The technological obstructions of asylum: Asylum seekers as forced techno-users and governing through disorientation

Tazzioli, Martina. 2022. The technological obstructions of asylum: Asylum seekers as forced techno-users and governing through disorientation. Security Dialogue, 53(3), pp. 202-219. ISSN 0967-0106 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This article deals with the technologies and apps that asylum seekers need to navigate as forced hindered techno-users in order to get access to asylum and financial support. With a focus on the Greek refugee system, it discusses the multiple technological intermediations that asylum seekers face when dealing with the cash assistance programme and how asylum seekers are obstructed in accessing asylum and financial support. It explores the widespread disorientation that asylum seekers experience as they navigate un-legible techno-scripts that change over time. The article critically engages with the literature on the securitization and victimization of refugees, and it argues that asylum seekers are not treated exclusively as potential threats or as victims, but also as forced hindered subjects; that is, they are kept in a condition of protracted uncertainty during which they must find out the multiple technological and bureaucratic steps they are requested to comply with. In the final section, the article illustrates how forced technological mediations actually reinforce asylum seekers’ dependence on humanitarian actors and enhance socio-legal precarity.

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Asylum, disorientation, refugees, security–humanitarianism, technological obstructions

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5 May 2021Accepted
26 August 2021Published Online
June 2022Published

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Date Deposited:

17 Sep 2021 09:48

Last Modified:

20 Jun 2022 13:57

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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