Das Konzept der Autonomie der Migration überdenken? – Yes Please! [Rethinking the Concept of Autonomy of Migration? – Yes Please!].

Scheel, Stephan. 2015. Das Konzept der Autonomie der Migration überdenken? – Yes Please! [Rethinking the Concept of Autonomy of Migration? – Yes Please!]. Movements, 1(2), pp. 1-15. ISSN 2364-8732 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Due to the alleged capacity of the European border regime to “keep out” refugees from war-torn countries like Syria, there have been calls to qualify or to recall the autonomy of migration approach (AoM). While the reason for these calls has been revealed as a chimera in 2015 by the “long summer of migration”, this article argues that calls to qualify or recall the AoM reduce the latter to the thesis of an uncontrollability of migratory practices. Starting from an understanding of the AoM as a heuristic model that permits to theorise and investigate border regimes from the perspective of migration and the political struggles implicated by it, the article tries to rethink the AoM in order to develop it as an approach that is no longer prone to the critique of romanticising migration. After explaining why the AoM has not lost any of its analytical and political merit, the article evaluates the criticisms that have been raised against this approach. The final part of this article tries to address these criticisms through a reading of the AoM that is based on two interrelated concepts: a relational understanding of autonomy as a relation of conflict between migration and the attempts to control it and migrants’ practices of appropriation, who initiate this relation of conflict within contemporary border regimes through their attempts to take what these apparatuses of control are meant to deny them.

Item Type:



Appropriation, Autonomy, Migration, Securitization, Situated Knowledge

Departments, Centres and Research Units:



4 April 2015Accepted
UNSPECIFIEDPublished Online

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Date Deposited:

07 Oct 2016 09:33

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 16:20

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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