Handbook on Critical Geographies of Migration
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Handbook on Critical Geographies of Migration

Edited by Katharyne Mitchell, Reece Jones and Jennifer L. Fluri

Border walls, shipwrecks in the Mediterranean, separated families at the border, island detention camps: migration is at the centre of contemporary political and academic debates. This ground-breaking Handbook offers an exciting and original analysis of critical research on themes such as these, drawing on cutting-edge theories from an interdisciplinary and international group of leading scholars. With a focus on spatial analysis and geographical context, this volume highlights a range of theoretical, methodological and regional approaches to migration research, while remaining attuned to the underlying politics that bring critical scholars together.
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Chapter 4: The laws of impermanence: displacement, sovereignty, subjectivity

Timothy Raeymaekers


How shall we make sense of migrant mobility in a context of increasingly dislocated governance of territorial borders? What kinds of intersecting spaces and places does such a politics produce? And what forms of structured agency emerge from these intersections? This chapter argues for an embodied analytics, which deals, consecutively, with three productive tensions that underpin the effects of human displacement in contemporary migration regimes: between displacement and enforcement; sovereignty and governmentality; and the negation and negotiation of rights. Building on an analysis of return migration to Italy within the rapidly European asylum regime since 2011, the author argues that while human displacement can be associated to a field of power that is not necessarily fixed in place, today’s liquid migration management also produces, sometimes unpredictable, outcomes and renegotiations of identities, hierarchies and rights.

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