Sabine Hess

„Citizens on the road“

Migration, Grenze und die Rekonstitution von Citizenship in Europa


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Many observers of the massive influx of refugees since last summer were baffled by the enormous strength of the movements of migration. Thousands of migrants marching northwards on motorways and demanding the right to cross European borders forced the European border regime to “surrender”. The article argues against the conceptualization of these incidents as an exception or a “crisis” and shows that the strength, the “creativity” and the practices of resistance have to be seen as constitutive of migration in general since migration is a “movement” that resists and subverts the technological and social devices of a massively militarized border regime on an everyday basis and hence questions the racialized conceptions of European citizenship. Conceptualizing migration as such has, as the article goes on to argue, methodological consequences for our thinking and our concepts of “border”. But even most of the constructivist and practice-oriented approaches in the international field of border studies deny that “migration” has the theoretical and practical impact to be a co-constitutive force in the field of border-work.

migration, European border regime, citizenship, autonomy of migration

Hess S. (2016). „Citizens on the road“: Migration, Grenze und die Rekonstitution von Citizenship in Europa. Zeitschrift für Volkskunde, 112(1), 3-18.