders appeared less like a ‘fortress wall’ and more like a cordon sanitaire hastily drawn in a futile attempt to separate the ‘safety of Europe’ from the dangers lurking outside: conflict, terrorism, disease, displacement and more. In considering European attempts to ‘protect the borders’ without actually risking an entry into conflict-torn Libya itself, the paper also argues that intervention at a distance – for instance through drones, surveillance, Navy ships and other means – may come to reinforce the very fears and risks it is meant to dampen. Concluding on this note, the paper stresses the need to look beyond the migration field towards larger trends in international intervention and in political culture in order to understand how vicious cycles and self-reinforcing economies emerge around certain international borders.
Wann? Montag, 04. Juli 2016 , 18 Uhr
Wo? Institut für Ethnologie, Oettingenstraße 67, 80538 München
Raum L155 (Obergeschoss) Lageplan
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