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 15: Genealogies of contention in concentric circles: remote migration control and its Eurocentric geographical imaginaries

Maribel Casas-Cortes and Sebastian Cobarrubias


While border crossing constitutes a hot policy and scholarly concern, borders themselves are actively ‘crossing’ over people on the move. As institutional practices actively b/ordering populations – as in containing, classifying and discriminating – borders do not only take place at the territorial limits of countries. In fact, the act of arranging people into hierarchies of mobility is becoming a ubiquitous process wherever one might be. This chapter reflects on the origins of the spatial displacement of borders further away from apparent destination countries. Concretely, how the European Union (EU) developed the geographic imaginary of ‘concentric circles’ that underpins practices of contention thousands of kilometers away from its borderlines. Such a process unfolds thanks to the conditional collaboration from third countries to manage suspected migratory movements. Based on archival research of EU documents initially proposing this form of remote migration ‘management’, the authors unfold a genealogy of border externalization that uncovers a rather Eurocentric cartographic imaginary at work beneath expert-driven and neutral sounding policies.

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