Refugees and the (Digital) Gatekeepers of “Fortress Europe”

Franklin, M. I.. 2018. Refugees and the (Digital) Gatekeepers of “Fortress Europe”. State Crime Journal, 7(1), pp. 77-99. ISSN 2046-6056 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This contribution addresses an emergent research agenda for critical theory and research into state crime in the context of two domains in which state and non-state actors are reinventing their terms of engagement, roles and responsibilities under international law: (1) the poor track record of governments’ responses to the suffering of the thousands dying at sea on the doorstep of the EU and (2) the cyberspatial dimensions to border-enforcement and related practices of surveillance and cybersecurity measures from the perspective of how human rights are rendered in digital, networked contexts.

Drawing on reconsiderations of Foucault’s thought on the underlying schizoid tendencies of modern statecraft, I argue that identifying perpetrators of state crime and the related embedding of mass online surveillance lie at the epicentre of how critical scholars, activists, and judiciaries consider the formative role played by how people use digital and networked devices and systems and how these are used to undermine fundamental rights and freedoms, not only of millions of forcibly displaced persons but also those of all “netizens”.

The article concludes by considering where openings for (digital) resistance lie in the face of these shifting constellations of state/non-state “collectives” as they patrol the online–offline nexus of contemporary borderzones.

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in Special Issue: State Crime and Digital Resistance, edited by Anne Alexander and Saeb Kasm,


refugees; migration; human rights; cybersecurity; Internet; governmentality

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Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media, Communications and Cultural Studies


31 May 2018Accepted
25 September 2018Published

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Date Deposited:

11 Sep 2018 15:13

Last Modified:

23 Feb 2021 14:29

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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