Confining by choking refugees' lifetime

Tazzioli, Martina. 2023. Confining by choking refugees' lifetime. Geopolitics, ISSN 1465-0045 [Article] (In Press)

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This article argues that refugees’ confinement is enforced through a combination of spatial tactics which restrict mobility and modes of governing by choking lifetime. Focusing on the Greek context, it contends that asylum seekers are entrapped in a sort of (in)dependency conundrum: they are expected to be self-reliant, and they are blamed for being pampered, but they are simultaneously disrupted insofar as they do autonomous social reproduction activities and build autonomous spaces of liveability. The piece starts by exploring the nexus between asylum procedure, carceral mechanisms and politics of confinement: it highlights that people who seek asylum in Greece are at risk of being detained or being declared inadmissible to the asylum procedure. It moves on to investigate the (in)dependency conundrum, taking into account the ways in which refugees choked: it shows that asylum seekers are deprived both of socio-economic independence and of humanitarian-financial support. It suggests that to be withheld is also their future and that this should be conceived as a form of injury and debilitation. The final section illustrates how asylum seekers stranded in camps have organised collective struggles to protest the suspension of food and financial support, and to claim right to education and to access to public transport. By starting from precise demands, refugees have articulated expansive claims that exceed minimalistic biopolitics.

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“This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Geopolitics on 7 August 2023, available at: It is deposited under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.”


refugees’ confinement; lifetime; choking; carcerality; expansive claims

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15 July 2023Accepted
7 August 2023Published Online

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Date Deposited:

29 Aug 2023 08:24

Last Modified:

30 Aug 2023 00:52

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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