“Migration crisis”? What crisis?
Workshop | Tuesday, October 29th
A critical examination of discursive uses of “crisis” in the era of post-humanitarian migration politics
In the summer of 2015 the number of arrivals to Europe through the Mediterranean see raised to over 1 million before consistently diminishing, with less persons arriving to Europe in 2018 than in 2014 according to the UNHCR data portal. Media outlets were quick in portraying the phenomenon as a migration, or alternatively, refugee crisis, often qualified as the largest since the Second World War. Critical migration scholars emphasised in turn the relatively limited number of arrivals compared to the number of refugees in neighbouring countries across the Middle East, or as a share of the total EU population (Freedman, 2018; Anderson 2017), or else in relation to previous migration patterns such as the European emigration to North America at the turn of the previous century. Beyond the specifics of these arguments, the “crisis framing” has deeply shaped European responses to recent migration, be it by fostering new policies or consolidating previous ones (Jeandesboz and Pallister-Wilkins, 2016). Four years on, the politics of deterrence tinted with biopolitical humanitarianism have mutated into a post-humanitarian politics of exclusion.
Against this background, this workshop aims at examining the notion of “crisis” within the field of migration through an interdisciplinary dialogue bringing together philosophers, linguists, geographers, sociologists and anthropologists. Through a common etymology, “crisis” and “criticism” share a same semantical value, that of an opportunity offered to new understandings and changes. In contrast, the current discursive use of “crisis” seems to stress historical ineluctability and political inflexibility. How to explain this reversal? How can contemporary reflections around the idea of crisis illuminate its performativity? In what ways is the notion of crisis productive within the field of migration policies at various points in time? What has become of the figure of the migrantalong temporalities of the crisis? How do discursive practices around the notion of crisis, changing forms of migration control, and humanitarian politics relate to each other?
Tuesday, October 29th
9:30am - 6:00pm
FMSH | 54, bd Raspail, Paris 6
Presentations in French