Governing refugees through disorientation: Fragmented knowledges and forced technological mediations

Tazzioli, Martina. 2022. Governing refugees through disorientation: Fragmented knowledges and forced technological mediations. Review of International Studies, 48(3), pp. 425-440. ISSN 0260-2105 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This article investigates the fragmented knowledges that migrants need to deal with in order to get access to asylum, and the related effects of disorientation it generates on them. The piece argues that disorientation is as a constitutive political technology of refugee governance and develops this argument by focusing on the Greek asylum system. It starts by drawing attention to the multiple technological steps and forced digital intermediations that asylum seekers in Greece need to navigate, focusing in particular on the Cash Assistance Programme, and it shows how asylum seekers need to deal with dispersed knowledges. The article moves on by analysing how the governing through disorientation underpin the asylum legal system in Greece and how this ends up in debilitating asylum seekers and hampering them from accessing rights and humanitarian support. The final section explores how asylum seekers are racialised and treated as deceitful subjects, and argues that not only their speech but also their conduct and behaviour are assumed to be deceptive, and therefore their knowledge turns out to be pointless. It concludes by challenging claims for more transparency and more knowledge as a response to the governing through disorientation.

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This article has been published in a revised form in the Review of International Studies []. This version is published under a Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-ND. No commercial re-distribution or re-use allowed. Derivative works cannot be distributed. © The Author(s), 2022.


Fragmented Knowledges, Disorientation, Refugees, Technological Mediations

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10 December 2021Accepted
1 March 2022Published Online
June 2022Published

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12 Apr 2022 10:20

Last Modified:

20 Jun 2022 13:56

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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