Governing migrant mobility through mobility: Containment and dispersal at the internal frontiers of Europe

Tazzioli, Martina. 2020. Governing migrant mobility through mobility: Containment and dispersal at the internal frontiers of Europe. Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space, 38(1), pp. 3-19. ISSN 2399-6544 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This article focuses on the twofold relationship between migrants’ mobility and modes of government, suggesting that mobility is an object of government and, at once, a technique for governing migrants. It focuses on mobility as a technology of government, investigating how intra-European migration movements are managed by national authorities, with particular attention to illegalized migrants who fall under the Dublin Regulation. Building on ethnographic research conducted between 2015 and 2017, the article centres first on the Italian–French border (Ventimiglia) and on the Swiss–Italian border (Como). Then, it moves on exploring how migrants are currently managed in France, being transferred from Calais to hosting centres across the country. It highlights how migrants’ movements are controlled, disrupted and diverted not (only) through detention and immobility but by generating effects of containment keeping migrants on the move and forcing them to engage in convoluted geography. It shows that one of the main strategies for governing migration through mobility consists in the politics of migrant dispersal, that is by scattering migrants across spaces and dividing emergent migrant groups.

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mobility, dispersal, containment, governmentality, migration

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10 April 2019Published Online
1 February 2020Published

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Date Deposited:

01 Aug 2019 14:12

Last Modified:

09 Jun 2021 21:32

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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