Appropriating mobility and bordering Europe through romantic love: Unearthing the intricate intertwinement of border regimes and migratory practices

Scheel, Stephan. 2017. Appropriating mobility and bordering Europe through romantic love: Unearthing the intricate intertwinement of border regimes and migratory practices. Migration Studies, 5(3), pp. 389-408. ISSN 2049-5838 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This article introduces the notion of appropriation in debates on how to account for migrants’ capacity to defy restrictive border controls and migration policies. What the notion of appropriation better captures than concepts like agency or resistance is the multi-faceted and intricate intertwinement of border regimes and migratory practices. The article illustrates this advantage through an analysis of the phenomenon of bezness. The term refers to a migration strategy of aspiring migrants who seduce and subsequently marry European tourists as a way to gain entry to and residency in Europe. This article develops a reading of bezness as a mode of appropriation of mobility which is intertwined with the border regime in at least four ways: First, bezness is provoked by restrictive visa policies that create a highly unequal access to mobility and life opportunities. The case of bezness illustrates, second, that migrants try to recode the methods, logics and effects of mobility control into means of appropriation. Migrants’ practices of appropriation involve, third, the clandestine transgression of the norms, rules and regulations that define particular border regimes. Finally, the notion of appropriation permits to recognise that the European border regime operates as an apparatus of capture that tries to recuperate migrants’ practices in order to turn them into a driving force for its own development. The example of bezness demonstrates, moreover, that these processes of recuperation also feature the mobilisation of emotions – in this case of romantic love – as technologies of government.

Item Type:

Article

Identification Number (DOI):

https://doi.org/10.1093/migration/mnx047

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Sociology

Dates:

DateEvent
15 November 2017Published
28 September 2017Accepted

Item ID:

22643

Date Deposited:

03 Jan 2018 12:17

Last Modified:

15 Nov 2019 02:26

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.

URI:

http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/22643

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