Handbook on Human Security, Borders and Migration
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Handbook on Human Security, Borders and Migration

Edited by Natalia Ribas-Mateos and Timothy J. Dunn

Drawing on the concept of the ‘politics of compassion’, this Handbook interrogates the political, geopolitical, social and anthropological processes which produce and govern borders and give rise to contemporary border violence.
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Chapter 5: The predatory character of todays economies: a focus on borders and migrations

Saskia Sassen

Abstract

Expulsions on the way to the US originate in soaring income inequality and unemployment, expanding populations of the displaced and imprisoned, accelerating destruction of land and water bodies. Sassen recalls how today’s socioeconomic and environmental dislocations cannot be fully understood in the usual terms of poverty and injustice. Different examples in the US-Mexico-Central American region connections illuminate the systemic logic of these expulsions. The sophisticated knowledge that created today’s financial “instruments” is paralleled by the engineering expertise that enables exploitation of the environment, and by the legal expertise that allows the world’s have-nations to acquire vast stretches of territory from the have-nots. Expulsions lays bare the extent to which the sheer complexity of the global economy makes it hard to trace lines of responsibility for the displacements, evictions, and eradications it produces—and equally hard for those who benefit from the system to feel responsible for its depredations.

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