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Suspension: disabling the city of refuge?

Georgiou, Myria ORCID: 0000-0001-8771-8469, Hall, Suzanne ORCID: 0000-0002-0660-648X and Dajani, Deena ORCID: 0000-0002-1386-4217 (2022) Suspension: disabling the city of refuge? Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 48 (9). 2206 - 2222. ISSN 1369-183X

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Identification Number: 10.1080/1369183X.2020.1788379


This article focuses on suspension: a process and a politics in migration governance that disables subjects and destabilises the state. Drawing on migrant, civic actor and policy-maker insights and experiences in the cities of Athens, Berlin and London, the discussion reveals how suspension is operationalised and enacted. As recorded across three cities, suspension has become a way to govern migration as an unequal and racialised system by obscuring, prolonging and deferring state responsibilities and migrants’ access to resources and rights. By focusing on who is most likely to be suspended, and how the urban convenes both everyday bordering and new solidarities, we aim to understand the politics of migration in a volatile political and economic conjuncture. Invoking the city of refuge as an actually existing but fragile ethico-political project, we critically reflect on the currency of urban politics of sanctuary cities as redemptive spaces detached from the punitive functioning of the state. We explore how suspension is operationalised in the city through three core processes: the fracturing of legalities; the devolution of care; and the spatialising of uncertainty. We further reflect on the precarious practices care and solidarity which engage our shared humanity as opposed to enforced differences.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
Divisions: Media and Communications
Institute of Global Affairs
Subjects: J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
J Political Science > JC Political theory
Date Deposited: 23 Jun 2020 11:03
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2024 18:54

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