How the Movement Contesting Border Regimes in Berlin Constructs Human Rights. The Interplay Between Collective Action, Collective Identities and Human Rights.

Perolini, Marco. 2020. How the Movement Contesting Border Regimes in Berlin Constructs Human Rights. The Interplay Between Collective Action, Collective Identities and Human Rights.. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

My thesis investigates how non-citizens who mobilize in the struggle against border regimes construct and make use of human rights.

Human rights are contested tools. They can be used by powerful actors to reinforce domination and are often associated with a limited emancipatory potential for marginalized groups. Social movements, however, provide spaces where legal notions of human rights may be reshaped and transformed and where new ideas of human rights may be elaborated.

Little is known about the interpretation of human rights by marginalized and grassroots groups that oppose border regimes and how notions of human rights may inspire, orient or influence their mobilization. My thesis is thus bringing a significant contribution to the study of the construction of human rights from below.

My findings show that non-citizens collectively elaborate emancipatory, non-legal notions of human rights. In particular, grassroots social movement organizations (GROs), in which non-citizens mostly mobilize, formulate rights frames that include the right to stay and universal freedom of movement. These frames embed notions of human rights that are emancipatory for non-citizens as they tackle the oppression that they face because of border regimes.

In particular, the notions of human rights that GROs formulate oppose the categorization of non-citizens operated by the state and their differentiated access to legal rights as a function of legal status. Non-citizens invoke notions of human rights that contest their isolated lives in camps and their risk of being deported.
Moreover, non-citizens make use of notions of human rights to contest the racializing impact of border regimes that are seen as a mechanism preserving global inequalities.

My findings show the complexity of the approach to human rights that grassroots social movement organizations follow, in particular in their tactical choices taking into account different temporal perspectives.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Identification Number (DOI):

https://doi.org/10.25602/GOLD.00030211

Keywords:

social movement, border regimes, migration, human rights, resistance

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Sociology

Date:

31 December 2020

Item ID:

30211

Date Deposited:

18 Jun 2021 15:43

Last Modified:

24 Aug 2021 09:24

URI:

https://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/30211

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